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Why 90% of New Years Resolutions Do Not Suceed, The Unconscious Mind & How To Create Lasting Habitual Change.

The scenario is all too familiar: With the best of intentions we begin January with a half dozen new years resolutions that THIS YEAR & THIS TIME we will stick to & see through. This year i’m really serious about doing this, it won’t be like the last 5 Januaries I tried to quit smoking, lose weight, save money, start exercising, do that course I always wanted to do or clear that debt. We do well for a couple of weeks & perhaps as well leading into February but unfortunately these good intentions fall by the wayside, get forgotten & ultimately stop as we revert back to what we did before. Occasionally something may stick & if so you can be lucky to count yourself in the top 8%. This is the reason why January is the busiest time for gyms, hands down.

What if you could develop the tools & techniques to be able to change your behaviour?

What if you could develop the skill of successfully integrating new habits?

What could you achieve if you could manage to stick to what you set out to do every time?

The aim of this post is to give knowledge behind why we do what we do & also to give practical tools of how to change & focus our mindset towards that which we hope to achieve.

The mind is much like an iceberg. We see on the surface is but a tiny fraction of all that goes on underneath. The tip of the berg is the conscious mind which accounts for only about 10% of what’s going on with the other 90% being our subconscious. The subconscious mind is the result of all of our programming throughout life, every experience we have been through, every emotion we have felt, every belief we have formed about ourselves & the world & is the driver for all of our conscious actions.

When we make a NY resolution is made it is very much a decision based in the conscious mind which is generally going against the grain of our subconscious mind & allllll of our past programming, much of which is habitual & can be self limiting in nature. The conscious mind gets really excited: “Yeh, this time i’m going IN! I’m gonna do it! This time it’s gonna happen!!!” Meanwhile the subconscious is saying “Pwahaha, this joker again well ok, you can try! Thing is I don’t really want to change & there’s not a great deal you can do about it so good luck!”.

The thing is though that they are not two separate entities & when the inevitable failure happens because the unconscious mind has not been programmed, what tends to happen is that the conscious mind becomes understandably upset for failing at something that wasn’t necessarily its fault & just a result of past subconscious programming. As a result the self limiting belief that you can’t do a particular thing or that you can’t stick to anything or that “new years resolutions don’t work” gets driven deeper into the subconscious which then exacerbates & affects future behaviours, particularly in terms of making a positive change. We dig ourselves further into the hole.

Is it just a coincidence that 90% of resolutions don’t succeed & that our behaviours are driven by the subconscious 90% of our brain or could there be a little more to it?

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.” – Mahatma Gandhi


The great news is though that with planning & dedication we can completely change & adapt our subconscious & our brains through incredible feats of neuroplasticity. In our brains we have around 100 billion neurons (brain cells) with hundreds of trillion synapses all firing electrical signals every second. We have the ability to rewire the brain through utilising techniques that for habitual change & creating billions of neural networks in the process.

Taking the above quote how can we change our beliefs?

Action (conscious) creates thoughts (conscious),

Thoughts (conscious) create beliefs (unconscious),

beliefs (unconscious) create behaviour patterns (unconscious),

behaviour patterns (unconscious) create action (conscious),

action (conscious) creates the reality around us.

The above is true for positive & negative things for example: I physically train (action). Because I train I think like a physically active person (thoughts). Because I think like a physically active person I form the belief that I am a physically active person (belief). Because I believe I am a physically active person form physically active habits (behaviour patterns). Because I have physically active habits I train more (action). Because I train more I enjoy an improved quality of life (reality). This improved quality of life feeds back into my thoughts & belief system.

Likewise: I smoke 10 cigarettes per day (action) Because of this I think of smoking (thoughts) Because of this I form the belief that I am a smoker (belief) because I believe I am a smoker I have formed the habit of smoking (behaviour pattern) Because I am in the habit of smoking I smoke (action) Because I smoke I am not as fit as I could be & I could well run into some serious problems further down the line (reality). I don’t smoke by the way 😉

So one easily accessible way to change & reprogram the subconscious of many without getting into meditation or hypnosis is to change our thought patterns.

Changing our thought processes & patterns is no easy task hence the planning & dedication. There are certain tools that you can utilise however that can make the process a lot easier helping you reprogram the subconscious to form the habits & stick with them to make the successful change.

  1. Think of 5 things that are truly important to you. These 5 things can be anything & more from this list: family, spouse, children, career, material things, things that you want to achieve in the future.

