We are into the second month of the new year, which can be a time when our new year’s resolutions have been forgotten

By Dr Demartini, human behaviourist and founder of The Demartini Institute

Whether you were ready for a complete change or just wanted to take stock and improve your circumstances, you don’t need to abandon your resolutions altogether.

People fall into a rut whenever what they do on a daily basis doesn’t align with their highest values

A rut is a by-product of not giving yourself permission to go after what you want in life. The result? You feel trapped in something that is not meaningful.

Here are some tips to get you back on track:

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1. Be clear about what it is you want to change

When your daily actions do not align with your highest values, you won’t be eager to get up in the morning. So what should you do? List your top four or five highest values.

For example, ask yourself what energises you at work or at home. What do you always find money to do? In a social situation, what do you usually talk about? What are the top three goals you’re keen to achieve?

2. Look back at past mistakes

Although it’s not healthy to dwell on the past and beat yourself up about bad decisions you made in the past, it is a good idea to reflect on what hasn’t worked for you. This can help you identify what might work for you in the future.

For example, if your relationship is tense at the moment, is it because you are ignoring the problems? If this is the case, perhaps you need to take action now instead of denying the fact that a problem exists.

If you applied for a new job and didn’t get it, take a look at what you did to make that happen, and what you can do differently next time to get a better outcome. Be honest with yourself, then think about how a positive outlook will change things and work in your favour.

Rather set yourself smaller, more achievable goals, and when you meet that smaller goal, you’ll feel more motivated to continue

3. Set SMART goals

SMART stands for goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. You can apply these goals to both your personal and professional lives.

For instance, instead of setting a goal such as ‘falling in love this year’, rather consider a more attainable one. Subscribe to an online dating website, or ask your friends to set you up with someone. You could join new groups and activities where you will meet new people. Measure your success in attaining your goal by how many new people you meet.

Another example of an unachievable goal is deciding that you’re going to win the lottery. Instead of this, which has a very small likelihood of coming true, why not look at your finances and get them in order?

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Budget to save money to achieve your goal of having more, and also budget to spend money on buying a lottery ticket each week, or once a month to make your dream come true.

Don’t set yourself the goal of losing half your body weight – this is completely unrealistic. Rather set yourself a more realistic goal of say, losing a kilo every week or fortnight, something that is possible. Be realistic in your goals, rather than trying to achieve something unattainable. And don’t expect a quick fix.

Rather set yourself smaller, more achievable goals, and when you meet that smaller goal, you’ll feel more motivated to continue.

Dr. John Demartini is a human behaviour specialist, educator, author and the founder of the Demartini Institute. For more of his teachings, visit www.DrDemartini.com