Ah...A New Year and a Fresh Start

Ask Janice The concept of New Year’s Resolution to actuate change is very popular because there are things in our lives that we are just not happy with. We all have hopes and aspirations to make changes and often the resolution or goal setting works.

Statistics show that each year 40% to 50% of adults make one or more resolutions or goals for themselves. Research shows that 75% make it past the first week, and 45% make it past 6 months. On the bright side while a lot of people break there resolutions, statistics on New Year’s resolutions also show that setting goals for yourself is still a good thing to do, because you are 10 times more likely to attain your goal, rather than people who don’t explicitly make goals.  So this means that if you decide to set a goal for yourself this year, not only will you be a part of the statistics on New Year’s resolutions makers, but you will also be 10 times more likely to attain your goal. Setting goals is a great way to help dedicate yourself to reaching positive change.

On the other hand, glass half empty - 50% of people who make New Year’s resolutions fail to keep them. And as the year goes on that number does increase by 10%.

So, what’s the point if you are more likely to fail then not? As my husband Mike says- “if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.”

We want to change, but why? Because without change, we are assured of staying just the way we are and doing things just the way we always have.  That is why 50% of us make New Year’s resolutions. Yet as you know and I know it’s hard to make significant changes in our lives but why?  Because change is difficult and there is no magical formula that is quick and without effort, despite the claims of motivational speakers and self-help books- an industry that makes about $2.5 million a year off of those of us that are looking for magic potions or words.

The bottom line is, change is easier said than done. It is a real test, and needs to be taken seriously with full presence of mind and heart. Change starts with a simple, yet powerful, epiphany that comes from a very deep and personal place inside us. A client said to me just the other day “it just became too sad to stay the way I was.” Sometimes it comes down to the realization that you just don’t want to continue down the same road any longer, things must change.

Emotions can be potent motivators for change, whether positive, such as hope or inspiration, or negative, such as fear.

Courage is essential because change requires risk and risk is scary. Courage to change means the willingness to acknowledge and confront aspects of ourselves that we may not know about or may not like. It’s uncertain, and takes a leap of faith that involves a belief in a vision of who, where and what we want to be in the future.

Determination is needed to overcome obstacles, resist the status quo. Determination is needed to pursue our goals. This determination and resolve is what inspires us to engage in the moment-to-moment process of change especially when it is difficult. This is what it comes down to. Those moments that you get add together which then becomes the sum of your efforts. That is the formula for a successful change.

You have a choice. You get to decide for yourself. This is the time to be selfish, the time to create the person you want to be, to compose those resolutions and then be successful.  If you have some setbacks, fine. We all have setbacks on a difficult path. Lance Armstrong is quoted when asked how he dealt with his challenges- “pain is temporary and quitting is not an option.”  The key is to not give up you can restart your resolution any day. While New Years is a great time to regroup and move ahead, any Monday morning or the 1st of the month or your birthday etc… can serve the same purpose. Tuesday anyone?

Keep in mind that change is not easy. Embrace it.  You could even try cozying up to the concept.

Get tough and stay inspired. Change is a process and not an event, so be patient.

Lastly “keep your eyes on the prize”, visualize.