It’s getting that time of year again when New Year’s Resolutions are selected. They might be simple and things you have added to your list in the past – exercise more, eat healthier, lose weight, spend more time with the family, golf more, take a vacation, etc.
We know what we want and should have for every resolution. We know that these short-term goals are good for us. We know that they are not difficult. Yet, we seem to fail more often than we succeed.
Why do we fail? Psychology Today magazine says there are five typical reasons for failure. Our resolutions are not realistic. They were not properly defined. We didn’t have the right mindset. Our time management skills are lacking. And, we don’t know how to handle distractions. Only eight percent of New Year’s resolutions are achieved for the most people.
The prime controller of our life is our subconscious mind. It works 24/7. It never forgets. Its prime objective for each one of us is to protect us – not let us fail or become embarrassed. Sounds great, but if our objective is good, why do we not achieve it.
Let’s take weight loss for an example. If we have tried and failed in the past it is recorded as a failure. After we have a trend of failures and no successes, the subconscious mind determines that losing weight results in failure. It will not let you fail again dieting. So, it becomes almost impossible to lose weight because your subconscious mind doesn’t want to see you fail again. It is protecting you from that potential failure.
Therefore, every time you establish a goal to lose weight the subconscious mind helps you to fail again because that’s what you have always done. It can’t make judgments – what is good or bad for you. It is very limited in its scope. It knows the present only and can access similar events in your past. It cannot understand the future.
You want to lose weight. But can you expect success? I purposely chose the two words ‘want’ and ‘expect’ to help you begin talking to your subconscious mind properly. ‘Want’ and ‘need’ are words that connect to the conscious brain. However, the conscious brain is not in charge of your life. It has very little influence on what you do.
However, your subconscious mind understands ‘expect’ and ‘intend’. It doesn’t know what to do with words like ‘want’ and ‘need’. Getting back to our weight loss desire. If my New Year’s resolution was to eat healthier and we have never had that goal before, our subconscious mind doesn’t know whether to help us or hinder us. There is no established pattern in our past.
I choose the statement, “I expect to eat healthy meals six days out of every week.” Eating healthy meals might result in weight loss – we certainly hope so. But, it is a new horizon for the subconscious mind.
The subconscious mind has many interesting aspects to discuss and it can’t be done in a short article. There are ways to fool the subconscious brain. There are ways to accelerate the attention and focus for the subconscious mind to help you achieve your goals. But, you must start out with baby steps, learn to use the right words when making personal goals.