January is just over and it’s the time we think about what we want for the year ahead. Maybe you want to lose weight (a popular one), get on better with your family, change jobs, learn a new skill, or tick off the next big challenge on your bucket list?
You start off with great enthusiasm and hit the gym, buy the new diet book, or register for the new class, but often by the end of January you’ve run out of steam and are back to square one.
So why is this so common? The word ‘resolution’ in the dictionary means to determine, to decide, to resolve, and I believe what we call resolutions are often more like wishes. We want something but we haven’t made a firm resolve, thought it through, or taken it seriously enough to make a detailed plan. We hope just wanting it will be enough and it usually isn’t!
What we underestimate is that change takes effort, and because our brains view any change as a potential threat, they try to protect us by favouring the familiar. So to make a change in your brain wiring, you need to start with a clear vision, make a good plan to guide you, and take consistent action until the new habits and thoughts become established and familiar.
Although a popular view is that it takes 21 days to make a new habit, research suggests it can take as long as 66 days!
Here are five tips to get you started.
- Start by taking stock of your current life and give yourself credit: What is already going well? What successes have you had in the past year, what are you grateful for, where do you deserve credit?
- Ask yourself what you really want: After taking stock, what is it you want for the year ahead, what is missing, what is next, what would complete the picture? Writing down your thoughts is a powerful tool not only to record them, but it creates clarity and communicates a strong message of change to your brain.
- Make a plan: Once you know what you want, create a roadmap to reach your goal, step by step. Baby steps are like seeds you plant today, that grow into the seedling next week, the young plant next month and the tree you want in a year, metaphorically speaking.
- Visualization helps change your brain’s hard wiring. When you can vividly imagine what you want as if you already have it, and dwell on that picture regularly, it helps you manifest what you want according to the law of attraction, because your internal and external worlds align.
- Lastly make sure you have enough support. Most people underestimate how much support they need to change. It is natural to get discouraged sometimes, and support can keep you moving forward. So get support from a friend, a group or a professional coach or counsellor so you can get clear, get organised, and get going to make the changes you want.
If you would like to explore an area you want to change in your life, take advantage of Grace’s complimentary 15 minute phone chat, and find out what you need to do to get what you want. Contact Grace here