It's only the first week of January but already a lot of us are getting disillusioned with our resolutions. We have missed a gym session, eaten something we shouldn't, or spent too much money in the sales. Or maybe I'm wrong, maybe you're flying, in fact you are so on it, that in a few weeks you may think " I have been so good, I can afford to take a break." Every year many of us start resolutions and most of us fail. I hate to be a debbie downer, but this repetition of failing patterns is keeping you stuck, and quite frankly I don't want you to be stuck anymore.
I am a fan of personal development, and have made many new years resolutions, so I don't say this lightly, but here we go .... It is time to stop, now. Change is possible, but for most of us resolutions don't work, they are the route to failure and another piece of evidence that we can't do something. So what I suggest is quit your resolutions, let them go, and instead change your life.
(Wow, that was very uncomfortable for all of us. Thank goodness it is over!)
Here is why you need to let your resolutions go.
Firstly your failed resolutions are only teaching your brain that you won't succeed. And we don't need that.
Secondly resolutions count us down from the first of January, they are rigid structured, they enforce too much all at once. They are a full on attack on the way you are currently living your life, and let's face it, this open warfare on your habits isn't going so well. Perhaps it is time for some more covert tactics.
The point here isn't to give up on growth, it is to go about it strategically. So, if you are ready for real change, drop the resolutions and start making some simple shifts.
First up, let's get open and honest about the emotions behind change. To succeed we need to stop the desperation, stop the guilt, and stop the shame and fear that we are not good enough. All of these thoughts and emotions only eradicate our positivity and dampen our energy, and we need both of these things to make successful change. When we try to make changes based on the idea that without the changes we aren't good enough, it directly sets us against ourselves. Instead we need to see any changes we make as cherries on the top of an already delicious cake. We have to stop needing the change, and instead adopt new habits because we deserve to feel great. This idea of deserving is a powerful way to stick to change as we start to live up to the expectations we hold for ourselves.
Once we have the emotion sorted it is time to get strategic about how we approach change. Habits are the most effective way of making radical change in our lives. Through daily habits we can alter our health, finances, career, relationships, homes, quite frankly everything. The reason why habits are so successful, is that they are deeply ingrained patterns that we often do without even thinking. So it is time to make these habits serve you and help you live the great life you deserve. How? Small and simple repetitive shifts. If we can make incremental changes each day, we build up positive energy behind what we want, we propel ourselves forward to bigger achievements and build up habits that create huge shifts.
Ready to quit your resolutions and make some shifts?
- Work out where you deserve more in your life, (remember this isn't about stuff, this is about emotion). Are you looking after yourself well enough? Do you want more happiness? Peace? Productivity? Ease? Whatever it is, pick one area to start with and make this the overarching theme for your month.
- Spend a few days living your life normally but observe. What habits or rituals do you perform that don't make you feel the way you want to, or aren't in line with your goal? Note these, then look for opportunities in your daily life where you could add something positive that will make a small difference.
- Spend 1hr brainstorming everything you can do to increase the feeling you want in your life. If it's health, maybe choose to drink more water, eat more vegetables or move your body everyday. Whatever area you are working on, be as creative as you can, but try and keep to small actions that can become habits.
- Start to implement your new habits. Start slow, day by day, and focus on one habit at a time. If you find you are still struggling, just take a small step in the right direction e.g if the goal is 'drink more water,' start the day by filling up a big bottle and taking it with you, because once you have taken the first step the others usually follow. Just look for a way to start and promise yourself you will at least do that.
- Finally, remember this is a process. At the end of each week see what has worked and what hasn't, get creative, tweak and amend your simple shifts until they work for you. Remember this isn't about doing things a certain way, it is about doing what works for you. These simple shifts are here to serve you, not the other way around.
So don't be a slave to your resolutions when you can be the master of your own simple shifts.
Read more from Lucie Lincoln at www.lucielincoln.com