Every year without fail we all seem to suddenly come to a point where we start to look around at our lives and think about what we want for the future. Come the end of December we all seem to analyze our year, pick apart our triumphs and flaws, look at others and compare their successes to our own. We single out things that we either want or think we need to change. And we decide next year will be different. Whether it's career, weight loss, health, relationship, money, you name it, we have a resolution for it.
We decide that this time it will be different. This year we will make it stick. We will ignore the pessimism, try a new approach and achieve what we actually want. We have energy, drive and enthusiasm. And we spend those odd few moments lazing on the sofa laden with food, day dream about what it will be like next year when we have got the new job, lost 10 pounds, quit sugar, started running ....
In the traditional method of holiday resolutions we of course diligently follow up this wish with a plan. Every year new ways of how to reach our goals become popular. We read in magazines or online, watch on TV or listen to the radio the pearls of wisdom, from those who know, on how we can make this happen. Every one of these methods have success stories behind them and new research to back up why this is the best way to go about achieving success.
We get the step by step process for making the change. Maybe it's about measurable goals, or perhaps it is not about goals at all, it might be about desires instead, or do we need to forget the bigger picture and focus on the small? Maybe we follow our gut, maybe we create rules and stick to them. Each one of these theories on personal development and positive change are presented in the very best way to help us to believe that the problem before was that we didn't have the right method. We have been looking at it all wrong. As we reach every new year these theories seem to stack themselves higher and higher until we have endless options and methods to approach our new years resolutions.
Don't get me wrong, I am not suggesting these methods don't work, nor am I saying that they are not worth your time. In fact it is quite the contrary. I believe a lot of the ideas and methods can be great tools for you to use. Different things work for different people. There is no one answer.
However as someone who has road tested a lot of these I can tell you without doubt there is one key element that holds within it the mark of success or failure. And that is willingness.
It all seems (well for me at least) to be down to how willing I am to do what I need to do to make things happen. You might be sitting there thinking, "umm... yes, obviously you have to be willing." But indulge me for a few moments to look at the difference between what we think of as willingness and actual willingness.
For example you may think "I am willing, I just don't know what to do to get to there," because let's face it, wanting to make change feels like willingness right? When I hear this, part of me believes you, of course you want to change and are willing. But part of me thinks that this confusion is unwillingness disguising itself as ignorance. In short to be really willing means there are no "buts" or "I just don'ts" or "cant's."
Willingness is living it, breathing it, being 100 percent in, 100 percent bothered and committed. It is not something that waxes and wanes with your interest, it is not passion or enthusiasm. It is different. It is a switch in your brain that once turned on and left on becomes the constant default. Until you get what you want. Willingness is not stopping. Willingness is the switch that means you do things even when you don't want to. It is the momentum that corrals your habits into an army of supporters for your cause, the thing that allows you to change deeply entrenched behavior, to go beyond your comfort zone and do what is necessary. In short, it is the gold.
Now this might be too vague to be an answer to your problems or to be another approach to your new years resolutions or goals. But I do want you to know that when you feel powerless to change, scared and confused about what you should be doing, or just plain fed up of never getting there, it is time to stop looking for a new method and instead decide to be willing. Willing to do whatever you need to, willing to believe that you can, and willing to know that you deserve success.
So may this festive period be merry, be bright but most of all be willing.
Read more from Lucie Lincoln at www.lucielincoln.com