Instead Of The Typical Resolution, Try This...
Did you make a resolution, whether on New Year's or during the year itself?
And if you did make a resolution or a promise to yourself, did you keep it?
If you didn’t succeed or stick with it, then I’m going to suggest something:
Don’t make another goal or resolution
Instead: Figure out why you didn’t succeed with your last goal or resolution.
If you set your mind to doing something and you don’t do it, that generally means your “will power”(motivation) failed you.
And when your will power fails you, it means there’s something else in your life that’s stronger than your promises to yourself.
Let's look into what may be stronger than your promises?
Your brain chemistry, your values hierarchy, and your beliefs.
I’m going to use a simple example, but you can extrapolate from this to any aspect of your life you want to change.
If you want to go on a diet, and you believe that you’re going to have to stop eating all the "guilty pleasure" food that you like, then you’re not in a place where you will find yourself very likely to succeed.
For a few reasons, among them:
Because you derive pleasure from the food you eat, otherwise you wouldn’t be eating it. And it’s hard to stop doing something you enjoy.
Because along with your eating habits and rituals, there’s accompanying brain circuitry and neurochemical levels to support them.
Because deep down, you have a surface-level limiting belief, such as thinking you won't succeed or you’ll gain the weight back or you don’t really want to do it. And/or you have deeper limiting beliefs, such as thinking you’re not enough, you’re not loveable, or you’re not worthy.
So given all this, how do you make a resolution that sticks?
Work from the inside out to change the belief that is keeping you stuck. And at the same time, work from the outside in by setting up a foolproof system that makes the old behavior nearly impossible, and over time changes the biology that keeps it in place.
So let’s return to the diet example.
Sweat Nation has coached the following to help cliets are overweight lose weight and keep it off.
A visual example that SN Coaches may use will use the Inside-Out strategy: Sit down pour a pile of refined sugar on a plate. After eating a heaping spoonful and explaining in detail the worst effects of what was just put into their body—how it feeds cancer, fuels inflammation, overloads the liver, weakens bones, degrades focus and memory, turns a body into an acidic breeding ground for numerous diseases, and affects genes so seriously that they turn off controls designed to protect you from diabetes and heart disease. Explaining these things in detail, so as to make a new association with sugar. After that, it makes it harder to believe that sugary foods are just delicious. The luggage that sugar carries with it at the doses people take it is equivalent to poison.
Outside-In strategy: The main place to eat poorly is at work. Fast-food drive-through windows daily, and order among other things giant-sized sodas are easy decisions to fall into. Agreeing to prepare healthy meals each week and bring them to work. To make the system more foolproof, and if one wants to confirm commitment; agreeing to leave the credit card at home and not take it to work, so that it would be impossible to even go to fast-food restaurants is going the extra mile, which will guarantee even better results.
Now, your particular issue may not be around eating poorly, lack of exercise, smoking, mismanaging money, or an easily identifiable bad habit.
Sometimes, it’s something less obvious. For example, I was speaking to a Sweat Nation citizen who was frustrated because she’s hit a wall in her career. She knows why but has let fear take over.
As we spoke, I realized her limiting belief: She feels that uncertainty paralyzes her from taking care of her own needs.
This belief leads to her getting overworked by meaningless work that is meant to bogg her down with obligations she doesn’t want to or need to deal with, all while holding herself and her own ambition back.
While she's going to do the inner-game work and learn how to change that belief in the coming year, in the short term, she’s going to create systems that keep her aware of putting the value she provides at the forefront, while creating a better opportunity.
For example, she’s going to become better at following up and being more decisive. While this might cost her some money, she will be able to earn much more with all the value that comes when one becomes more decisive about how what they want their lives to be like.
What I’m proposing for an incredible year is not to make one-sentence resolutions, but to create a system instead that sets you up for success. It should be a foolproof system that makes success your only option.
The good news is that the more you practice using an effective system, your biology will start to change, and you will eventually be able to have some self-control and do it with less effort as you keep going.
You may need to recruit a friend or partner to help you enforce this. Because the other secret to making a change is accountability. As always SN coaches are here to hold you accountable.
So in addition to everything here, if you want to get healthier next year, surround yourself with healthy people. If you want to make more money or grow your career, surround yourself with motivated, successful people. And if you want to be the same next year, be around the same people you've been with that has gotten you to where you are.
Here’s to becoming the best you in the coming year.
P.S. One thing I’m resolving to do is to write to write emails that are even more helpful and effective in your life.
Track Of The Week - Control - Janet Jackson