Learn the five steps you need to take to ensure that your New Year's Resolutions work - for good.
There’s a lot of debate about whether the 1st of the year is a perfect and natural trigger to implement life changing resolutions or if it’s only an excuse for a temporary behavioral change and ultimately a set-up for failure.
Here’s my take:
Any change, particularly a long-term change, requires the effort to mentally align with the change before implementation can take place with success.
What does that mean? It means that if we rely only on the fact that it’s the beginning of a new year, and wake up in the morning on January 1st expecting to be reformed, the experience will be challenging and will feel like heavy lifting. Despite our best intentions, heavy lifting is tiring and difficult to sustain and after some time, the initiative is usually abandoned. This is not a reflection of the weakness of the human spirit, but rather an indicator that the groundwork for sustainable change has not been completed.
People can make massive changes in their lives, like being smoke-free, or saving money, or increasing their fitness, if and only if their mindset is completely aligned with that change. Here’s where most people go wrong – they jump into the change without really being prepared.
How many times have we seen people attempt weight loss with short term success only to finally find the one thing that finally clicks into place with long term success? What created that success? Was it the diet itself? Not a chance. The real difference was the mindset.
So what does it take to lay the groundwork?
Laying the Groundwork for Sustainable Change - 5 Key Steps
Here’s what I recommend:
- Understanding what prevented you from achieving your goal or sticking to your plan in the past is important. Ask yourself what really got in the way and what beliefs you had that caused you to quit or give up. Doing this in writing is extremely valuable for picking up on the thinking patterns that interfere with your success.
- Identifying the cost of not making the change plays a significant role in committing to your change with ease.
- Defining the real desire for the change is crucial. Why do you want to make this change? Why is it important? What will it give you? What will it enable you to be, do and have? How will it affect the people that matter to you?
- Asking yourself if you really deserve the change. Are you worth it? If there is ANY reason why you believe that you do not deserve the improvement in your life, you will find yourself in a state of self-sabotage. This belief needs to be addressed and challenged.
- Finally, being able to imagine yourself in a new state is crucial to your success. Can you imagine going out for dinner without wanting a smoke afterwards? Can you imagine yourself climbing up a set of stairs without being winded? Can you imagine having enough money to purchase an RSP?
This mental preparation for change is a process that is best done through personal journaling. Writing it down gets it out of your head and into a format that can be seen and addressed. Your self-destructive beliefs can be challenged and your sense of self worth can be assessed and built. The power of journaling is astounding for unloading the negative energy in your life and replacing it with a meaningful personal vision and the kind of commitment to change that is deep seeded and permanent.
So what about New Year’s Resolutions? New Year’s day can certainly serve as a great start date, provided that the mental groundwork has been done. When you believe that you deserve something better, making a change is easy.
Kim Ades, MBA is president and founder of Frame of Mind Coaching and JournalEngine™ Software. Author, speaker, entrepreneur, coach, and mother of 5, Kim is one of North America’s foremost experts on performance through thought management. By using her unique process of coaching through journaling, she works with clients to unveil and switch their thought patterns to ignite significant change and life transformation. For a free online journal, visit www.frameofmindcoaching.com.