Here we are past the doorstep of a new year again, but how many of us have actually become “better people” with the clock’s strike of 12?
The year will fly fast. We are back to “normal”, life hurtles on… But the January blues is always in the air all over the world to different extents. While the first week of January is the busiest week of the year for divorce lawyers [in the UK], the 21st of January is officially the day when the greatest number of people are depressed – due to:
- Christmas spending
- lack of light, and
- unfulfilled or broken resolutions.
So why don’t new year’s resolutions last? Let’s look at it:
How do you think of a resolution?
You resolve to do x.
Resolve = feeling = you’re committed to doing something. But feelings are volatile = feelings change [and fast!] = commitments crumble down.
Our state of being is part of the story, but we need strategies too. For practical example, you symbolize your commitment by a gym membership. But as soon as you make no time to go, you then have an internal conflict of willpower. The strategy to go for is: you delegate motivation by hiring a personal trainer. Now you’ve created a structure that supports your intention. It’s there regardless of how you feel = the trainer will keep coming to your house / gym regardless of how many excuses you make in your head.
So we want x = feeling.
Do we have the strategies to achieve it?
The best answer is to have a goal that’s possible to control.
- What does it mean to have x?
- What will having x do for you?
- What will you see when you have it?
- What will you hear when you have it?
- What will you feel when you have it?
- What will others see you do when you have it?
- What will others hear you say when you have it?
- Can you start and maintain doing / being it?
- When, where, with whom do you want it?
- When, where, with whom do you not want it?
- For how long?
- What do you get out of your present behavior that you wish to preserve?
- Is it worth the cost to you?
- Is it worth the time it’ll take?
- Does this fit with your sense of self?
If you have an idea of answers to those questions, you’re imagining. And imagining = experiencing.
Now is the time to look at:
How does this contrast with the state you were in before? Now the old routine is becoming less focused. And as you start relaxing into the new imaginations, more relaxed = more focused.
Build a representation of the x you want to achieve.
What will be its structure? Structure can be a simple strategy that allows incremental change.
Your power comes from making choices. Example: food.
Are you choosing success by what you’re eating now?
Could you make a decision that’d put you in a positive direction?
If the trend is your friend, what trend are you creating?
Little things make huge differences in incremental steps over time.
Another example: taking up sport. The structure of your strategy is:
- What sport?
- How often?
- For what length of time?
Who you are [your identity] is associated with specific activities.
So resolve to:
1. be specific
2. create structure that will support you through time
3. create structure that will support you in the HARD time
4. How about collaboration? Could you collaborate with others to get what you wish to achieve?
Imagine it, experience it, hear it, feel it, apply it to any context in your life.
Happy new year – and many more! And if you need more advice for you or someone you know, contact me.