New Year’s resolutions: who hasn’t made and broken them?
I used to make the exact same resolutions every year…for years! My noble intentions disappeared during the first couple of weeks of the new year. Back to same old, same old.
How embarrassing! I didn’t even get it that there may be something wrong with this picture.
A part of me wanted to make changes and move forward and improve my life and another part (the more powerful part, obviously) was ‘happy’ to settle for status quo. Simply ‘wanting’ the change was clearly not enough. What ingredient was missing?
Working with some amazing coaches, I finally learned that to be successful in making sustainable change takes these fundamental ingredients:
- It takes commitment; otherwise, the intention remains a mere “want.” Commitment means doing what it takes until the result has been achieved. Commitment takes us beyond the initial impulse. As soon as we make a commitment, a hundred things try to pull us off course, and they each seem so important! Has that ever happened to you? Commitment means carving out the time for the appropriate and necessary actions, even if we may not “feel like it” and would rather do something else. The results we get in life reflect our level of commitment, whether it be in career, business, relationship, health, or finance. If we truly want to make a change, we need to commit ourselves.
- It takes awareness that there are costs if we do not make the desired change. If I had been aware of the costs of settling for a dissatisfactory relationship and financial situation for so many years, I would have changed in a heartbeat. Instead, I resided in “excuse country,” having all the reasons in the world justifying why I wasn’t following through. Facing the inevitable feelings of regret, frustration, that come with selling out on, and sabotaging yourself are great ways to get real and get yourself back on track.
- It takes integrity. Some people tell you they will be at a certain place at a certain time – and bingo! They are there! Or they tell you they’ll do something for you and they do it. This is integrity. How often do we break our word to ourselves? We make a promise to ourselves and break it. Why? Aren’t we worth our own promise? Aren’t we worth the change or the improvement in our lives? Integrity goes hand in hand with commitment. These qualities force us to take responsibility for our mental and emotional state, learning to master it, rather than allowing it to limit our lives and sabotage our positive intentions.
What changes would you like to enjoy in 2017?
Identify what you want and commit yourself to small daily action steps. You’ll be surprised how quickly you will make progress. Imagine how great you’ll feel!
Actively moving forward, focusing on accomplishing short-term goals, and making progress creates its own momentum and sense of empowerment.
If we plan our progress, the subconscious guardian of status quo won’t be alerted and go into panic mode. Sometimes, we need to trick our mind–kind of enter through the back door. In this way, the New Year’s Resolution Police can’t stop and hand-cuff our positive endeavors.
Why don’t you try it? Let me know how this approach works for you.