12th February 2019
I hope you all had a good start into 2019. How was the first month of the New Year? Was it to your liking, or maybe even better?
I am curious what happened with your New Year’s resolutions. Are you still working on them or have you given up already? Are you back to your old rhythm, back to our old habits?
Studies have shown that more than 50% have given up on their New Year’s resolutions before end of March.
What makes our New Year’s resolutions so challenging for us?
All resolutions are challenging for us not only the New Year’s resolutions, because they all have one thing in common – change.
Our brain is wired to keep us save. Hence, when our brain thinks our current behavioural patterns, believes and habits are keeping us save in terms of
… then it want’s to keep you in this “safe” environment. Our brain is not interested whether we are miserable in this place. We are save and that is what matters most. Every change is a potential threat to our safety.
This self-regulating system even is called homoeostasis. It is one of our programs that has been keeping our human race alive since we have walked the earth.
When our ancestors thousands of years ago went out into the wild they needed to stick with the known and familiar in order to stay alive. Ripe, sweet berries on one side of the path and a hungry saber-toothed tiger on the other side in the bushes? Of course, it was important to notice the tiger.
Therefore, Homoeostasis is not only the program in charge of human sluggishness and fear of change. It also keeps our focus on the negative.
Enough with the doom and gloom. Let’s have a look on the bright side. Following, I am going to show you some easy ways to calm down your brain and re-program it to success.
“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.”
- Epictetus (Greek Philosopher)
1. Is it really what you want?
Make sure your resolutions are really what YOU want. Ask yourself if you really wish for them from all your heart.
Forget your resolutions when you feel forced into your decision by a bad conscience, your partner, family, friends, Boss or colleagues?
Your strong will to accomplish something is the most important part to start and go through with your resolutions. If you do not really want to do or achieve something, or you do it because someone else thinks, you should do it, the possibility you won’t is rather big.
2. What do you exactly want to achieve – be specific
a) “I don’t want to work so much anymore.”
b) “I don’t want my marriage to be so tense anymore.”
Those statements only tell us what you don’t want. You are running away from something. Where do you want to go to? What is your goal?
Following you see, how the above examples can be stated in the positive:
a) “I want a job, where I work 35 hours a week and am able to go home in time.”
b) “I want a harmonious and loving marriage.”
Now you know where you are going and can make a plan and start your journey.
3. Observe your thoughts
Take a few seconds and think about your resolution, about the upcoming change in your life.
Do you get a warm and fuzzy feeling in your stomach? Do you have a smile on your face? Can’t you wait to get started?
Or do you have a knot in your stomach? Do you start worrying immediately? Do you create all possible worst case scenarios in your mind?
In case it is number two your homoeostasis is working perfectly fine J; and we already know that this is perfectly normal.
Take a deep breath, then take a piece of paper and make a list of everything that could possibly go wrong. After that go through your list and find THREE solutions for each worry/scenario. If you cannot think of a solution take a wild guess and come up with something – you might wonder how right that often feels.
This helps you to identify the cause of our fear and to bring order in your mental chaos. In case one of your worries should come true – and they most probably never do – you have three solutions and therewith a real choice of what to do to solve your problem.
Now, that we have taken care of the negative part, let’s come to positive thoughts.
4. How would your life change, if your resolutions came true?
At least once a day use your imagination to visualise what your life would be like if you had already made your resolution come true. What is possible, now? What are all the positive changes?
Make the pictures in your mind as vivid as you can. Use all your senses, see. Hear, feel, smell and maybe even taste everything your life offers after having achieved your resolution.
This assists you in staying focused on what you want and will keep you going towards your goal. It will support you in achieving your resolution. In addition, positive visualisation counteracts your fear of change.
5. Mistakes and failure are welcome
What we call mistakes and failure is not the opposite of success it is part of it.
There is no such thing as mistakes and failure when you see the world through the eyes of a scientist. Treat everything as an experiment with a certain outcome in mind. If the outcome is not what you had expected, you at least know what does not work. Adjust your experiment and try it again in a different way.
Mistakes and setbacks are important for our learning curve and our personal development.
6. Point your thinker into the right direction
When you focus on what you don’t have or what you cannot do, your thinker starts looking for reasons why you do not have what you want and/or why you cannot do, what you want to do. Unfortunately, this makes you dwell on your shortcomings even more.
An easy exercise to direct your thinker into the right direction is gratitude. Every evening take a few minutes and write down what you are grateful for. Do not judge or label what you are writing down. It can be simple things like clean water, enough to eat, having a roof over your head, friends, family, etc.
This shows your thinker all the good things in your live and all the abundance around you. It motivates your thinker to look for even more positive things and positive events. You program your brain for happiness and success.
7. Be kind to yourself
Do not set the bar too high.
When you decide to run a marathon you will not go for 26 miles on day one. You start buying the right shoes, learn how to jog, train on a regular basis increasing speed and distance gradually. And even when the big day has arrived you are going to run the marathon one step after the other.
This is exactly how you approach your resolutions as well, one step after the other.
Make sure you commit to your goal every day, even if it is one single baby step.
Sometimes you will experience setbacks, you will take a step back or to the side. It doesn’t matter, as long as you keep going you will achieve your goal.
Take care of a healthy work-life-balance and celebrate each and every success.
Are you still ready to go for your New Year’s resolution?
Do you have a goal you want to reach?
You can make resolutions every day, you do not have to wait until the end of the year. Just commit to it and start taking your first step. Have fun, enjoy the way and always keep going.
Until next time be well,
Inner Works 4 You
sibylle chaudhuri | coaching & training
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Everything provided in this newsletter is for informational, motivational and/or educational purposes only. Whether you change/do something in your life is your decision and yours only. You carry responsibility for your life.
The given content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical, psychological and/or legal advice, diagnosis, treatment or consulting. Please consult your physician, therapist, lawyer regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your concerns, symptoms and/or medical condition.
© sibylle chaudhuri | coaching & training