Did you make a New Year’s wish or did you make a New Year’s resolution?

I’ve never really believed in making New Year’s resolutions, because more often than not they’re made without serious commitment and a practical, sustainable strategy. Without those they’re simply wishes and a good answer to have when someone asks us what our resolutions are after multiple bottles of champagne on New Year’s Eve. By the time December 31st arrives and we’ve been wildly careening through the holiday season like a car cruising down a winding slope without any breaks, we’re feeling quite motivated and announce to our comrades that our New Year’s resolution is (fill in the blank). And quite possibly it’s the same one we had in previous years!

A wish isn’t a bad thing, but it isn’t a resolution. It’s a seed, a vision, a desire, a thought – so it’s a starting point. A starting point won’t produce a desired result, though. It produces exactly what it is – a start, a beginning. Everything begins with a thought, so that’s a good thing.

The resolution comes next. This means you’re in a state of determination and you’ve made a firm decision to resolve something – to change a situation or solve or remove a problem. First you wish for something, then you resolve to make it happen. You feel motivated and ready to make a change.

The next step is commitment. Real and serious commitment. This is where balls start getting dropped all over the place, because serious commitment means we’re actually going to devise an effective (and hopefully proven) strategy that we’re committed to implementing. But what often happens instead is that we use our new-found inspiration for our goal (which is usually a result of being fed up with something) to jump into a loosely designed plan and take actions. And those actions and plans probably haven’t been thought through and investigated enough to be successfully achieved and maintained. On top of that, we haven’t made necessary changes to the way we process things internally, which will impact our approach and how we overcome obstacles.

Common wishes/resolutions: Quitting smoking, losing weight, getting the house or garage cleaned out, looking for a new job, starting to exercise… all good goals and desires, but how many times have we made such resolutions, implemented some changes, and then after a few weeks or months slipped back into the same routine? What can we do differently to avoid slipping back and maintain the new us or the new lifestyle we’re trying to create?

We need a better strategy. We need a better story. And we need to learn how to get ourselves in the state that supports our ability to create both.

What state are you living in? I don’t mean a state as in one of the fifty; I mean state as in your state of being, your state of mind, your general disposition. Can you logically expect to make your wishes realities this year if you haven’t yet figured out how to up-level the mental state you live in? Can you really expect a different result if you apply the same mentality and approach you’ve used in the past? Getting in the right state is critically important to becoming motivated enough to act and pursue a new strategy. Just as what you think about can affect you physically, what you do physically affects the way you think, which then affects the way you feel emotionally. So if you can’t think your way into an inspired state of mind, get moving. Do something physical. It’s a very powerful way to change your state.

And then there’s your story. Again, it’s difficult to create a new and improved story if you’re stuck in a negative and disempowering state. Your story is what you tell yourself about why things haven’t worked before and why things aren’t working now. What’s your story? If you have a vision/goal and you feel you have a great strategy, but you still haven’t been able to achieve and/or maintain your goal, your story is what you tell yourself about why you can’t realize your goal and sustain the changes you make. Is it time to create a new story? One that’s empowering instead of limiting?

Where should you start? Since everything begins with a thought, start there. You need a clear and specific idea about what you want in order to create an appropriate strategy. In addition to clarifying your goal(s), if you answer the questions about why you think you can’t achieve them or have failed in past attempts, you can begin to uncover limiting beliefs (your story).

• What do you want to do? What do you want to stop doing? Why? Is there a reason you think you can’t do this?

• What do you want to be? What do you want to stop being? Why? Is there a reason you think you can’t be this?

• What do you want to have? What do you want to unload? Why? Is there a reason you think you can’t have this? What do you want to increase?

• What do you want to decrease? Why? Is there a reason you think you can’t accomplish this?

If you don’t sit with these questions, answer them truthfully, change your state, and then implement a proven strategy to make your desired changes, you will likely experience life the same way in 2015 that you did in 2014, 2013, 2012… And your old story will remain intact.

Maybe it’s time to look deeper and enlist some help to really drill into your state, discover what your story is, and plan an effective strategy. We all need some help at times. This year, if you’re serious and committed to creating effective, lasting change so you can become an even greater version of yourself, achieve your goals and, just as important, maintain them, contact me to schedule your complimentary session.

Make 2015 the year you really do things differently. A new you is within your grasp if you’re willing to commit to yourself.

A New Year, A New You