OK, I’ve held off posting these til now because day 3 is where most New Years Resolutions start to crack.
And with many of us returning back to work today I figure that by tomorrow you’re going to need some extra motivation… or at least a midday distraction….whatever works.
Since the invention of the calendar, many cultures consider the start of a new year to mark a significant milestone in our life. Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts, and early traditions were simply based on a person making a promise to make an act of self improvement or something slightly nice such as opening the door for people.
Our desire to improve, grow and make positive changes in our lives is part of what makes us human, and the Major NY milestones, often referred to in the Psychology world as a temporal landmark acts like an imaginary line in the sand separating the old inferior self from a new and improved version. For some people birthday’s, anniversaries or even the start of a new week or month can have the same effect.
The problem is that even though you make a grand public declaration – the only thing that actually changes is the clock.
Anytime you use an external factor as your source of motivation for change you’re more likely to fail because at best, you will give yourself an elegant excuse to procrastinate – waiting for the calendar to tick over. It’s like expecting the grass to be greener on the other side of the fence, rather than just watering your own grass.
The bigger problem with using an external factor is that most people aren’t ready to change their
habits, particularly bad habits and so they set unrealistic goals on a whim – but unfortunately, our new selves are usually not much better than the old ones.
When you fail to achieve goals or make positive affirmations about yourself that you don’t really believe, the positive affirmations not only don’t work, they can be damaging to your self-esteem.
People wonder why they don’t feel great about themselves… it’s because they live a lie… they make a decision and they don’t act… they kid themselves it didn’t matter… or they tell themselves they’re too busy… But what they didn’t do was take action in the moment of the decision…and then keep taking consistent action til their goals are achieved.
Self worth is an indicator of how much you trust yourself, so every time you make a promise to
yourself and then let you down you like yourself a little less. It’s obvious when you Think about it, how do you feel about people who lie to you? Do you want to be around them? Of course not!
Making resolutions work involves changing behaviors—and in order to change a behavior, you have to change your thinking (or “rewire” your brain).
So, if you’ve already broken a resolution or two, draw an imaginary line in the sand and use the following guidelines to set some resolutions you’ll actually keep in 2016.
- Make bold promises you have no intention of keeping (insert “I’m never drinking again” here)
- Set the exact same resolutions you failed to achieve last year – unless something is different , nothing will be different
- Try to make a complete 180 life change
- Pick a theme, one single priority focus that you use to guide all decisions you make this year eg Family, Adventure, Health, Wealth,
- Make a plan and review it regularly
- Take action every day to move toward your dreams
- Start by committing to foundation habits
Foundation habits – these are the habits that might seem small and insignificant, but are actually the foundation of many other good habits and routines meaning the end up having a massive income on your life.
They’re also incredibly good way of building your muscle of discipline which will make sticking with bigger habits ( like going to the gym…) later
Eg make the bed every morning, floss daily, load the dishwasher every night
Great foundation habits should be short & simple, unaffected by external forces like weather, and happen every day so you can build a routine of discipline. And no matter how much easier it is not to, you must follow through every day!
Need some extra inspiration? Watch my Live Your Dream class to help give you some extra clarity and what this year could hold for you.