Stuff happened in 2015. You accomplished a few things. You failed to accomplish some things. Tomorrow is a new year. And the questions above should at least be considered.
Who cares? Now what?
Choose resolve instead of resolutions
Yep.. I’m not a big New Year’s resolutions kind of guy. I believe they set people up for failure.
Why? Because some date is the demarcation of your “change” – and when you fail at the resolution – and you will – the failure generally marks the end of that goal.
For instance: I’m going to eat better and exercise starting January 1st. But on January 2nd, there are all those left-over pastries and desserts from the New Year’s party. You’re going to have just a little.. and then a little more.. and then the self-loathing, followed by the “Okay.. I’ll start on February 1st” lie.
The same is true for quitting smoking or being a better friend or financial/business or whatever.
Instead, choose to build resolve.
Resolve is a daily choice and developed discipline
January 1st is NOT the critical day of change. Today is! And by today, I mean every single today. January 1, January 2, February 5, April 12, September 26, November 4, December 31. And all the days in between.
This is important because your resolution is going to fail and your resolve is going to falter. But, each new day provides an opportunity to improve and re-choose to follow a plan and act on it.
About Plans and Action
First.. if you believe in the Law of Attraction (LOA) or manifesting intentions.. well.. that’s also setup for failure. You don’t “think” your way to better situations. You act your way to better behavior and patterns – often contrary to what you are thinking and feeling.
Let’s go back to the diet and exercise thing. There are many days that I feel like eating ice cream. I love it! I often feel like skipping that “one day” at the gym. And at times I do eat the ice cream and skip my day at the gym. #fail.
But… more times than that, I CHOOSE to stick to my plan. I avoid the ice cream and I make it to the gym. NOT because of intention or manifesting anything.. but because I get out of my house and to the gym. I stick to my schedule.
Feelings follow action and action breeds more resolve
Many people get this wrong. I go to the gym or eat better/right because I’ve pre-determined that outcome. So when I don’t feel like it, I still stick to my plan – not to my feelings. After the fact.. when I’ve stayed the course – gone to the gym – avoided the ice cream – I feel GREAT! That feeling follows the behavior, not the other way around.
And in doing so, I reinforce the plan and the pattern.
Intentions are Meaningless. Intention is Critical!
Setting intentions in the LOA vernacular is meaningless. Being intentional is critical. You simply do not manifest reality. Reality is a simple cause and effect equation. Your actions are a cause – which result in an effect. For instance, pre-determining your schedule for the week – when you’ll be at the gym, when you will get up, when you will shower/shave/work, etc. is intentional, not intentions.
I typically set my diet the night prior. I know what I am going to eat. Do I stick to it perfectly? No way! I love ice cream.. remember. BUT… I don’t buy ice cream when I am at the store, so it is NOT in the house. I’ve INTENTIONALLY established a barrier to combat my lack of self-control.
Okay.. that’s a lie. I will occasionally buy ice cream. I buy it in a pint quantity once or twice a month and split it with my two daughters. It is a money loser – I don’t buy the half-gallon, so I don’t do it often.
LOA = Law of Action
So.. if you are going to consider changes for 2016, put the true LOA into effect. Law of Action. To do so, try the following:
- Schedule/Calendar: Your calendar is your benevolent dictator (well, mine is). She tells me what to do so I don’t fall back on bad patterns. I made my calendar a woman because I’m used to women telling me what to do. 😉
- Work on your Resolve: Rather than a date you start (resolution day), remember that everyday is THE DAY you have to enact your plan. That way, when you fail to act according to plan, you do NOT view it as failing on your resolution. Instead, you understand your resolve faltered THAT day. Re-enact your plan immediately.
- Make simple plans: If you are going to work on getting into shape, don’t plan to be at the gym 5 days a week when you’ve NOT done anything the prior year. Every complexity or over-reaching plan is a chance to reinforce failure. Instead, make it simple. 1 hour, 3 times a week. That’s plenty. Then, grow your time/plan if needed/appropriate. Want to write more (or another creative pursuit)? Try 15-30 minutes three times per week. Extreme change is typically a setup for failure.
And Keep Asking, Now What?
Whether you are successful with your plan for a given day or week or unsuccessful.. the same question can be applied.
Now what? Restart your plan (if you dropped off for a day or a week or ???) or adjust it accordingly for more/better results. Add or adjust goals based on new information or desires.
You will have some failures. Asking “Now what?” lets you start back into your plan.
You will have some successes. Asking “Now what?” lets you look forward to the next plan or success.
And so…. now what?