Less empty resolutions, more consistent change
It is a new year. We are eager to make new and better choices. And what a great feeling to know we have a new chance!
But let’s stop the empty resolutions!
Why are new years’ resolutions so problematic?
People change for two reasons. Either the pain of their current circumstances is too great, or the perceived pleasure of changing outweighs the discomfort and effort to change. Usually resolutions are set during the euphoria of the moment, with everybody full of hope. But after a month or so, reality sets in and resolutions go out the back door. Either the pain is not severe anymore (we get to autopilot again), or we lose sight if the benefits.
Many of us also set the same resolutions over and over. Albert Einstein said it is madness to do the same thing over and over again, in the same way, and expect different results. We giggle about it, but how many times have we done it ourselves!
You may have seen the video clip doing the rounds about the cute little 4-year old talking about why she has a ‘problem’ with new years’ resolutions. It is the moment-to-moment decisions that make the difference, not one big change. And we all know she is totally correct.
So how can we make these moments work? What can we do to ensure that our little decisions support something bigger? That we create a life of mastery and that we stay on track with it?
Here are some pointers:
- Find the “why” behind what you want to achieve, moment-to-moment and in life. One of the biggest reasons people fail to achieve their goals or stick to decisions is because their goals do not meet their core values. There are a number of value determination tools and techniques available, and a life coach should also be able to assist with this.
- Make your goals and decisions visual. Right them down, make a vision board, or put other visual reminders in place where you can see it often. Our conscious mind can only process five to seven things at a time, so often our best intentions or goals disappear in the swell of daily life. By making it visual, you start embedding it in your subconscious, and it eventually becomes part of you. It is as simple as what you focus on, becomes part of you.
- Plan. This may sound logical, but so many of us do not convert our dreams into actions. You know the adage – most people overestimate what they can do in one year, and underestimate they can do (and become) in ten years. Set achievable, measureable actions, and make sure your moment-to-moment decisions support these plans.
- Find a model or a mentor. No need to reinvent the wheel. Find people who have achieved success in relation to your goals. They already have the know-how and they know what works. Learn from their decisions. If you want to lead a healthier lifestyle, it is a good idea to hang with health conscious people.
- Review and revise. What worked and what did not work so well? Find out why and change that which did not work. Follow a strategy, but be flexible to adapt it constantly based on the feedback you get. And if it works, repeat. Every moment you can decide again.
- Do whatever it takes. No words necessary. Just get down to business and do what is required.
- Be honest with yourself. Remember, it is never the issue that is holding us back; it is always our pattern around it. Stop making excuses, take responsibility and understand what behaviours or habits you need to change. Get a life coach to help you identify these patterns and who can keep you accountable.
- Lastly, celebrate. Set mini- goals with dates, and when you achieve it, give yourself a pat on the shoulder. It is not about the end goal, it is about enjoying the journey!
I want to reiterate my previous sentence: It is about enjoying the journey (of life).
Keep an open mind. Be present, creative and flexible every step along the way. Decide how you want to show up; how you intend to be in each and every moment. Decide to have peace and be happy, and make sure your goals fit your intention, not the other way around. If it does not feed your soul, do not pursue it. Life is too short.
About the author: Celeste Du Toit is a transformational Life Coach, NLP practitioner, healer and speaker. She runs individual, professional and online coaching programs, workshops and retreats.
Celeste is passionate about working with people to bring about change, take control, lead a more fulfilled life and overcome limiting beliefs that may prevent them from reaching their full potential.