With the new year now in full swing, our thoughts turn to our goals and dreams for this year and how we can accomplish them.  The truth is that only about 11% of people keep their resolutions permanently, yet there is a way for you to be part of that 11%.  

To be successful in reaching your goals, and keeping your resolutions for the New Year, you need to finetune your Willpower--your ability to do what you want to do, and not do what you don't want to do.  Here are some ways to increase your discipline and one-point focus so you can achieve what you desire this year, whether it’s in your finances, career, relationships, health, or happiness: 

*Remove Temptations:  Toss those potato chips (if you're on a diet), turn off your social media notifications (if you're hooked on checking them). Decide that you will eliminate temptations before you act upon them.

*Develop Micro-Habits:  Start small when you develop good habits. Floss one tooth; workout 15 minutes a day, go to bed 15 minutes earlier to get a good night's sleep. You will find that that by taking small steps, you will have more energy and motivation to increase the time and effort you invest in your new goal (now, you floss all your teeth; workout 1 hour; go to bed 1 hour earlier). 

*Write a Letter to Your Future Self:  This is a powerful exercise. Write a "self-compassion" letter to your future self, telling it how you are taking good care of younow, so you will thrive in the future (10, 20, or 30 years later). Tell your future self how you are exercising and eating healthy now to avoid future health problems. How you are choosing the right career and romantic partner (and nurturing the relationship), so you can be happy in the future. 

*Choose Disciplined Friends:  Develop friendships with people who are highly motivated, disciplined, and positive--people who want to help make a difference in the world. You will be inspired by their example and will build a positive alliance with them to help yourself and others. 

*Prioritize Your Energies:  We have a bank of willpower that can be exhausted, and then needs to be recharged. As a result, it's wise to allocate your energy for things that are important.  In life, there are four categories of tasks:  1. Important and Urgent (you're having a heart attack--make sure you prevent it with good health habits). 2. Important and not Urgent (spending time with your loved ones--this is where you should put most of your energy). 3. Urgent, but not Important(we are distracted by phone calls and emails when we should be focused on important things), and 4. Not urgent, not Important (excessive use of social media; too much TV watching--these things can relax you at times, but usually are a waste of time and energy--cut them down).

Now you have some of the secrets of willpower.  Practice these techniques daily, and you will soon find yourself getting closer to achieving your goals and desires for this year. And, remember, that Love, in many forms--loving yourself, others, and a higher nature--is the best goal of all.