How To Make 2018 Your Best Year Ever (And Finally Keep Those New Year’s Resolutions)
Call it New Year’s Resolutions.
It’s on your mind.
It’s on mine too.
However good 2017 was, and it might have been an especially “good” or “bad” year personally, most of us want 2018 to be a fresh start.
It needs to be better.
Better health, closer, happier relationships, more personal satisfaction, more control and, let’s face it, more money – at least enough to make life less stressful for loved ones.
Less hassle, more time, more things going your way.
You probably also want other things, and some of them might even seem “inconsequential” in the eyes of other people. Yet they mean a LOT to you. You crave them, but you harbour doubts, some fears, or at least some hesitation that you don’t want to derail your efforts.
People are asking themselves, How can I make 2018 better than 2017?
One thing is for sure: You don’t want to be looking back in December 2018 on another year of half starts and stalling. And if you could have those things right now, the quality of your life would be vastly improved.
Many people are asking themselves:
How can I make 2018 better than 2017?
What do I need to do to achieve my goals?
How can I overcome problems that I’ve had for years and stick to New Year’s Resolutions?
I’m OK in this area, but another area of my life sucks. What can I do differently?
My intention here is not to tell you we can solve everything in one fell swoop.
That’s not possible.
However, having been involved with change, personal development coaching and hypnotherapy for over 17 years and having worked with clients for thousands of hours, I’ve noticed a few things that tend to work quite well. Very well in fact.
Change Your Mind
And this year, I have developed, tested and refined some cool approaches that have helped me and my clients way beyond the way things used to be.
A lot of people think that hypnosis or NLP gives a person almost magical powers to avoid stress, worry and the day to day problems that everyone has, including a sense of one’s own mortality, the suffering in the world, poor health etc. etc. This is often how personal change is presented and sold to people and I think it’s very unhelpful.
For a start, it implies that the power is in the process and that if the process doesn’t work, it is your fault.
It is not.
Secondly, most people don’t realise how much they can improve things. They don’t realise that they are contributing to staying stuck in their problems by the unconscious beliefs and self-talk they have. They don’t realise that it is precisely the level of thinking and feeling they are experiencing that is keeping them firmly stuck, and that this was programmed in a very long time ago, usually by well-meaning people.
Thirdly, they don’t realise that the power to change begins in their mind. Some of my colleagues argue that you need to act to change.
That’s not entirely true.
You DO need to get things straight in your mind, so you feel empowered and have a clear map, a clear sense of what to do, the steps to do it in, and a feeling that you can influence outcomes. This helps you with our second issue, that people don’t generally realise the power they have to influence things.
In my experience, people often think that other people can achieve better results – but not them – in at least one key area. The irony is that, if they handled this one area, their happiness and satisfaction and fulfilment would probably soar!
Your education, age or financial status matter little to be able to achieve your goals. It is your sense of self-efficacy, your connection to what’s important to you, the meaning your “life” has to you, your sense of be able to influence your life, a clear vision of what you want and a detailed plan or roadmap (at least for the first stage of your journey) that will get you there.
How You Can Make 2018 “Better”
I am going to make that job a lot easier for you right now.
Before you read on, I need you to do one thing and it is VITAL for this to have any chance of success: Go and get a pen and pad of paper – or whatever you have to write on in your vicinity. Don’t worry about getting a new pad; just make sure you have one. And please make sure it is pen and paper.
Pen and paper to hand?
I am going to outline a very simple 3-step process to set in motion that ability for you to make 2018 the year you want to experience. This will require some honesty on your part, and a little bit of thinking, but it will be well worth it.
The absolute best way to use this process, which is a powerful subconscious process and highly effective way to change, is to use your pen and paper and work quickly without censoring. Just do it now, and edit or tweak after. Just go for it. If you need to be caffeine-fuelled, so be it.
But get down to work now. Put some music on if you need, but do this. Don’t second guess.
Just write down whatever comes to mind and notice that more and more insights, and greater degree of perception comes to mind as you do.
