In the annual January flood of articles, interviews, memes, and socials posts about resolutions, non-resolutions, change, and the new year, you may be hearing and reading more and more about the likelihood that New Year’s resolutions won’t stick – that most people abandon their resolutions by mid-February.
So what’s a person to do, faced with that data-backed assertion, if change really is important?
An idea: Spend some time assessing and reflecting on mindset and belief systems. Why? Because thoughts drive behavior, and beliefs often drive thoughts.
If you’ve been following along since the beginning of this series, then you’ve already taken the time to review your recent past (“Year in Review” and “Insights”), check in on your current state (“Gratitude Snapshot”), and acknowledge what you want (“100 Wants”). If you did yesterday’s work, then you’ve added some keywords for your own vision of what you want in the future.
To make today’s assignment a little easier, let’s use an example of a common want/vision word: Health.
If you want to improve your health (often on a New Year’s resolution list) and your vision words include health, strength, vitality, etc., then the question to ask yourself is: What do I believe about myself (or the world) that either limits or enables my ability to pursue improved health?
Taking the example one step further, maybe you believe that getting healthy requires abandoning your existing diet and eating in a completely different way. Maybe the underlying belief is that your current diet/way of eating is unhealthy or bad. That belief, stated that way, limits the possibilities for moving forward. What if, instead, you were able to look at the healthy behaviors you already have, healthy practices that are already in place?
By reframing “I have bad eating habits” into “I have some healthy eating habits that I want to encourage,” you shift toward growth.
Another example, from the same starting point (resolving to improve health) might be an underlying belief that you’ve tried and failed in the past, so you’re probably going to fail again.
Looking at mindset and belief systems is not easy work, but it can be illuminating, invigorating, and empowering.
Two notes here: The worksheets below are not in the “Your First 100 Days” workbook, but the work is part of the course. Also, the work is harder to do in isolation than with a partner or guide, but you can do it on your own.
The purpose of today’s work is to take a focused, honest, reflective look at how your existing mindset and/or belief structures might be getting in the way of making the changes you want. This work should take about an hour.
Tomorrow we’ll start on the Vision Board work, and we’ll use a different approach from what you may be familiar with. See you then.
New to this series? Welcome! Here’s the scoop: I’m giving followers here a free walk-through of a course called “Your First 100 Days,” a structured approach to help turn ideas into action. The first post in this series is here.)