New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work
But quiet resolve will.
The last New Year’s resolution I made was 20+ years ago, and it was to never make another New Year’s resolution. It’s the only one I’ve ever kept.
We do it every year. “I hereby resolve”… blah, blah, blah. A kept resolution is harder to find than a moose in Miami.
97% of people who decide to lose weight actually weigh more 12 months later. All other New Years “resolutions” have just about as much resolve behind them. Let’s change that.
How to actually change something.
1) Don’t “get motivated”. Don’t make resolutions at the end of a weekend motivational seminar.* Most of this stuff is emotion-based and has no lasting power. You’re either committed or you aren’t. I don’t get motivated to brush my teeth. I either do it or I don’t.
2) Run toward something, not away from something. People who want to lose weight rarely lose any. “I want to stop being fat.” That’s running away from being fat.
People who want to live a healthy long life are much more likely to not be fat. “I want to be able to…” That is running toward something.
The gravitational pull of what you are running away from will always suck you back in. Likewise, the gravitational pull of something you are running toward will release you from the pull behind you. You will get where you are going because you are actually going TO something, not AWAY from something. See my post “Get a Second Planet”:
3) Make decisions through the new lens. See yourself and/or your business the way you want it to be when you get there, not where it is, and make decisions AS IF YOU WERE ALREADY THERE.
In the book Shift by Peter Arnell, he tells how he went from being 406 lbs to a maintenance weight of 150 lbs. As soon as he decided to lose the weight, he began to see himself from that moment on as a 150lb. man, and EVERY DECISION HE MADE was as a 150lb. man. He even went out that week and fired some of his clients who he felt were the clients of a 406lb. man.
Don’t “hope” to get there. Peter didn’t wait until he was 150lbs. to begin to make decisions like a 150lb. man. That would be “hoping” to get there, and running away from being fat. The minute he made the decision he was already 150lbs. on the inside.
Be there already inside, and just bring the rest of your external world into alignment with the way you already view the world from inside. Sound like woo-woo crap? It’s not – it’s hard core success strategy, and it’s how every highly successful business person becomes so. They see something they want to make happen, they believe in their core that it is doable, and then they set about making every decision as if it has already happened.
The above three steps are all about intentionality vs. hope. Intention is the key because:
You get what you intend, not what you hope for.
New Year’s Resolutions are almost always too full of “hope”, which is emotion-based and needs a special day to get itself motivated to do anything. Real decisions are usually full of intention and don’t need a special day or audience to be walked out into the open.
BUT – I will say that whatever decision you make, on whatever day you make it, you should indeed declare it to the world and ask everyone around you to support you, not in getting there, but in already being there (please don’t feed me donuts if I’ve declared I’m 150lbs., and don’t entice me with 2 weeks in Cabo the day after I start my new business.)
Don’t get there. Be there. Then bring the outside world into alignment with that clear intention. Hoping, wishing, dreaming, and believing don’t add up to doing.
Go ahead. Make a decision ANY day of the year (including New Year’s Day). But much more importantly, see yourself, your business, and the world around you through the new lens, and make every decision going forward as if you were already there.
Where do you want to be in 2012? Tell the world here, be there inside today, and then let’s go do it on the outside the next 364 days.