New Year's Resolution Success
The first thing to keep in mind is that a New Years resolution is a behaviour
change - you are wanting to do something different. ALL our behaviours
are determined by the thinking that goes on in our brains. But as I emphasize
the majority of our thinking is done by the automatic, unconscious part
of our brain.
This is the most important aspect to realize about behaviour change.
You see our brains are very good at matching the situation in front of
us to our past experiences - our brains do this without us even consciously
thinking about it. This is a strength - it is a large part of our expertise
- and it's why we value experience.
This is also why we keep seeing things and doing things the same way
over and over again, even when we recognize there is a better way to do
it. So a key is recognizing that the challenge to changing our behaviour
is the automatic processing of situations that we do.
Keeping this in mind, here are four important aspects to successful behaviour
change. (Note that these are not "4 easy steps"...)
1. Be really clear on why you are doing it - what's in it for you?
a. Why are you doing it? Not just "I should" or "have to" or "good for
me" or "spouse says I should." It needs to be personal. It might be a
better relationship with spouse...
b. Be specific and exhaustive about this - list all the benefits of doing
it, and of avoiding it, and WRITE IT DOWN.
2. Make yourself aware at the time... because the past habit is carried
out by your unconscious, you often do it "without thinking".
3. Develop a strategy to Give yourself TIME to decide consciously. Your
unconscious brain works faster than your conscious brain. That's why sometimes
something comes out of our mouths that we realize as we are saying it
that we shouldn't.
4. Find an alternative not opposite behaviour.
a. Like the martial arts approach - deflect, not stop
Remember it will be tough; expect setbacks, you are trying to change
your unconscious programming. These days lots of talk about right/wrong,
succeed/fail, what I call EXTREME THINKING. Realistically, probably will
have setbacks... think of it not as failing, just not succeeding YET..