People will often ask what we at Ignite Your Potential think about a New Year’s resolution. While there are times when a firm determination about a goal can set the course for great change, we know that 92% of people will fail their resolutions.
In fact, January 12th is the day by which most people give up what they swore they would change. So how do we make sure we go beyond the New Year’s resolution?
There are three reasons people backslide. It may seem counter-intuitive but it’s not because of a lack of willpower or gritty determination.
- Most people don’t put a sufficient plan in place. (This strategy doesn’t have to be elaborate. The simpler the better. Break the goal down into small doable steps; include plans for obstacles and frustrations that will show up.)
- While folks don’t realize it, they may not be fully committed to making the change (which is to say they’re not clear about: why they want to make the change and if they’re willing to pay the cost of the change.)
- The key focus for most people is on changing behavior. The mistake we make is not considering the need to change who we are being. In other words, it’s equally important to envision ourselves embodying the change.
When you have a goal in mind…. be thoughtful, create a strategy that includes a deeper dive at why you want what you want. Understand what might get in your way and how to plan around obstacles. Set yourself up for success by working with one of our coaches or read the book Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success.
But how does one address the BEING side of change?
One way is to ask yourself: Who Do You Want to Be?
Some people will experience a tragedy or near-death experience that wakes them up…and they go on to live lives that are true and meaningful to them. Why wait for an existential epiphany? Here are 7 Steps to get you started:
1. Listen to your inner voice. We all have an ongoing internal dialogue. Begin to observe this interior conversation and you’ll find it comes from many parts of you (or many parts of your brain)… sometimes from a deeper, wiser place, other times from a place of fear, and then everything in between. By observing your inner dialogue you have a chance to cull this inner chatter and identify the inner guidance grounded in wisdom. Listen to this inner voice. Learn to identify the messages that are useful and truthful about who you want to be and what is important to you.
2. Now ask yourself: Who are you really moved to become? Who are you called to be? Are you called to be a leader? An admired executive? A healer? A teacher? A champion of a cause? A change maker? A homemaker? A rockstar mother? Someone healed and healthy who models impeccable boundaries? A defender of the masses? A person of presence who models embodiment? A person who treats her body with care? A turned-on person who follows his bliss? A funny light-hearted person who brings joy to others? Who are you really moved to become?
3. The next step involves being candid with yourself: Who are you currently being? How are you showing up in the world? If your life ended, how would you be remembered? Take a brief inventory of your day to day interactions and behaviors…what does that say about who you are actually being in your life?
4. As you go through these questions, are you in alignment between who you want to be and who you really are? If not, how will you become more congruent? How will you become who you are meant to be? You can change your behaviors… that’s definitely how we create change. But you also need to begin seeing yourself differently.
5. The next step has two variations depending on your preference or you could choose to do both. Create a short list of intentions for who you want to be, that resonate, meaning they don’t feel like shoulds, and then turn this list into affirmations (positive, present-tense statements, declarations that affirm this goal already having happened.) If it works better for you, you could jot down cues that prompt a visualization of you being changed. In other words, a few prompts to help you imagine, in your mind’s eye, you, already having accomplished this goal. Already being who you will be once you get there. Obviously, we’re using our imagination here, but keep in mind that Olympians have used this very technique to improve their performance. Because… it helps our brain make the change.
6. Each morning for the rest of January, take out this list. Get into a mindful space by using your mediation of choice. Then read each affirmation out loud, trying your best to get into the felt-sense that this affirmation is already achieved. Likewise, if you prefer, use mental imagery, see the change having already occurred.
7. After doing this exercise, ask yourself what simple goal you can do that day to nourish this vision. Write down what you come up with. Put it in your daily calendar as a way to track progress.
If you already had a list of goals for the New Year when you came across this post, consider adopting one or a few of these ideas to support you. Most important, trust your wisdom and be compassionate towards yourself. You’ll be surprised and thrilled with what you achieve.