A New Approach for 2020

January 9, 2020

It is the beginning of a new year and as is typical, many will be making New Year resolutions that will define the pathway for change in their lives.  Resolutions are rarely seen through to the end of the year and another year is lost in implementing the change we want to see.  Year after year time goes by we lose a part of our lives and settle into a mode of mediocrity.  New Year resolutions are almost always never maintained so what is the point of making them?  Often some give, believing they do not have the mental fortitude to see a goal to its conclusion.

There are several reasons why we are unable to fulfill new year resolutions.  First of all, new year resolutions are simply that, “new.”  To implement a new year resolution, we may have to implement behaviors that are new to us.  Because these behaviors are not on auto-pilot, we have some resistance to taking the necessary action.  We need to be motivated and sometimes the motivation is not strong enough to get us to the action step.  In the beginning, we may need self-discipline or a personal coach or trainer to push us a little.

Another reason we do not complete new year resolutions is that we forget them.  We formulate an idea to change our lives for the year but we do not write it down and review it regularly.  Now you may believe that if you know what your goal is for the year, why is it necessary to write it down and review it?  I already know it.  The problem is you run the routine of your conventional life and forget about your goal for the year so the necessary action or behavioral changes are not implemented.  The routine of our conventional lives is well within our comfort zone and it is not our typical nature to push ourselves outside of this area.

So how do we break the cycle and move forward to becoming the people we would like to be?  If we are not easily going to move outside of what is “normal” and convenient for us, we need an alternative approach.   If it somewhat difficult to move outside of our comfort zones to take the action we need to take, perhaps we can move the “right actions” into our comfort zones.  We can implement this by a process of incremental improvement.  Set your goal, make your resolution for the year and decide what action you need to take.  Take that action in a small way, one day at a time improving a little with each day.  For example, you may not want to exercise but could you bring yourself to do one push up and improve on that on daily?  Sure.  One day you do one push up and you have completed your exercise for that day.  Now you may think that one repetition is not going to contribute to your overall fitness.  However, not taking any action is also not going to improve your fitness.  To take a small, seemingly meaningless action in the direction of your goals and dreams takes so little of your time; it would be easy to incorporate this action into your routine.  Now as you continue this process of small action with daily improvement gradually it will become routine for you and you will gain momentum so that what started as a small action will be accelerating you faster and faster toward the destination of your goal.  Imagine how much greater our lives would be if we made daily self-improvement a habit.