Well, it’s that time of year again. Where we sit down (or do what I do and think about all important stuff while driving) and emphatically declare to ourselves… “This year is the year… where I pinky promise to write out, declare AND follow-thru with ALL my New Year’s Resolutions.” While our intentions are usually pure and matched with the determination to persevere and prevail, what is the typical and let’s be honest, predictable outcome?
(Harsh but true)
Plain ole failure.
And it’s not because we aren’t great people. Or because we aren’t smart enough or good enough to follow thru with changes that will ultimately help us or make us better people. So, if it’s not any of those reasons, why is it nearly impossible or so common for people to NOT follow thru with their well-intended New Year’s Resolutions?
The answer is simple.
When deciding and declaring what you want to change each January, have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “What do I get (the payoffs) for NOT making these changes to my life?” Think about it… if we’ve already determined we are smart people, then how is it so impossible to follow thru with things that we know will make us better?
Because, you get something(s) for NOT changing.
You get a payoff to NOT following thru or, think about it, you would’ve changed already- right? You get to hold on to a story that works for you or you get great sympathy from others. You’ve set yourself up to be the hero somehow or have perfected the art of playing the victim. If completing New Year’s Resolutions were so easy, how is that more people don’t do it? Well, they get something from NOT doing it and it works enough (and every year) to not have to follow-thru.
Once you’ve had a heart-to-heart with yourself and uncovered the payoffs you get by not completing your Resolutions, you must then make a choice… Is it worth the risk to step outside my Comfort Zone (aka not following thru with my Resolutions) and if so, what will I gain as result? Who, outside of myself, will benefit from me following thru with my Resolutions? How will myself and others benefit when I weigh out whether or not the payoffs are worth what it’s costing me? If the burden of not following thru becomes a tool to motivate, you now have the chance to complete what you start every year intending to do… Make significant change in your life.
What will it feel like if at the end of 2016 you can proudly declare that the risk of NOT completing your Resolutions was far greater than stepping outside your Comfort Zone and giving up the payoffs that held you back for all those years?
The good news is, only YOU can make the choice to change. The bad news is if you don’t, who in the end is most affected by this choice to stay stuck?
If you are willing to give up the payoffs and make significant and meaningful change this year, below are 4 powerful and purposeful tools you can begin using on your journey of completing your Resolutions. Notice the subtle shifts within your mind and actions when you begin to incorporate them. And see yourself walk toward completing what you intend every year to complete. Let’s start, shall we?
1) Decide to NOT get offended this year. Remember, everyone else also has the free will to make choices or say things that could be interpreted as offensive. However ultimately it’s your choice to choose to be offended (by their choices or words).
So, start asking yourself…”What do I gain when I choose to be offended?” Most likely it’s conflict, stress and anxiety. Are these worth it?
2) Change one thing in your Comfort Zone that is stopping you. We all have habits or beliefs that we know aren’t working but we don’t change. Perhaps you want to start a business but allow your perfectionism to stop you. Or you really want to get healthy, whether that’s losing weight, exercise more (or just start exercising!), tone up or add more veggies/fruits to your diet. Decide right now, what it will COST you if you DON’T change this one thing… and then set yourself up to succeed in changing that one thing. In order to be successful, you need help right? Or you would’ve already done it. Seek support, whether it is accountability, education, more knowledge and then take doable and feasible Action Steps. If you’ve never run a marathon, why decide to run one next month? Work on specific, tangible Action Steps that you can start doing NOW.
3) Learn to say “no” without attaching guilt. Here’s the thing… if you decide to say “no” but feel guilty afterwards, you might as well have said “yes” because what did you gain by feeling guilty? What purpose does feeling guilty give you?
If you suffer from “people pleasing” or you believe it makes you a better or nicer person to say “yes” to whatever is asked of you, decide if saying all those “yeses” are actually working for you. Does anything or anyone suffer in your personal or professional life when you say “yes” instead of saying “no?” What’s it costing you as a result?
4) Incorporate more fun. What if you wrote out a “bucket list” for this year? Fun activities, restaurants, trips, etc that you will commit to doing before year’s end. Perhaps break it down to one activity a month. Solicit some friends or family to join in. What is it worth to you to make memories this year? Now… go make some!
Only YOU can make 2016 different than any other year. What do you want to say at the end of this year that you can get started NOW to accomplish?? Make this year your best yet!