This surprises most people because of what I do for work, but I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. I don’t know about you, but when I used to set New Year’s resolutions, I would always try to bite off more than I could chew. Not to mention…I’d never accomplish them. Looking back on it, it was because I tried to change too much too soon. When we do that, we set ourselves up for heartbreaking failure and lose confidence in ourselves and our ability to accomplish our goals.
As I have talked about in past articles, we create permanent change through retraining our subconscious mind (the part of our brain that controls 95% of our actions, including our automatic behaviors like breathing). And we retrain our subconscious mind through repetition (I talk a lot about this during week 5 of the Losing Your First 10 Pounds course).
Therefore, the easiest way to create a permanent habit is to repeat it over and over again as much as you can. The problem with setting goals that expect too much too soon (i.e. working out for an hour a day AND eating a low-calorie diet filled with food we despise) is that most normal people can’t ever muster up the willpower to repeat it long enough to make it stick. We drive ourselves insane way before that ever happens (for me and my weight loss plans, it was usually within 24 hours…no joke). And it’s not because we lack willpower or self-control…it’s because we’re human.
So what do I do instead? I set yearly themes that feel really great to me. One thing I want to create in my life that is more like a feeling as opposed to a goal. For instance, 2014’s theme for me was silent confidence (learning to listen more and talk less). And 2015’s theme for me this year is focused balance (focusing on one project at a time and balancing work and play). Doesn’t that feel so much more spacious than setting yet another New Year’s resolution that is probably going to drive you crazy? It definitely does to me!!
How about you? Let me know what your theme for 2015 is!
Happy New Year!