New Year, New You!
It’s that time of year again when we think about a new start, new year’s resolutions, making life changes.
Did you know that 95% of new year’s resolutions are broken by 15th January?! Why might that be? People don’t want to disappoint themselves, don’t want to be a failure, don’t want to disappoint others, don’t want to put effort in, don’t have the motivation.
How you can make the changes you want to? It is said that the secret to real happiness is progress. Getting things may give you short term happiness, but life progress is what truly makes us feel like we have achieved something.
Change happens to all of us whether we like it or not! There are many changes that we have no influence over and some that we do. But not all change is positive change. We can become ‘good’ at anything we practice enough. We can practice being a really ‘good’ smoker, a really ‘good’ eater, a really ‘good’ TV addict, or we can practice being really ‘good’ at exercise, being really ‘good’ at eating healthily, being really ‘good’ at being organised. Anything you practice enough – positive or not – you will become ‘good’ at!
Most people’s New Year’s resolutions are a ‘wish’ list. They are something that they would like to achieve. They are not necessarily seen as essential, a vision for living, a way of being. So what does it take to get the New You that you want?
Create a compelling vision
A vision that excites you, something that pulls you towards it rather than feeling like you are pushing uphill. Pushing towards something requires willpower, a compelling vision, pulls you towards it, you can’t stop thinking about it and how much you want it and looking for ways to achieve it.
Strong enough reasons
You need to have really good reasons as to why you want that vision. If you aren’t sure why you really want it, you will never maintain momentum to achieve it. You need to be so focused on why it is important that when the going gets tough, you can still push through and keep your eye on the vision. Your reasons for wanting progress, might be the positive gain of achievement, or the avoidance of a negative situation. It doesn’t matter which, just so long as the reasons are strong enough to maintain the motivation.
Review and feel the vision every day
Think about your vision, feel your vision, imagine your vision every day. You might not have a total plan, but that doesn’t matter. When you have a vision, your brain becomes sensitised to picking up and noticing things that will move you towards that vision. Your brain becomes hype-alert to identifying things that you will help you move forward. If you are not clear about the vision, your brain will miss opportunities to move you towards it.
Raise your standards!
Going back to the original point of what makes people happy, which is progress. To make progress you have to raise your standards. If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got. If you raise your standards and live your life in accordance with those standards, you will make progress. People don’t strive toward achieving a ‘nice to have’. Priorities are people’s ‘musts’. A ‘must’ becomes part of our identity. If you have made a change in the past, perhaps to stop smoking, change your eating habits, increase your exercise routine, you might recall that when you’ve been successful there’s been a ‘shift’ inside, some sort of tipping point, where you’ve decided that you can’t go back and going forward is the only option.
People generally live to their identity. They are consistent with who they believe they are. They believe they need to be consistent with who they are. However, most people’s standards are based upon choices, which were reflective of their life years ago, but they are still living towards the standards they set themselves or believed themselves to be, from years ago. We often hear phrases like “it’s just the way I am”, “it’s just the way it is”. These phrases are limiting beliefs. They are excuses that confine us to continue to live within the identity we believe we should be consistent to.
Don’t be confined by the life you have had. This is not representative of the life you have yet to have. Change your inner game, create a compelling vision with reasons to achieve and set standards that enable you to ‘shift’ your identity to find the drive that you need to make progress.
Rituals are where the power is!
Condition your mind and body with ‘new’ rituals. It’s our rituals that define us. Think about the life that you have and the rituals within it. When you set the standards you want to achieve, then define the rituals that back up the standard. Come up with a surprising ritual, something that no-one else does, make it different!
Sometimes it looks as if people have had instant success, whereas in reality that sudden recognition is the result of years of hard work. People are rewarded in public for what they have practiced for years in private. You have to pursue great ideas, they don’t interrupt you. It is rare that things just drop into your lap!
To be a success, demand more from yourself than others can expect of you. Raise your own standards.
Now get started!
To begin with:
Pick one area where you want progress; ie body, career, finances, relationship
Describe what it is like now (the truth!).
What are the rituals that have put you where you are?
What do you want – what is your vision (be specific)?
What are the rituals, specifically, that will get you there (even down to the time of day)?
Start by just doing 2 or 3 new rituals and see what happens – you might be surprised!
There are 2 forms of pain associated with progress, the Pain of Discipline and the Pain of Regret. The Pain of Discipline weights ounces, the pain of regret weights tons, which do you want?