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How To Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick - Part 2

Have passion, take action, and you'll get what you're after.

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#NewYear #2020 #Resolutions #DrPhil #PhilintheBlanks #Podcast

Phil's in the Blanks

Four Stages of Readiness When It Comes To Change.

Stage 1: Compelled by authority to change.

Stage 2: Comply to escape criticism. (“It’s when everybody expects you to do it, so you fulfill their expectations.”)

Stage 3: Intellectually aware of the need for change.

Stage 4: Mentally and emotionally self-motivated by change.

“Stage 4 is when you can honest to God say, ‘I am so sick to death of this that I will not put up with this for another second, for another minute of another hour of another day. I don’t care how scary it is, I don’t care what’s on the other side, I will not put up with this for another second. I will change this, I don’t care what it takes.’ That’s when you get change,” --Dr. Phil

Achieve Your Resolution

Ask: Where am I? Assess where you are 1. Why is this behavior change worthy? Why does it deserve to be on top of your list?

2. What pain is this creating in your life or somebody's life that you want it to stop?

3. What is blocking you from having what you want?

4. Who or what needs to be removed?

5. How will I feel when I have it?

Make sure what you want is going to get you what you think it's going to get you.


1. Your attitude
2. Your effort

1. Express your resolution goal in terms of specific events or behaviors.

"Being happy," for example, is neither an event nor a behavior. When you set out to identify a goal, define what you want in clear and specific terms. I want:

2. Express your goal in terms that can be measured.

How else will you be able to determine your level of progress, or even know when you have successfully arrived where you wanted to be? For instance, how much money do you aspire to make?

Specifically, that means:

3. Assign a timeline to your goal.

Once you have determined precisely what it is you want, you must decide on a time-frame for having it. The deadline you've created fosters a sense of urgency or purpose, which in turn will serve as an important motivator, and prevent inertia or procrastination.

My realistic timeline is:

4. Choose a goal you can control.

Unlike dreams, which allow you to fantasize about events over which you have no control, goals have to do with aspects of your existence that you control and can therefore manipulate. In identifying your goal, strive for what you can create, not for what you can't.

The circumstances I can control in achieving this goal are:

5. Plan and program a strategy that will get you to your goal.

Pursuing a goal seriously requires that you realistically assess the obstacles and resources involved, and that you create a strategy for navigating that reality. Willpower is unreliable, fickle fuel because it is based on your emotions. Your environment, your schedule and your accountability must be programmed in such a way that all three support you — long after an emotional high is gone. Life is full of temptations and opportunities to fail. Those temptations and opportunities compete with your more constructive and task-oriented behavior. Without programming, you will find it much harder to stay the course.

Potential obstacles are:

Resources required are:

6. Define your goal in terms of steps.

Major life changes don't just happen; they happen one step at a time. Steady progress, through well-chosen, realistic, interval steps, produces results in the end. Know what those steps are before you set out.

The necessary steps are:

7. Create accountability for your progress toward your goal.

Without accountability, people are apt to con themselves. If you know precisely what you want, when you want it — and there are real consequences for not doing the assigned work — you are much more likely to continue in your pursuit of your goal. Find someone in your circle of family or friends to whom you can be accountable. Make periodic reports on your progress.

I will create accountability by:

How will you feel when you obtain your goal?

“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral, which always is as it is.” -- Eckhart Tolle

Life Dimensions

  • Personal

  • Relational

  • Professional

  • Familial

  • Spiritual.

Those are five dimensions of your life. If you can think of some others add them. That's okay, but I'm just breaking it down to these five. Your resolutions are probably going to fall into one of those five categories. It's going to be something personal like self-esteem, education, finance or health.

Or it's going to be relational. If it's relational, who are we talking about? Your significant other or friends? Maybe you want to make new relationships. Maybe you want to repair an existing relationship. Maybe you want to re-establish lost relationships.

So you start out broad and then you start narrowing down.

Greatest test in life is how you handle people that have mishandled you.

Think about that. Your greatest test in life will often be how you handle people who have mishandled you. They mistreated you. They've been unfair with you. So, how are you going to handle them? That will be under the relational area. Maybe spouse; friends. Maybe an existing relationship that needs repair.

Then the third dimension was professional. You want to improve your job performance. You want to open a business or change businesses. You want to set some objectives to achieve you want to get a promotion you want to make a career change. Maybe it's time. It's a new decade. Maybe it's time to go out with the old and in with the new.

Maybe it's time to go out with the old. And in with the true.

Maybe it's time to stop lying to yourself. Get rid of old thinking and replace it with honesty. Being honest with yourself.

Out with the old in with the true

Be truthful with yourself.

The fourth dimension was familial. So what about your family? Do you want to improve your relationship with your parents your children your siblings, maybe your extended family your in-laws. Who knows?

Then it's spiritual.

What is it you want to improve spiritually? Your personal relationship with your higher power, your spiritual walk, how you experience day-to-day your spiritual life? Do you want to spend personal study in communion? You want to enrich your prayer life? Do you want to change your life focus where it's more spiritual?

These are the things that you have to ask yourself. I've gone through it now just to stimulate your thinking but this helps you locate your life. This is part of the answer to "where am I?"