3 Simple Steps To Success In 2018
We are going to write this out, and later on use the power of imagination to amplify internal success programs.
You must do the steps in order.
Don’t try to add, skip or ignore steps because they need to be done in this order to maximise your chances of success.
Step 1 – The Year in Review (AKA “TV Screen #1”)
Take some time and look back on this past year.
What went especially poorly for you this year?
What was unfair?
What did you struggle with?
Who really made your life harder than necessary?
What health challenges did you face?
What financial issues did you struggle with?
What go in the way?
Who got in the way?
What just plain sucked?
Please do this now…
Here is a typical example to spark ideas:
In 2017, there was a lot of stress to manage: financial pressure of redundancy in my career as a project officer and adapting to a new role developing WordPress sites and mastering css3 specifications.
The challenges included the car having the power steering go, and thousands of pounds of work needing to be done. Once it was done, something I never experienced before happened: waiting a traffic light with cars behind, the lady behind me didn’t wait for me to move away and drive into the car. I don’t car too much about that but I have 3 passengers including my 4-year old son and my wife, who was in some pain after.
A workload that was insanely busy, including refusing to take weekends and evenings off . Not only did that cause me to have the poorest year in terms of time for relationships, but my health suffered: I became exhausted with various internet and authoring projects. Health wise, I developed insomnia, and adrenal fatigue, which pissed me off, especially as my job is helping people overcome these kinds of problems.
You get the picture, right?
Get down all those things. Get them off your mind. Because we’ll use it as a springboard for success in step 3.
Why do you need this now before you go on?
Look, you already have things that frustrated and upset you this year.
You need to get them written down: Either they are going to stay there and cause pain, or you get them out into the open. Make them explicit, because you are going to do something about it right now.
Step 2 – What Went Well? (AKA “TV Screen #2”)
What went well in 2017?
What went your way?
Write this review in the Third Person, because this will set you up perfectly for step 3 and let your subconscious that you want to create MORE of this.
By writing it in the Third Person, you will be training your inner mind to sculpt things the way you want them to be.
Make sure you look at your health, wealth and relationships and well as anything else that matters.
Here is how you do it:
This year, John made a lot of solid progress with challenging goals. He completed half marathons again, in under 2 hours, he got his first book published on Amazon and he expanded his web professional technology skills all the way through to css3 and to the point where he is now setting up cutting-edge websites for clients.
John had some fantastic weekends away with wife the last couple of months of the year to redress the balance he felt had been missing.
He enjoyed blasting through a projects that sparked his imagination and creativity.
He also began studying functional medicine in a detail, and was able to apply what he learned to not only improve sleep and mental functioning, but to feel happier, calmer and more focused than in a VERY long time.
Clients were happy and satisfied and left reviews and referrals to demonstrate this.
OK, see how that works?
For some people, this process can also be helpful to consider what this would be like visually.
Imagine if you will that you have two TV screens in front of you. On the first TV screen is the stuff playing out from the year that “went badly” and “feels rubbish”. On the right hand screen is a second TV screen where you see all the cool stuff you just wrote down playing out.
Now we know what want to leave behind, and what we liked happening.
Now, imagine what would happen if the movie on the second TV screen continue to play out into 2018.
Step 3 – “Flooding” What You Want To See More Of Through 2018
At this point, you are ready to let that roll over into 2018…Again you will write down in third person – in the present tense – what you want to happen and how your life will be, as though it is happening right now.
Because you have already written down how you don’t want things to be, this provides you with 2 screens, 2 frames of reference and contrastive analysis.
What this has the potential to do is create enough cognitive dissonance, so that brain goes ahead and picks the screen number two as the one to keep running at the unconscious level. There is nothing hidden or shameful, and your inner mind “gets” how you consciously want things to be.
Sometimes when I work with clients, there are old emotions that we need to clear to turbo-charge this process, but for now, go and do it.
