Success begets success. Confidence builds upon itself and guides a person toward her dreams which grow bigger and badder and braver until a fierce woman appears one day who we call grown. We wonder how she got there and may even try to follow her path, but it's not her path we need, it's her strategy and attitude. Those are the aspects we are never taught. All we see is the win and perhaps some steps on the ladder, so we set goals and resolve to meet them, hoping to reach the big day when we feel we too have "made it". Inevitably we miss the mark, not able to keep our good intentioned resolutions and when that happens we punish ourselves or worse blame others. Then the cycle begins again, with a New Year or a birthday and our promise to do better at keeping those changes we've resolved to make permanent.
Many people are great at keeping their word when it comes to others, but fail horribly with the stories they tell themselves. The time has come to acknowledge where you have been letting yourself down and make a full stop. No resolutions please. Before you resolve to do a thing this year, you must ask yourself some real questions. One of those is going to be if the thing you are resolving to do is really something you believe in at all. I know your immediate reaction is that ‘of course it is’, but if you have resolved at this change before and failed, you may not be as sure of your reasons as you think you are. This is dangerous territory. Know for sure, that any doubts (even subconscious) (even teeny tiny small) will show up as excuses to quit later.
The next question you'll have to ask yourself is if the changes you are trying to make aren’t because of outside influence. This is more difficult to discern then it seems. Societal and familial pressures are strong and start early and have the tendency to naw at us making us think fulfillment comes in one size fits all packages which often include two and a half babies, one house, and one secure career choice. As much as we may think those are the things we deeply and truly desire, there may be something deeper we really want which is being drowned out by those ingrained messages and sending mixed signals to our internal guiding, true north manifestation system.
Instead of trusting what others say, know that to appreciate that some aspect of your life isn’t working, you need to feel it in all its uncomfortableness deeply and fully. You need to sit in the icky awkward stench of your own messy choices before trying to change anything. Until you fully realize how much they've not been working for you, those choices will repeat.
For example, instead of resolving to start yet another diet this January, just eat as you eat, but more consciously. Notice the way you really feel when you overeat. Refuse to run away from it, sleep through it, or cover it up. Recognize without shame the way your body and clothing feel when you’ve not taken care of yourself. Be real. This practice of adding consciousness can transform any negative behavior. We don’t need punishments, we just need recognition of what is present. Do I like this feeling?
We don’t need rewards either, especially those "treats" that are really “cheats” and not in line with our goals. Those are not rewards. Let the feeling of accomplishment be the reward itself. Bask in the glory of your success. Tell people. Brag. Feel how good it feels to be a person who knows herself and honors herself by being truthful and accountable. When you are secure in this, then, and only then, set the bar a little higher, still totally reachable, and repeat.
Only make deals you can win. It's that simple. Otherwise we teach ourselves that we don’t do the things we resolve to and create a habit of failure we call “trying”. This kind of attempt steeps into our subconscious the story that we lie to ourselves, don’t complete our actions, fail. The more this is repeated, the easier it becomes to accept and the harder to turn around.
For these reasons it is of maximum importance that we only make promises that we are guaranteed to keep, especially those we make to ourselves. Start small and build as your confidence builds.
Wins rewarded spiral and repeat just like failures punished. Soon you will have taught yourself the habit of success and you will be able to set the bar to heights you never imagined. I know, because I did it and I won. I beat eating poorly, financial woes, built a home, traveled the world, and continue to set the bar higher and higher because I know now, fully and truly by actual provable examples that I can do whatever I put my mind to and that it is the knowing that makes it all possible. You have to build believability in self.
Do mistakes come? Sure. It’s how we handle them that makes all the difference. They are to be brushed off quickly as a part of life and never ever used as an excuse to dump the whole resolve. The better you get at this, the better you’ll get at winning and that's the goal, not a resolution, winning at life!
*Want to learn more about strategies for keeping goals? Attend my Train Your Brain Vision Board course this January! Register at this link.