A new year affords us the opportunity to start anew, whatever that means to each one of us. When you read that, New Year’s resolutions probably come to mind. Those familiar with my writings may recall that I prefer to call these commitments instead of resolutions. Too often New Year’s resolutions are abandoned before January ends. I have found it harder to break commitments. That is if we are really serious about those commitments.
Regardless of what we call them if we do not keep our promises to ourselves, that is much more damaging than not keeping commitments to others. Easy to talk about and write about, harder to do. One reason for that is that we are too often creatures of habit. It is easier to keep on doing the familiar and easy than it is to change ourselves. Personal behavioral change is the hardest change to make. But hard though it is, many people are successful at it. What do they have that we don’t? Nothing. And everything.
I just read a recent issue of People magazine. While I don’t read this magazine routinely, I read this one because the Today Show co-anchors, Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb are on the cover. The cover story about the dismissal of anchor Matt Lauer interested me. While that article was interesting, a much more interesting article was about many people who have lost half of their body size. This article was inspiring, in part due to my struggle with wanting to lose the same twenty-five pounds I have lost and regained several times.
Inspiring or not, the article will not do a thing for me if I don’t make some changes in my life. I know what to do. I know how to do it. I just haven’t done it. The article did inspire me, however, in one major way. As several people profiled in the article talked about, I must find my “why” before the “what” and “how” will work for me. My “why” must be stronger than my desire to keep on eating, drinking, and doing those things that got and keep me where I am with this challenge.
One time I lost the weight was when I was preparing for daughter Tara’s wedding. My “why” was crystal clear. I wanted to look good in wedding photos that I knew we would have forever! Once that stimulus was over, it was easy to regain the weight. And there are lots of family photos that I have been in since at weight that I do not like!
Enough about me. Think about yourself. What changes do you want to make? What is your “why?” Sometimes we have to dig deep to find our “why.” And our “why” can’t be superficial, for if it is, when we hit the wall, our resolve can turn into resistance. It is helpful to differentiate the difference in a superficial “why” and one deep enough to see us through the resistance that occurs.
Think about the weight loss example. A superficial why is appearance, while one deeper is health. Another example of a deeper “why” regarding weight loss is not liking the person we are at a certain weight; thus, we struggle with the loss of confidence. To become the person we truly want to be, to have the energy to live life to the fullest, is a deeper “why” that will help us conquer the resistance to stay just the way we are.
Inspiring Positive Change™ in ourselves is some of the hardest change to make. We are creatures of habit. Unlike common thought, it takes much longer than twenty-one days to make or break a habit. My book, A Year in the Life of a Recovering Spendaholic, proved this to me. And once that year was over, it became easier as time passed to revert to spendaholic behavior. In that year there was some change that became permanent, but not all.
In this new year, what change (s) do you want to make? What do you want badly enough to do what is required to conquer the resistance that naturally occurs?
What is your “why?”