Here is a solid example for you:
John has a happy year with his partner, listens well, arranges cool things to do together, and she feels cared for and appreciated. He strikes the right balance: when he works, he is focused. When he with his partner, they have fun.
His son is happy, loved, loving, intelligent, fun, healthy and he and John have a brilliant, close, loving, honest father-son relationship. He get a place at a school we are all happy with, loves school and is popular with teachers and pupils and has lots of good friends who adore him. He is smart, fun, confident and makes people laugh.
John is happy and centred inside: any sense of stress is gone, vanished.
He is good company and people light up when he’s around. He makes them feel good, laugh, be happy and inspired. He’s caring, compassionate and at ease.
He is skilled with WordPress, CSS3 and other essential web technologies.
John makes more time to catch up with friends and family.
He’s fit, lean and strong. He’s in excellent health and has a greater understanding of the foods and supplements that are right for him. His mind is clear, brain fog is gone, he’s clear on what he’s loves to eat and what’s good for him. This helps his family healthier too because they enjoy experimenting and trying new things together.
John has abundant energy and he sleeps well.
He’s well organized and gets things done with little or no resistance. He’s methodical, prepares well and learns quickly.
He is passionate about photography and has learned a wide variety of techniques to get the most from his SLR. He takes beautiful, natural photos and people enjoy the gifts he makes from them. He is also a keen videographer and has a camera that produces engaging professional and home videos.
He’s drinking nutritious drinks and eating foods that keep his energy levels and concentration high. These taste fantastic and he feels alert, focused and clear-headed through the day. He sleeps deeply and peacefully through the night.
He loves running and being outside in the fresh air. He’s naturally motivated to run and to exercise and his body is in great condition. His muscles, back and knees are fine. He enjoys entering half marathons again – in under two hours.
When he works, he is focused, relaxed and inspired. He is very productive and helps people to have amazing websites that work for them.
He takes holidays with his partner and son. They fly in comfort to sunny destinations, have fun, relax and recharge batteries when they need to.
Ok, get the picture?
By doing this process, your mind will experience what you don’t want in contrast to how you want things to be. By having TV screen number 2 entirely focused on what you want, and imagining yourself (which is what writing in the third person achieves) lets you mind know that you want to create these set of experiences.
You make sure it is realistic and plausible. And if you can add in what you will be seeing hearing, smelling, tasting and touching, so much the better (the subconscious loves experiencing with the senses and enjoying intense emotions). Add intense emotions to each context and vividly describe what you will touch, hear, see, smell and taste,
How Will You Know You’ve Done These 3 Steps Right?
Firstly, you have actually done this – not just read about it. You will also have written at least four pages for 2018.
You will know you have connected to something valuable when you are in the flow and excited about the future. If you can’t come up with four pages, you might have some kind of emotional block (hypnosis can help with this), or will need to come back later. This exercise should get you very clear about what matters and enthusiastic.
The real acid test is that you feel a shift in emotion as you write about how you want things to be. As you get into what you want for 2018, in terms of health, wealth, fun, recreation, holidays, personal, professional, in terms of relationships, you should feel very good inside.
This is because you are tapping into your values. And if you keep coming back to the vision of what you want, eventually your subconscious will reprioritise what’s important. In a previous article, I looked at why change is often so hard. What you’ve just accomplished begins the process of making your unconscious change what its default programming is.
Almost everyone will experience the feeling shift, unless they are low in dopamine or serotonin. And I will talk about how I managed to reverse both of those in a future article.
For now, notice that this exercise is helping you focus on what matters, what counts – on what is important.
If you feel an emotional block to doing this, then that is a place where hypnotherapy could be useful.
The Power Of Action
What level of action is needed now to make your vision happen?
How much do you need to do to make this intention a reality?
In other words, you’v e done this exercise and written it out, not just read about it. How do you make sure that it translates into what you want to happen?
Every day, read your vision for 2018 morning and night, and enjoy the contrast effect. Eventually, you will only need to read the way you want it to be. Keep reading it, when you get up, when you have a spare moment, when you are heading to work.
