So, ready to make your new year resolutions? Or perhaps you are fed up failing to stick to them each year and now can’t be bothered with them anymore.
We tend to give up to our resolutions because, in most cases, we set ourselves up to fail. As I have previously mentioned, most of us set out to change, not because of what we want, but because we want to get rid of some things we don’t want. Therefore, as we implement change and move further away from the discomfort that caused us to want to change in the first place, our motivation to continue the quest declines.
There are a number of other important factors we also have to consider in order to set ourselves up successfully. Such as, to change we must leave behind some of what we have today. For example, to start taking exercise, we must do some things we don’t normally do (go to a gym, get up earlier than normal, etc). We will also have to stop doing some things that we are currently doing (watching TV, going to the pub, etc). In short, to reach our goals we must do some things we don’t like doing, and give up some things we like. This is often called ‘paying the price’.
To achieve success, you have to leave your current comfort zone, so you must be prepared to feel discomfort on some level. As humans we have a pretty good survival mechanism and so when we experience anything uncomfortable we tend to move away from it. Even if only unconsciously our minds are asking certain questions; do I really want to be doing this, are the results going to be worth it and was where I was, so bad? In other words is it worth paying the price to change?
To be able to answer these questions and be willing to pay the price, so that we follow through on the change, three things are required. Firstly, you must have a clear sense of what you are going to gain from changing; this is often called your desired situation. This must clearly define the benefits you are going to receive from the new situation. Secondly you must have enough dissatisfaction with your current situation to want to move away from it. Thirdly you must have an understanding of how you are going to move from where you are to where you want to be.
The first two things provide you with the motivation to move and the third gives you a sense of belief that you can be successful and that you will reach your goal. By taking the time to consider whether you have these things in place, you will go a long way to setting yourself up for lasting success.