Forget New Year's Resolutions
Another year is here, and it seems like more than ever we are ready for a fresh start and some positive and healthy changes in our lives. While every January seems to bring the electric buzz of change and the desire to start fresh or create something new, this particular year comes at the tail end of a rather grueling two years of chaos. It’s no wonder we are all looking for some New Year’s resolutions that will bring us some balance, control, peace, and overall ease in 2022. At IWON, we are always working to support choices and actions for healthier living in both the mind and the body, so we wanted to take a moment to help each of us find a bit more success in our goals, whatever they may be. This boost in the right direction comes in one of the most unlikely pieces of advice: forget New Year’s resolutions!
Yep, you read that right. Toss them out the window.
We hate to break it to you, but studies show that over 80% of our resolutions fall to the wayside between January first to March first. Then we are left with nine months of trying to figure out what we did wrong. That’s a cycle that needs to simply be tossed out with the rest of 2021’s Christmas paper. We are not saying to not set goals and seek change! In the Journal of Clinical Psychology, a study showed that people who set resolutions were ten times more likely to see change in their life.(1) What we want to get away from is tying change and possibility to the first of the year. If you want change, then it’s important to remind yourself of the power and ability you have to create the difference you seek every single day.
The thing with habits and goals is most of them don’t happen quickly and often they are not easy. We tend to want to change things in our lives that have roots, unconscious meaning, and are deeply embedded into who we are. This means that we are not only creating something new, we are also dismantling something that is part of us. So it’s not a New Year’s resolution. It’s a new life resolution, and we need to accept that it may take every day for the rest of our lives to get it right or to maintain it once we’ve got it.
With that in mind, think of the things that might be on your list of change: food, exercise, financial independence, a better job, more friends, a regular sleep schedule, more patience, better self-control, and so on and so on. The questions you fundamentally use to choose change in life are who you are and who you want to be. These are not easy things to analyze, and they are even harder to change. But it is not impossible. We simply need to reformat our strategy and get a little help.
Let’s talk strategy. When we decided to build a business on vegetarian protein snacks, we had to answer one key question. Why? The answer to these three simple letters is the most powerful tool anyone has to create what they want. Why do you want to eat better? Why do you want a different job? Why do you want a better body? Getting to the power of your why isn’t as easy as the first answer on the tip of your tongue. The real reason why you want change is buried under layers of dissatisfaction, fear, inconsistencies, and the unknown. Sound tough? It’s not. It does however take a little time and some clear thought.
Take a few days and really ask why you want the change you're after, and begin to write those reasons down. Don’t stop until you have at least 15-20 reasons. If you’re stuck at only two or three, then ask why again for your reasons.
For example, why do you want to eat healthier?
2. To better fight and prevent disease.
3. To increase longevity.
Now ask, why do you want a better body? Why is it important to fight and prevent disease? Why do you need to increase longevity?
When you have those answers, ask why again.
The idea is to get to the root of the behavior, belief, mindset, or attitude you have about your current way of being. Once you find the deep root of your why, you can then use that to fuel the change you want. You are no longer focusing on a better meal plan or buying more vegetables. You are now focused on combating the deep fear you carry because you watched someone you love suffer due to poor nutrition. The power of why is quite often connected to a feeling, and emotions are some of the most effective tools we have in creating lasting change.
Once you’ve done the inner work and can see who you are now, who you want to be, and why you want to achieve the goal, then you can work on actually setting the goal. Every. Single. Day. For the rest of your life. Sure goals become habits, and habits are easier to maintain, but ask anyone who has worked hard to get what they want, and they will tell you that they had to put energy into that habit in order to keep it. So as you look at your why power, decide if your reasons are strong enough to support your process of change. Eating healthy to get skinny because you want to look better in jeans is probably not going to get you very far or sustain you for very long. It’s not a bad reason, but you’ll want more oomph to make it a lifestyle.
Once you have strong goals with strong motivations, break that goal into tiny chunks with daily actions, and each day you complete that one little step, give yourself the win. Celebrating each step of the process is key to keep you going. Recognize your success no matter how small. If you want to look into this further, check out iWon founder, Mark Samuel’s, free e-book Small Wins, Big Victories.
With a strong why and a solid plan, the last piece of the puzzle is a solid support network. Tell people you trust, who can help hold you to your goals, exactly what it is you are trying to do and why you want to do it. When you feel like your resolve is slipping, be bold and reach out to someone on your team. We all need a little external motivation at times, so it’s important to put that in place from the very beginning!
Best of luck each and every day as you become the very best version of you.