It’s that time of year for New Year New Me…
But there’s a reason why New Year’s resolutions don’t work, that most people have never been taught.
New Year’s resolutions are generally very grand statements about creating a massive transformation in someone’s life.
This isn’t bad that people want to change, but what people don’t understand is quite often, the change is too big for the brain to accept as safe, because it creates such a big shift in a person’s identity.
Let’s look at this a little deeper.
We’ve all heard about the comfort zone. It’s where we live happy and safe, everything is nice and there’s not a lot of stretching or challenge in this space.
It feels safe.
It feels good.
This is our known identity.
When we make a resolution, and let’s use the classic drop 10 kg for example this takes us out of the comfort zone.
And if our hind brain isn’t reassured that it’s safe to take the action, that we can do it with confidence, that there’s no fear from the outcome of the change, we don’t have to be suspicious, it’s not boring etc. We will self-sabotage
The hind brain has some emotions it needs to feel to let things happening in your world, are you picking up on that yet?
You’ve heard the joke – see you at the gym in January, see you in the bar in February?
It’s a classic example of the transformation feeling too big a shift in identity so people go back to what they were doing previously.
Drinking, rather than working out.
So, what do we do?
We don’t make a big grand complete identity shifting resolution for the new year.
We set small outcomes that will lead to the big transformation.
And here’s the kicker……
Any goal, any transformation, any resolution that we make, make sure that it’s aligned with our core values.
See, the big thing is when people make resolutions and want to shift their identity and move out of their comfort zone the values are aligned
So how do you align your values?
Let’s use health and fitness as the example, as it is typically the most common type of resolution.
List what your top three values are when it comes to health and fitness.
As an example, let’s list the following:
- Pain free
(These are mine by the way)
- How do I make these parts of my identity the next step?
- I asked myself, how will I be safe in being strong toned pain-free?
- I ask myself, is there any danger in being strong toned and pain-free?
- Will I show up differently or can I still be myself when I am strong toned pain-free?
- Will I lose what I have now when I am strong toned pain free?
- How will I look when I am strong toned and pain-free and does it feel good to look like this?
Questions like this allow my hindbrain to avoid sabotaging my actions. They also allow me to explore what could get in the way of me taking daily action to move towards being strong toned and pain free.
When we journal on questions like this we can see what could stop us from taking action.
We can see that it doesn’t have to change the core of who we are, which makes the action easier to take AND we can see the benefits are going to be positive, interesting, safe and enjoyable for our lives.
Notice I didn’t say my resolution is to lose 10 kg. It’s about the positive benefit of how I want to end up which is a lot more motivating and inspiring than moving away from what you don’t want.
So, whether it’s health, starting a business, changing a job, up leveling your life in anyway, understanding how your values and your perception of your identity can work for you or against you, is going to be the key to creating success and lasting change in your life.
And if you need help to transform your life let’s have a conversation I have room for more 1:1 client’s to make 2021 a year of deep and lasting positive change.
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