We know it's the time of year we make new promises, but it is that time of January (aka Blue Monday) where many of us already fall off the wagon to see them through.
The reason for this is that we need to reframe the resolution into a structured goal, that is actually then broken down in small daily habits we can build up.
What we must remember is that should we not see that 'resolution through', it is no reason to self hate, pity or bully yourself. It simply was not set up correctly for you to succeed, however this is somewhere that I can help.
Why do we even set resolutions?
- As a wake up call; It is usually something pretty grand
- Human natural to set goals at the start of something new, and a New year often signifies the main one we aim for around self change, due to 'Temporal Boundaries' or calendar landmarks as this marks a new period of time.
- Why these landmarks? As we perceive your future self to be more capable to take on this exciting or challenging task of change. We are known to be more motivated to commit to long term goals at these significant calendar landmarks
Resolutions that people are making this year have massively shifted in comparison to those of 2019/2020 given the current Covid landscape.
2019/2020 looked like this:
See family and friends
But this year....
See family and friends
Learning something new
This isn't surprising though right? Some better focus on self development in many areas after.
Why we fail
Now I am all for big goals, but you wouldn't plan the climb everest without some kind of plan in place and building small habits daily in order to build up to this mammoth venture. We often need to create new habits and create old ones in order to succeed.
To change, these new habits need to become entwined in our daily life, as well as breaking down the old behaviours/habits that are no longer serving us.
Often we place too much focus on the big main end goal with minimal plan of action on many levels of that journey both physically and mentally OR the goal is basic and impotent!
Neither of these tactics accommodate factoring in new small daily habits we require to create these 1% wins along the way, plus can be overwhelming if always very larger future focused instead of focusing instead of the controllables and small things daily.
The issue with 'habits' is that the ones we have, sometimes we aren't even aware of as they are that automatic and run by the subconscious brain, our survival brain is an epicentre of patterns/routine/habits whether they be good or detrimental to us. Plus along with that, is there are often other things tied to this habit, it is multifaceted. Think of smokers, it's the environment, the people you interact with, the physical 'reliefs' gained from smoking, and this relief you know that you will get from fulfilling this urge, becomes a satisfaction even before you light up as your brain is that hardwired to the habits and chemical processes linked to it.
So not only does our mindset require work, but this may also require other alterations in our material external environment, in order to kick this detrimental habit
How can I develop a new habit??
1.Become conscious and realistic of the changes that need to occur.
2.Building new habits does require more mental energy and effort (which is why we don't see these things through so often, as we give up!)
1. Are you trying to change the wrong thing?
2. Are we trying to change our habits in the wrong way?
We are so outcome driven changing ourselves to meet that external outwardly focused goal, where as instead we need to focus internally to consider habits that make us more of the person we want to become on an identity based level.
This removes focus from the 'thing' and refocuses back on 'ourselves'.
This is where the power of language can come in - and this is something I work on a lot with my clients, especially those on my 1:1 intensives.
Your goal might be: I need to lose weight
What you should consider is: I am healthy and fit, taking control of my actions to lead a fulfilling life.
The top one uses AWAY language, that exudes negativity and desperateness.
The latter uses TOWARDS based present langange.
SO reframing your goals in to 'I am...' ' I do...' 'I feel...' based goals as if you are already that person you are working to become will enable new neural pathways in your subconscious to be built, eventually becoming automatic. Plus the more we say this outloud or to ourselves, the brain works to filter for more of what we tell it to look for and focus on.
The brain doesn't know how to NOT do something, so we must tell it what we DO want!
To building a habit we need:
Queue: to trigger the behaviour for a reward.
Craving: some level of motivation/desire (beit push or pull focused to kick our asses to move) to get the reward.
Response: The habit we go on to then perform to gain the reward.
Reward: End goal of every habit.
Habits satisfy us and they teach us, however if a behaviour is insufficient in any of these 4 stages then a habit won't be formed.
Habits embody our identities, so if I was to go and run every day, I would become 'a runner', if I was to lift weights and train everyday, i would become 'an athletic person'. Importantly focusing on the daily tasks at hand and ticking these off, rather than how far we still have to go, enables motivation to be maintained.
Even simplifying the process as far as: getting your gym clothes out the night before to get straight into them the next morning, would help move us a step forwards to make sure we did some exercise.
How do we actually get our behaviour to change for the better?
All behaviours are driven by the need to solve a problem; to move away from pain or move towards pleasure. And these are progressional, taking small steps to build upon, the more frequently performed, the easier it becomes and the more likely we are to build sustainable adherence. Over time we basically go from say; trying to make a path through a heavy corn field to get to our destination, we need to take the time to walk through it first, maybe a few deviations, however over time we continue to walk that same path daily, whereby it becomes very well defined and clear. The key is consistency!
Let's get down to it, you know those times when you say something is important for you do to or change, yet you never actually follow through? Then keep reading ....
I want you to ask yourself these questions:
How can I make it obvious?
How can I make it attractive?
How can I make it easy?
How can I make it satisfying?
Also what is your WHY x5?
We often focus on externally driven outcomes, such as a dress size or specific weight we feel we 'need' to be. But how about discovering more about your purpose than being externally driven?
Ask more questions around WHY you want to lose that weight, and then each time you answer, ask WHY again and again and again! This will help you discover a better sense of purpose.
Make sure you goal is broken into smaller parts, think of the purposeful end goal, then work backwards towards the steps you need to consider in order to make this happen. These must be realistic and achievable for each of the key steps that is required to tick off each part of the journey. Make it exciting and emotional (in a positive way), if it isn't exciting for you, you won't do it! There shouldn't be any element of deprivation as this result in failure.
Make it public! Have you told others about your goals? It can help accountability and ensure you complete the task at the hand, so we avoid those feelings of shame and guilt if we were to then let that person down.
Who is in your tribe? Do you surround yourself with those on similar mission? Are they supportive? Do you admire them and does it drive you to achieve? Having those people around us that push us to become better people ourselves, we want to have more of in our circle!
I hope these ideas and tips help you to overcome the feelings of Blue Monday this January of 2021 - Let's make this year the year we did make positive change and really kicked the arse of 2020.
If you need any more help and would to enquire how to work with me as either an online client or more intensively 1:1, hit the link below to book in for free call to see how I could help you move forward towards your goals!