2. Write 100+ reasons down linking that which you want to achieve to those things that are most important to you. What will you be able to do, be or have? Who will this benefit? How will this benefit them? How will this benefit you? By doing this we are actively rewiring our brain & beginning the steps towards reprogramming the subconscious towards forming a different reality. This is called creating your Why. Any great person across history all had a very powerful why to achieve what the achieved. You can also create a strong Why to perform any task. This keeps you on point & inspired to do the task.

3. Once you have created your why spend 5 minutes AT LEAST EVERY DAY visualising that which you want to achieve being fully yours in every respect. Imagine you have it now. How will you feel? What will it bring you? How will it improve your life for the better? By following these 3 steps you will have drastically improved your mindset & dramatically improved your chances of seeing the task through & making the change. By linking that which you find most important to the thing that you want to achieve you bring you see the importance of it & it in itself becomes a value. We will always do what is high on our list of values & not do what is not important to us. This is a prime reason why most resolutions fail – they are simply not high enough on our list of values & priorities.

4. Ok so your mind is in check, now it is time to get on & start forming the habits that will bring this thing that you want to achieve into your life. Start by planning this thing for AT LEAST a month as they say it takes a minimum of 21 days to form a habit. In my opinion it completely depends on what you are trying to do & what kind of person you are. PLAN how you will achieve this thing, create a calendar or chart & put it somewhere you will see it EVERY day. Mark on it EVERY day. This way you will keep up with the habit & will be less likely to fall off track. You will need to do this until you don’t need to think about what you’re doing as by this point the habit will be ingrained into the subconscious & you can go onto forming the next habit. Fail to plan & you plan to fail.

5. Very hard changes & lofty resolutions can be very hard to tackle because they are too huge. It is fine to have a big goal but is ESSENTIAL to break this down into smaller chunks like this: BIG GOAL ——> 3 SMALLER PERFORMANCE GOALS ——–> 3 BITESIZE GOALS FOR EACH PERFORMANCE GOAL TOTALLING 9 SMALL MANAGEABLE GOALS EG           I want to lose weight (big goal). To do this I will need to start exercising, manage my eating habits & work on my mindset to make this happen (performance goals). To start exercising I need to get a gym membership/find a trainer, start reading information about this subject & make a plan for this (relatively bitesize goals that are easily achievable). To manage my eating habits I need to start a food diary, start educating myself about nutrition & start checking labels to be aware of what i’m buying(relatively bitesize goals that are easily achievable). To work on my mindset I need to think of 5 things most important to me, write 100+ reasons why losing weight will benefit that which is most important to me & visualise my ideal weight every day until it becomes my ideal weight.

6. Make your goal as specific as possible & time constrained. “Losing weight” is a rubbish goal as it is too wishy washy, has no definition & how will you track your progress with nothing to aim for? A better goal would be “My goal is to lose 6kg in 12 weeks” or “My goal is to drop 2 dress sizes in 8 weeks time”. This will help you keep on track & inspired by the future vision of yourself completing that which you want to.

7. Make sure your goal is realistic within the time frame. Unrealistic goals can demotivate us when we don’t achieve them but the truth is that if too unrealistic we never had a hope of achieveing them in the first place!

8. List your support team & talk to them about what you want to achieve to bring them on board. The accountability will help you a lot. Who will help but also who may hinder your progress?

9. Make time for that which you want to achieve. Sounds obvious but can be a big stumbling block. Book time in the diary.

10. Be honest with yourself: Do you really want this thing 100%? Are you committed to this thing? Are you willing to do what is necessary to achieve this thing? If not then your time is better spent elsewhere doing something that you actually want to do, not something that you feel you should do.

11. Know that you WILL fall off the wagon, you would be a saint not to. Falling off the wagon is actually a sign of the subconscious mind resisting change. The key is not to beat yourself up as this will lead to you stopping doing that thing that you want to achieve. Look at it objectively, what went wrong? Plan it for next time to try & lessen the effects if it happens again & gets straight back on the horse. Perfectly normal human behaviour.

12. The last step is to believe that you can achieve this thing for yourself. Remember belief forms behaviour patterns, behaviour patterns form actions & actions form our reality. For this reason If you do not believe that you can do it then you will not take the action to do it. I think this is one of the most important aspects of the process. BELIEEEEEEVE 🙂

I hope this article has been of use to you & wish you the very best of luck in your resolutions, you are now armed with the tools to form your resolutions into meaningful habits that will stick with dedication & planning.

For personal training or help with any resolutions call me on 07376124981 I will be able to guide you through these processes & keep you accountable if that may be of use.






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