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Using 'Self-Talk' to fulfill New Year's Resolutions

By Michael J. Russ

There is something truly special about the coming of a New Year. Another twelve months present the perfect opportunity to start over, transform or change your self in some way. Regardless of what you resolve to do, be it to improve your health, develop better relationships with friends, make a job change or even see a part of the world you've been dreaming about, everything is within the realm of possibility if you say so.

The important question then becomes, "Why do New Year's resolutions go unfulfilled?" Is it because they are too ambitious? I don't think so. At the beginning of the year you are full of optimism, excitement and hope. The thoughts and words you use to describe your resolutions reflect positive tones as you say, "I can do this" or "I believe I can do it this year." You even tell your closest friends how excited you are about what you are going to accomplish. Then, as the days and months progress your enthusiasm fades and you find yourself making excuses and being apologetic for not pursuing your goals, saying things like "I just can't find the time" or by thinking "I am just too tired today."

Has anything really happened to make your resolutions unachievable? Yes, you're "self-talk." You simply talked yourself right out of your resolutions. "Self-talk" is what you think and say about yourself, both in your head and in conversations with others. In order to fully manifest your resolutions, your "self-talk" must be completely in sync with them. A congruency of "self-talk" and action helps you maintain the attitude, drive and motivation to keep moving forward, even in the face of adversity and procrastination. Here are some things you can do to get your "self-talk" on the right path and manifest your resolutions...

Be clear about your resolutions
The quickest route to what you want is a straight line. When you create resolutions you are unsure about, your "self-talk" will eventually sabotage your efforts by chipping away at your motivation and enthusiasm. Having clarity about your resolution instills greater focus, ignites passion and enhances self- confidence. You become more willing to design, monitor and use "self- talk" to support you every step of the way. Choosing not to make a resolution is better than making one you aren't willing to stand behind. With time and patience you will decide upon and fully support changes that are perfect for you.

Become familiar with the "self-talk" you are using now
"Self-talk" is something you use all the time. Whether it takes a positive or a negative direction is up to you. Being alert to the kind of "self-talk" you use allows you to discover and defy its negative nature and see that it maintains proper alignment with what you are doing to achieve your resolutions.

Consciously design "self-talk"
Use "self-talk" that is positive and on track by consciously designing supportive statements that begin with words such as "I am", "I can", "I will" and "I intend." These words build confidence, motivate and reinforce your intentions. Drop statements that begin with "I can't", "I don't" and "I'll try" from your "self-talk" vocabulary. In order to succeed in reaching your resolutions you must always speak of yourself and what you are doing in a positive way, regardless of the circumstances.

Keep your "self-talk" moving in a positive direction
Adversity is a natural part of life. It's been said that people should be judged not by their successes, but by how they handled their adversities. When adversity strikes, instead of beating yourself up about what happened, respond with positive "self-talk" that inspires you to work through it, such as "I am strong enough to get through this and get back on track." What's important is to keep your "self-talk" moving in a positive direction and focus on what you can control- the way you feel, how you respond and the attitude you maintain.

"Self-talk" is the most amazing force you have for creating the life you envision. Words have the potential to build or destroy and influence everything you experience. However one thing holds true, when you support yourself in every moment, life doesn't seem so difficult. This is the power of "self-talk."

Michael J. Russ has authored audio books on the mental side of golf, life and sales. His titles include 'Powerful Golf,' 'Powerful Self-Talk' and 'Powerful Sales' and his latest is 'Design Your Life.' For more information please visit Powerful Living.
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