Instead, stay focused on the one change you want to accomplish in your life right now.
It’s this time of year again, where everyone asks you what you want for this New Year and what changes you are going to make. In my opinion, this always has an artificial ring to it…
It’s as if you HAVE to make changes, as if you HAVE to follow the trends of the New Year and make the changes OTHER people want to make in THEIR lives.
That’s why, by the time we’re halfway in the month of January, 80% of every vow, promise that has been made at the beginning of the New Year, has already been dropped into the waste bin.
Don’t follow a trend because it’s ‘in’.
Don’t make changes because of other people’s expectations.
Just don’t. It’s a waste of time an energy and will only lead to frustration and disappointment, because you won’t follow it through.
Just ask yourself:
“Is there something I am not completely happy about in my life?”
“Is there something that would be wonderful to accomplish in my life?”
“Is there something worth changing because I BELIEVE it would really make my life better?”
If the answer is no, then don’t make any changes. Being okay shouldn’t be any taboo, it’s not impossible that you are already doing great and that, by just keeping up what you’re already doing, you are doing just fine!
If, on the other hand, the answer is yes, then you have to start asking yourself more questions concerning the topic that you’re not happy about right now and where you want to see changes being made.
Why do you need to ask more questions?
Well, you have to get to the bottom of it in order to keep up the courage to go through with the changes in moments where you risk slipping up or giving up.
Very often, we think we know why we want to make a certain change in our life and still, we end up doing exactly the same as we did before… how is that possible? Because you didn’t go as far as
finding your REAL reason,
your REAL motivation.
For instance: I once had a coachee, and the doctor strongly advised her to lose weight. She has a heart condition, and she also is a cancer survivor. But time after time, she relapsed in eating cookies and cakes and she never managed to keep her weight loss. You see, the reason to start a diet, “because the doctor said so”, “because she knew it was better for her health”, …wasn’t good enough. She knew with her mind why she needed to lose weight but her heart was not in it. So, we started looking deeper and I kept asking why she wanted to lose weight. I wanted her to find HER real reason, HER motivation to keep up the healthy eating.
Why do you start this diet? Her answer “because the doctor said I need to lose weight” was not good enough, she relapsed in eating junk.
Why do you want to lose weight? Because I’ll feel better when I lose weight. Okay, didn’t last either because actually, she felt ‘okay enough’ in her opinion.
Why would feeling better when you’re losing weight, make your life better? Because when I’ll lose weight, I’ll be in better shape, I won’t be as easily out of breath. Okay, didn’t last, she isn’t the sporty type.
Why could it important to be less out of breath, to be in better shape? Then I’ll be able to do more things, because I would be in better shape and maybe I’ll live longer. Didn’t last. She was already doing a lot of things and wasn’t counting the years she had left.
Why would you want to live longer? BINGO!!! Because then I’ll be able to see my grandchildren grow up! And THAT was for her the REAL motivation for going on a diet. That was when she finally stuck to her diet. She had found HER why and when the cookies and the cake were calling her name, she pictured herself and her grandchildren playing and that was for her reason enough to keep away from the unhealthy stuff. She wanted to be around as long as possible to spend as much time with her grandchildren as possible.
This is the reason why I always say: don’t make a promise to yourself, or to other people, just because it’s the time of year for making vows and promises to make changes, or because somebody says ‘you have to do this’. No, make a vow to make a change in your life where it really matters to you, where you have a why that is strong enough to lead you through the difficult parts of the journey.
Change is a journey, it’s not a straight line, it’s not an easy path. Your subconscious mind is programmed to do things the way you always did them. To be able to act differently, you need to set your conscious mind to work. Knowing that 93% of all your actions are directed by your subconscious mind and only 7% by your conscious mind, you’ll understand that it takes a real, and continuous effort to have a permanent change in your behavior.
Every time you are in the situation where you need this different behavior, you have to be conscious and recognize that you would automatically act in a certain (your old) way, then you have to (again consciously) stop yourself, and remember your ‘why’. Now you make the decision to act in the way you want to act from now on. Keep this up and after time, at least 60 to 90 days, your mind will start recognizing the situation and your new ‘automatic’ response will be the one you have been training consciously for in the past months. Because repetition is what brings a behavior, a thought, from the conscious to the subconscious mind. And here is where your ‘automatic’ responses come from. It becomes easier and easier but it hardly ever is something you’ll never have to pay any attention to anymore. Especially when you’re feeling a bit down, or tired, a little overwhelmed or emotionally vulnerable, that is when it’s important to be vigilant because that is where your old self could try to take over again.
Always remember ‘your why’ AND before you start making any changes, make sure ‘your why’ so strong, it can weather any storm!
I wish you, not only a wonderful, peaceful, wholesome, loving year, but also the courage, the creativity, the perseverance to ask yourself “why?” as many times as necessary until you find YOUR true reason for making any change in your life. Whether it’s about your health, your finances, your relations, your work, your hobbies, your faith, ….it always boils down to finding a strong enough reason to keep up the -often hard- work to make your dreams come true, to make the change you want, to create your ‘new’ you, your new reality.
Once your why is so strong, you’ll feel it’s easier and easier to keep up this new way of being, you’ll feel you’re becoming more and more who you really are, who you are meant to be here in this life, who you are most happy being.
As a bonus of living this authentic you, after a while, you’ll see more and more clearly on ALL levels in your life: what you really want, what you really stand for. All the clutter, all the baggage, all the stuff that takes away your energy, that kept you from living your true SELF, will disappear. You’ll be able to let go of so much stuff, things, thoughts, emotions, …, you’ll feel so much lighter, so much more fulfilled, so much happier.
This is what I wish for all of you from the bottom of my heart.
Thank you all for reading me, following me, subscribing to my email list, clapping for my articles on Medium. Thank you very much! I am so grateful for all of you.
author of “Less is Yes!”