It’s an Inside Job
Did you make any New Year’s resolutions this year? If so, how’s it going?
We all set out with the best of intentions for our new year, and we really want them to happen, so why is it so hard to keep our goals and intentions? What is it that occurs a few days to a month into the process, or sometimes sooner? How can we get back on track? Here are some ideas:
Change requires more than just a new habit.
Change requires consistent new patterning, new thoughts, and frankly, a little work on our hardwired notions and beliefs. Your goal could be to “drink more water.” Sounds simple enough, right? Yet inevitably you will run into roadblocks around that goal. At some point you will be aching for something with more flavor, or an emotion will come up that is tied to a certain drink, or you will just suddenly say, “I don’t need that much water.”
This is a challenge to the new idea and it is good. It means something is shifting. You are starting to change your hardwiring and that part of you that prefers to NEVER CHANGE (and we all have that part) is pushing back. This is why you must push through. This is often the time that people just quit and go back to their old ways, but this really is the turning point to true change! While part of human nature is to resist change, there is another part that loves change, and in fact, THRIVES on change, but you won’t find out until you push through this tough part. Focus on the love and commitment you have for yourself and keep going.
Change is emotional.
There are reasons we have the habits and patterns that we do. They may not be the most functional habits and patterns, but at some point they ‘helped’ us through an emotional event. It may not have been pretty, but we got through it, right?!
That dysfunctional habit or pattern holds those emotions under tight lock and key and changing it means working through those not-so-fun emotions that got buried. You start off strong in your intentions, but then somewhere along the way you get blown over by some reminders of your past. Here, you have a choice. You either face those reminders and work through them, or you return to your old habit. Sometimes, this happens without you even realizing it. About 3 weeks later you suddenly say, “hey, I haven’t been drinking my water anymore, how did that happen?”
What can you do to keep yourself on track? Try giving yourself some space to process the emotions that are coming forward. Take time to meditate, journal, talk to a friend, or just give yourself space to do an activity that helps bring clarity like walking, painting, skiing or whatever it is that works for you. The important thing is to take the time to move through it, rather than try to squash it down.
Change is a journey, not a destination.
In a society that emphasizes instantaneous results, we want those insanely fast results within ourselves as well. When we don’t see a shift as quickly as we like, particularly when we’ve been working really hard, it can be hard to keep going. I get it. We all want a little affirmation that helps us stay motivated.
Taking the time to recognize where you are right now and what you hope to aspire shows you where you are and how far you’ve come. Because honestly, often once we achieve something, we forget that we had a struggle to overcome it in the first place and then we lose our motivation for the next struggle!
The reality is, we are never ‘finished’. We are human, beautiful and imperfect, and we will always have something new to strive for. In order to keep true to ourselves, we need to continue to stay mindful of our intentions. Without our intentions, we just get lost in this big fast-paced world and suddenly we wake up one day and realize, we missed it.
Tomorrow is a new day. You can start again any time you’d like. What were/are your intentions for this year? Bring them back into focus and keep going.
You are worth it.