New Year’s resolutions, re-wiring 2019, the excitement, the anxiety. Why do they seldom, if ever, deliver the freedom and liberation we hope for?
Why do we continue to make these promises to ourselves, year in and year out, knowing that most of us will end up packing our bags for that guilt trip we take mid February?
The majority of us truly want the best for ourselves. What we seldom aware of is that changing our actions sustainably is almost impossible, unless we take a look at reassessing some of our beliefs. Now it is at this point that most people run for the hills. Resorting to blaming something or someone for your broken commitments is of course a far easier and safer bet.
It is damn scary to scratch the surface, lift the hood and unpack our beliefs. Often our entire identity is entwined in our beliefs. We defend them as if we are personally under threat. Seldom do we review our beliefs and we are often not clear on why we believe as we do. Whether these beliefs serve us or not is almost immaterial. Just don’t ask me to change what I believe.
Our external world is simply a reflection of our inner world. When the outer world fails to please, it’s the inner world that requires changing. Ana Forrest states that we are intensely habitual creatures and most of our habits do not serve us.
The foundation of personal responsibility starts when you can be absolutely honest with yourself about your intentions. What fuels your resolutions? Why do you want to make them? What beliefs are you reinforcing? Who are you aiming to please? Whose recognition are you searching for? Are your resolutions truly about you?
In order to elevate your life, you are required to challenge your concept of yourself. This means potentially changing what you previously believed to be true. Would you be acceptable and attractive only if you lose weight, marry Joe, never fail, stay strong, never argue? Is this absolutely true or only true because you believe it to be true?
What beliefs do you hold about yourself that you would be willing to suspend or surrender in order to achieve your dreams? What beliefs belong to the past and do not deserve to move into 2019 with you? What language are you willing to leave behind? You cannot re-wire your future if you persist in using the same language that created your current reality.
There comes a time when you need to face the enemy within – those fearful voices telling you what you can and cannot do. Learning to love your fears, since they are the door to your freedom, is the most liberating love of all. It allows you to love yourself and others, despite fear.
Take a stand for yourself – your greatness, in 2019. Stand for all that is possible rather than all that is not possible. The words “I cannot” seem to come so easily. You can just as easily say “I CAN”. It’s merely a set of beliefs and subsequent habits that needs to change. Although they are just different words, the words I CAN or I AM are high-energy frequency words, while the word “cannot” is a very low-energy frequency word.
Try it. Change your words, even while your current reality does not align with the idea of “YOU CAN”. Say it, follow it up with action, persist, remembering it took years to create your current reality. It may take time to re-wire it. Neurological re-wiring and the building of new pathways takes time and at best a new habit takes 21 days to start becoming a new pathway.
As you embark on this journey, celebrate what you have achieved, be gentle with yourself, and reward yourself for the small victories. Remember that life’s disappointments are very often rooted in your lack of commitment, and not in your ability. Surrender the judgement. It serves no-one. Forgive yourself, acknowledge where you have come from, learn from the situation and move on quickly. Do something that will move you towards your goal. Taking goal-aligned, deliberate and intentional action always moves you forward. Moving forward towards your goal is always a victory.
I CAN is far more important than IQ.
Deliberate living is making daily choices between what you want now and what you want most. In each moment when making decisions always ask the question, “is that what I want now or what I want most”?
We often fail because we try to do too much at once. We commit to running 5 km, 5 days a week from 2 January 2019.
Day 1, our enthusiasm pushes us through the 5km trauma. Day 2, muscles aching, we drag ourselves through 5km of pure brow-beating hell. Day 3, we have not one, but a number of perfect, well-crafted and of course factual reasons to skip a day (you could convince any courtroom with your well-articulated fact base). The slippery slope rears its ugly head and before we know it, February has come and gone without so much as peek at the trainers tossed deep into the recesses of the closet.
Consider smaller, more deliberate goals. If you wish to start mediation, resist the urge to commit to 30 minutes a day, every day. It sounds noble and your chest swells with pride as you make the commitment, but you know it’s a sword over your head. Start with 5 minutes of simply sitting silently every day. This is achievable and allows you to feel good about meeting your commitment.
Meeting your commitment allows you to live in integrity. This means you can be counted on to do what you say you are going to do. Living in integrity with your word brings energy into your life. It allows you to feel good about yourself, but more importantly people and God now know that you mean what you say. You can be counted on. Before you blink you will be meditating far more often than you would have thought possible and attracting increasing amounts of integrity into your life. Achieving a goal, being your word, consistently provides the energy to keep you moving towards your dream.
The magic of the unknown
You never know what the universe has in store for you as your old reality falls away and your new one begins to unfold. A dream is never given to you without you also being given the power to make it come true. It may, however, require different actions from you. You may need to work much harder for it, take different actions, persist, risk failure, liberate yourself from others’ opinions, step through fear, but I promise, when you stand on the doorstep of your dream and shout out “I did it” to your fears, it will have been worth it.
In my personal and professional life, the unknown has never failed me.
The fact is that life is actually rather unfair, however the cards are incredibly stacked in your favour.
As you prepare for 2019, accept that you can never go back and make some of the details pretty. All you can do is move forward and make the whole beautiful.
Blow yourself a kiss and take a stand for your dream.