It is 2020. Another year. A ‘newer’ year.
Your determination hardens under the cadence of fireworks and other noisey proclamations and revelries to be experienced by all!!!
Gun shots. I mean guns shots. Lots and lots of gun shots.
Yes! A new year, a NEW you! Between all the libations and celebrations, you make promises that this year will be different from years past. You are going to ( fill in the blank) by ( fill in the blank), and do it every ( fill in the blank).
BRING IT ON! With Les Brown in your headset, you are ready to do some real damage. You are motivated! Exhilarated! Insert another rhyming word!
Well, that was January 1st. By time you read this, a week has passed. And now the rubber of reality is crashing into road of your aspirations.
You are losing your resolve, and we still have over 350 ( ish) days to go. Quick exercise: wherever you are now, count to 350. How hard was that? Not hard as in effort, but hard as in patience. Now, if that was difficult, think about 350 DAYYYYSSS!!!!
Yikes. Not feeling so celebratory now. You are inspired. You are motivated. But your resolutions lack resolve. The hastag is #thinkbetterBEbetter is yours now. Take it. Because until you challenge your mindset to change, then you will eventually go back to the mediocrity you are attempting to escape.
You got a long year ahead. So here are a few to consider as you are reshaping you to fit your future.
1) You Have To Stop Lying….Mainly To Yourself. The brain is an amazing thing. It is constantly shaping and adapting the reality you create. Your mind wants to leave in harmony, but the constant lying is making it hard. You have heard of the lie detector test. But did you know that it doesn’t test for lies ( duh) but stress indicators in the body? That’s right. You literally stress yourself out when you lie. From a more psychological perspective, you train yourself not to believe yourself. You train yourself not to take yourself seriously. The mind adapts to your untruths , possibly to manage the stress caused by you to you. So as you look as your resolutions, of course they don’t make it a year. Because even when you tell yourself that you will, and that this time will be different.
You don’t believe you.
So what do you do? Start with the little things. If you say that you are going to bed at ten, go to bed at ten. And if you fail, apologize to yourself, and try again. Keeping your word becomes a habit. It’s hard enough accomplishing your goals. You at least want your own mind to believe you can.
2) Be Honest About Your Failings. Last year didn’t go as planned. This was for a reason. And what do we tend to do? By-pass those reasons completely. We don’t like examining the face of our own failings. Look closely. Learn. Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. Not sure where I read that, but it rings true. Really dissect why your goals last year didn’t work out, and plan accordingly. Failing is only a waste if you don’t evolve from it.
So what do you do? Write out your goals from last year. Beside each goal, given an explanation on why you failed or succeeded. Deduce patterns and act accordingly. Sound simple, but I know from personal experience it is difficult to admit to ourselves that maybe that year wasn’t so happy after all. But denial has never looked good on success, and it doesn’t look good on you, you beautiful beast.
3) Create Routine. Remember how I said we are creatures of habit? “Habit is behaviour that has been repeated until it has become more or less automatic, enacted without purposeful thinking, largely without any sense of awareness. The process of forming habits occurs through a gradual shift in cognitive control from intentional to automatic processes. As behaviour is repeated in the same context, the control of behaviour gradually shifts from being internally guided (e.g., beliefs, attitudes, and intention) to being triggered by situational or contextual cues…” ** What does this mean, in less academic terms? Creating good habits can help you in the fight of self-discipline. The body/mind wants to continue doing what it has been doing, whatever that is. You can literally train your mind/body to be responsive, aiding you to accomplish goals. For example, if you always study at a certain time, after a while , this is what your body will be accustom to. This can work against you also. If you make a habit of coming home from work and playing a video game…your body will do that too. Once that habit is established, your body will continue to crave that, even when you want to stop. We’ll do more with habit-breaking in another article.
So what do you do? Look at the goals you wrote down. What habits do you think will be aid you in your quest of greatness. Because make no mistake, you are on the way to greatness. Habits help push you there. You have the journey of a lifetime. You best weapon?
* Nilsen, P., Roback, K., Broström, A. et al. Creatures of habit: accounting for the role of habit in implementation research on clinical behaviour change. Implementation Sci7, 53 (2012) doi:10.1186/1748-5908-7-53