The new year is just around the corner, and people around the globe are busy making their New Year’s Resolutions. With an estimated 80% of New Year’s resolutions failing by February, why not arm yourself with the tools for success?

Why do so many people fail in their efforts? To be blunt – We carry our bad habits and shortcomings into the New Year in the hope that things will somehow magically be different, but without first putting the effort into changing them. No one is going to change your bad habits for you, so how badly do you really want to turn things around?

Imagine, for example, you have a bucket and near the top of the bucket, there is a hole. When the bucket is running empty, you’re never going to notice the hole is there in the same way that you won’t notice that you’re holding onto that bad habit if you’re happy with the status quo. However, if you’re looking to improve your life and chase success, you’re going to fill that bucket up – and that hole is going to leak. The only way to fill up your bucket is to repair it first. If you want to reach new heights, you need to fix your bucket.

While there are many different steps that you can take to change your habits and improve your future, one highly effective technique is to take a step back and completely reset your life. Draw a line in the sand, release the negativity and pain from your past and focus on moving forward. You’ve got this! The world is in the palm of your hands.

Hit the reset button on your life using these 8 simple steps:

#1 – The first step is arguably the most challenging. Step back and take a good hard look at your life. This means not only acknowledging the blessings, good times and success, but also the pain, struggles, failures, and challenges. Each of these moments is important in its own way.

#2 – Taking a piece of paper, write out all of the good things you have accomplished. This includes not only the major successes in your life but the minor yet meaningful moments as well. Remember, you don’t have to show this to anyone, this is for you. Fold this paper up and put it somewhere that you can refer to at any time in the future as this will be your motivation when you start to question whether you can keep fighting for your dreams.

#3 – On a second piece of paper, write down all the things that you are holding onto that are no longer serving you in life. This includes guilt and regrets, grudges, past hurts and limiting beliefs that you have formed over the years. Once you have written it all down (be brutally honest and list ALL of it), you are going to let this go once and for all. Light the paper on fire and watch it burn, imagining each of those weights being lifted off your shoulders and drifting out of your light with the smoke.

#4 – Now that you have cleared the negativity out of your mind, it’s time to address the physical clutter in your life. Carve out some time and go through each room of your house or apartment. Identify anything you have held onto that you aren’t regularly using. If it’s broken, incomplete, missing parts or no longer operational, throw it out. If it’s in good enough shape that someone else may benefit from it, donate it. Not only will you free yourself by removing excess clutter but knowing you can help someone else will give you a positive boost.

#5 – Finally, the last area to address is your ‘to-do’ list. If you’re one that lives for physical lists you may already have it written down, but if not, sit down and make a list of all commitments, responsibilities, and projects that are demanding your attention. First, identify the items that cannot be completed for one reason or another and cross them off. Then, select the items you don’t actually have to complete, things you committed to once upon a time but are a thing of the past and cross them off. Finally, looking at the items that remain, remove those items that won’t help to move you forward in some way. This doesn’t mean you have to be completely selfish, for example – helping your friend with a commitment you made is important to maintain your relationship. At the same time, be realistic. You only have 24 hours in a day.

#6 – Now that you have removed the clutter from your life, it’s time to sit down and acknowledge all that this life has brought you. Close your eyes and meditate in that thought for a moment. Consider the blessings and accomplishments you previously listed. Take a moment to identify the many opportunities available in the future and thank the Universe for them, including thanking the Universe for the opportunities you’ve yet to discover. Finally, thank the Universe for all the great people it has brought into your life.

#7 – In this next step you will start to create an image of who you want to be. This is, essentially, your New Year’s resolution. Close your eyes and picture yourself if everything worked out perfectly moving forward. What has changed? Were you in better physical shape? Did you get a promotion at work? Do you have a closer relationship with your family? Write these down. Announce these items using statements of ownership, claiming them as if they are already yours. For example, “I have been promoted to management” or “I have lost 20 lbs”. Read this list every morning with confidence and conviction.

#8 – Take action. This is an important step that too many people overlook, leading to failure in their resolutions. Planning, organizing, and dreaming are all great, but if you don’t act on them what are you actually accomplishing? Start taking steps to make your goals a reality. Don’t forget to stop every so often, reconsider the path you’re on and course correct if necessary.

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