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Can you believe another year has gone by and 2016 is upon us? The year seems to have flown by, but right now it’s the perfect time for reflection. How was your 2015?

As one year ends and another begins, many people’s attentions turn to what they’d like to achieve over the coming months. The dawn of a New Year is the perfect time to introduce a new you to the world, or so we think. With so much focus on resolutions and what we should be achieving in 2016, here is my guide to surviving the pressures of New Year and making sure you achieve the things you want to.

I remember reading somewhere ages ago that around 80% of people don’t actually achieve their New Year resolutions. It makes me wonder why people bother if there is such a high failure rate, but of course many of us are pre-programmed to put huge amounts of pressure on ourselves and conform to what society tells us we should be doing. It doesn’t need to be that way though. If you want to survive New Year and achieve your goals in 2016, here’s how to go about it.

1. A New Year doesn’t have to mean a new you!

What’s wrong with the old you? Nothing of course; you may just want to work on achieving a few goals. From my perspective that’s more of an improvement than a complete reinvention. Try telling yourself that the New Year will mean an improved you rather than a new you. Something as simple as considerately choosing the words you use can have a lasting impact on how you think and feel. Self-improvement is also a lot more achievable than a reinvention. We’re not all Madonna.

2. Make sure that your goals for the year are SMART.

To give yourself a better chance of achieving, think about your goals and be sure that they are:• Specific – What exactly do you want to achieve? If you want to lose weight, how much weight? Be as specific as possible.

• Measurable – How will you know when you have achieved your goal?

• Achievable – Make sure your goal is realistic. For example, if you want to be cast as the next Bond girl opposite Daniel Craig, you may end up disappointed.

• Relevant – Be sure that your goal is something you actually want or need to do.

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• Timely – Set yourself a deadline, but give yourself some breathing space. If you want to lose six stone in weight, don’t give yourself just six weeks to do it. Take your time, don’t put pressure on yourself, and you’ll soon get there.

3. Be your own champion.

If you’ve noticed that there is something in your life that you would like to change or improve, acknowledge the fact that you’ve noticed it and thank yourself for it. By having that initial self-awareness you’re already taking a step in the right direction. By being your own champion you’re providing yourself with the best form of support you can receive; self-confidence and belief in your ability to achieve. You can now let your own positive thoughts and inner wisdom guide you to making the positive change or improving that certain something about you or your life. If you’re planning on a resolution for 2016, make sure you’re not too hard on yourself and don’t judge yourself if you don’t achieve instant results. Tell yourself that you can do it and let those words become your belief. That belief then becomes action, which leads to you achieving.

4. If you’re happy with your life and don’t feel you need any self-improvement, don’t bother.

That’s right, I did just say that. If you’re ok with where your life is at and how you are within that life, why change anything? If you’re happy to continue with the way things are then I say carry on. If a tendency towards alcoholic beverages and the eating of cake is something you enjoy, why give it up? Don’t feel you actually have to make New Year resolutions or do anything revolving around self-improvement in January just because it’s what we’re supposed to do. Which leads me to my final point…

5. Do what makes you happy.

As New Year arrives we’re fed images and articles about what we should be doing to improve ourselves and what our resolutions should be. My advice to you is not to pay attention to any of it. You will know in your mind and in your heart what it is you feel you need to achieve. You will realise for yourself what the positive changes you need in your life are. Once you know what you want and need to do, create an action plan and get going with it. You’ll end up happier and more likely to achieve your goals this way, as you’ll be subscribing to what you want to do rather than what we’re told we should do.
I wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year.

by Daniel Browne | @MrDanielBrowne

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