There's nothing wrong with New Years resolutions
So yet again, with monotonous regularity, another year comes to an end. People all over the globe are getting ready to celebrate the new year with friends, food and fireworks. And then there’s the good old new years resolutions. Don’t get me wrong, I believe the concept is a good one, it’s just the lack of success after 3 days in that I am opposed to. It’s not our fault. We are taught how to set goals, and we really do think we are going to do it this year, however we are not taught how to change in a way that sticks. So that’s why my new years article this year is devoted to showing you how.
There is a simple, yet highly effective, four step process we can all use to make long term change this year. Those of you who know me well are well aware of my love for alliteration and this time is no exception. The process I will unpack for you below is RECOGNISE – REJECT – REPLACE – REWIRE.
To ensure we follow through on our resolutions, they must first be one’s that carry a lot of weight in the overall scheme of things. There needs to be more a theme of “must have” rather than one of “like to”. Ask yourself “What is the cost to you and those you care about if you do not make this change. Will it effect your longevity or a relationship? How important is it to you? What will it give you when you make the change?
Once you recognise what “must” change, you then need to stack lots of pain and pleasure around the result. This is the key step most people miss when deciding to change something in their lives; rejecting the attitude or behaviour we want to change. Because changing important things is never easy, you need to recognise the long term pain of not changing is more detrimental to you than the short term pain of making it. Kick the old habit to the curb.
When you make change, it normally means giving up something that you think is keeping you safe or giving you something we want. When you know what that is, you can then see how the new behaviour can give you that exact same thing. The only difference is that you are now receiving it in a far more resourceful way for you and those around you. If you decide to skip this part of the process, you run the risk of replacing the behaviour with another one that is still feeding your fears or insecurities. It’s like becoming addicted to going to the gym to make you happier with yourself rather than exercising in moderation to improve your health. Another example is giving up smoking and replacing it with over eating. You must discover the root cause for the original bad behaviour so you do not make the same mistake again.
Depending which books you read, it is said it takes you about 21 days to form a habit (good or bad). The key ingredient in those statistics though are repetition and consistency. The neural pathways you have formed in your brain need to be replaced with new ones that are more powerful than their un-resourceful predecessors. Your brain can be literally rewired through practicing the new behaviour over and over again until it becomes your new normal response. This takes time so give yourself time. Make sure you have people around you who care about your success and will give you the support and accountability you need to see it through.
So there’s a quick version of the process I have used with thousands of people to help them change mindsets and behaviours that are not giving them the results they want. I hope it helps you to break the mould and make 2015 the year you not only set more important goals, you also reach them and make them stick. Let me know how I can help.
Thank you for being a part of my journey is 2014.
See you next year!