If you read your vision for 2018 (Step #3 above) each morning and evening, things will improve. Use the original one you wrote, but you could also type it up, so you can keep it on your phone and read it during the day too. The most important is to keep connecting with the feelings of what matters and your values enough, so that:
- You are entirely focused on what you want to happen and become immersed in it
- You start to experience it internally as “real” and plausible
- You naturally feel motivated to take actions, as you begin to notice opportunities all around you
Some people think that you need to take massive action. And there may be times when you do. But all you need to do is create some initial momentum and motivation to change internally.
Having taking the action to write down what you want to happen and taking a couple of minutes to read it each day is effective in reminding your subconscious of the new habits, ways of thinking and behaviours you want to develop and install.
Why Do This Each Day?
In the classic book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill talks about the process of making your goals a reality. He also talked about the value of emotion. He however, did not talk about how to create leverage through cognitive dissonance (which we’ve achieved here), so you mind rejects the crud in favour of what you want.
He also never talked about connecting with your values.
Values are those things that matter to you, the sense of what counts so much you would give time, money and expend effort to make them happen. If you are a parent, values you might experience are “wanting happiness and confidence for your child”, stability, security and love.
If you are looking for a new job, then what matters might be “sense of achievement” or “pride.” By having your third person narrative of what you want your life to look like, you create great focus and optimism. Because it is in the third person, your subconscious understands that this is something to move towards and that you want it to make this happen. It is the screenplay that you want your subconscious to work with you to fill in the details…
And you have tapped into your values to make this happen. And each day, by reading this, you reconnect with those experiences of what matters. It creates motivation, fulfilment and inner peace NOW, and motivates you to take certain actions.
Over time, those actions will become bigger.
I usually suggest starting small…pick something tangible you can do in 5 minutes or less.
Want a new relationship? Go and sign up for a dating site like match.com or dating direct. Get your login and username. Job done.
Next 5 minute task, pick a photo (in under 5 minutes) or better still, ask a friend to pick one. [Trust me, you have a friend knows better than you what should go in a profile picture]
Next 5 minutes task, fill in basic information.
See how this builds momentum?
Your vision creates the powerful desire to succeed and prevent self-sabotage. And our set of 5-minute tasks is like a shopping list that you simple do and tick off. These tasks are important, but they need to be small so you cope well and build momentum and increasing self-confidence.
So How Can Hypnosis And Coaching Help You?
I combine this process self-hypnosis. In fact I teach all my clients how to do self-hypnosis through their sessions.
So they are empowered to use it for any problems and to problem their own inner minds for success. My clients love this because not only do they solve the problem they came to see me for but they have a way to maintain those gains long-term and also to solve any other problem they might experience.
Hypnosis allows you to get the subconscious mind out of the way, so you can deeply and powerfully mentally rehearse the new behaviours and habits you want to show up. Where you need to gather new skills or develop charisma, we can use deep hypnosis techniques to install the behaviours we like in other charismatic people!
I make sure all my clients achieve 2 things: solve the problem they came to see me for and secondly, learn self-hypnosis so they can do this by themselves. It means they can solve a lot of problems they will encounter for the rest of their lives.
Hypnosis (and my year-long coaching program) allows us to build greater belief in your ability to change, as well as see new behaviours spontaneously emerge in our day to day life.
The advanced hypnotic regression techniques and other approaches I’ve developed also allow us to clear out any emotional blocks or anxiety or lack of confidence that just seem to lurk and self-sabotage. This was life-changing for me, I love hypnosis and so do my clients. If you want to find out more, please contact me. We can have an informal conversation and you will get to see if this is something you want to do or not.
New Year’s Resolutions don’t need to be an exercise in futility. Do the 3-steps, get clear what you want more of, get passionately involved in it and then if you identify problem areas or want to install a deep belief that “I can do it” then you might consider hypnotherapy and coaching.