Every January my social news feed is filled with resolutions, intentions, fitness goals, business goals and a whole host of good intentions. It's amazing to witness, and always makes me feel like there's hope for humanity because people WANT to change. They WANT to shift and grow and evolve into what they know they can be.
Sadly, by February at the latest, those posts go away, and the people return to their regularly scheduled programming and the resolutions are no more. This year, I want to uncover the why. Why do we fall apart so quickly? Why do we let go of the change we desire?
Well, the obvious answer is because it's hard, yes? Change is terrifying. Change is difficult and tedious. Change takes time and we live in a society where immediate gratification is the name of the game and anything less is exactly that.
The deeper reason has to do with intention and decision. You see, the people who stick to change and who stick to the "new year, new you" philosophy are the ones who are unwilling to compromise. They are unwilling to stray because they've simply decided that this is the way it's going to be, and this is the path they are going to take. THERE IS NO PLAN B.
Think about the last time you tried to make a change in your life. Was there a little voice in the back of your head saying, "ah, if this doesn't work out, my life is pretty good as it is now anyway." Or "I can always go and get a real job." or "we'll see how long this lasts."
We enter into these half-assed contracts with ourselves and we bring all of the baggage with us with no decision. We come into it with a Plan B in place, so that when (not IF) the plan A fails, we know what's next.
The key is to skip the Plan B and train yourself to behave as if there is no backup plan. There is no other option. There is no calvary arriving when you want to get off of this train. This is it. This is THE path. THE choice. There is no other. Period.
The Universe responds to decision and only to decision. If you decide you want to pursue a career in photography, you'll start to see opportunities and signs all around you. If you decide you need to lose weight, suddenly you'll find yourself the recipient of all kinds of weightloss ideas. If you decide that you're going to run a marathon, the universe will respond by showing you everything you need to make that happen. It's law - universal law. What you decide to focus on is what appears in your experience.
We have to decide clearly what we want for our lives, and we have to deliberately decide in a way that makes us happy. You can see where this is going, right? You can see that when we decide to focus on negative things, more negative things show up for us. So, if you focus on the fact that you're sad, you'll manifest more sadness. If you focus on the fact that you aren't good enough, you'll manifest more opportunities, experiences and circumstances that perpetuate that feeling.
You have to deliberately focus your energy on deciding to be exactly what you want to be in a perfect world. The two simple steps you can take to make this happen:
Make it a date with yourself to sit down with a piece of paper and inventory your life. An Exercise for you: grab a piece of paper and break your life into categories: Health, Career, Family, Friendships, Spiritual, etc. Underneath each category, make 2 lists. The first list is where you're at currently in this category. The second list is where you'd like to be.
Do this for every category of your life, and when you're done, pick the one that feels the most important to you as the one you should work on first. Only focus on this one category. Take the lists and create an action plan. What do you have to do to make the changes to where you want to be?
If your category is fitness, and currently you're overweight, you don't eat right, you're not exercising and you aren't motivated, how can you take action steps to get you to the place where you want to be? What actions do you need to take? List them out individually and prioritize them.
Do the first one. That's it. Simplify it for yourself. Just one step today. Tomorrow, do another. Decide that this is your path and that there is no other choice. Trick your mind into believing that, and the Universe will respond by supporting you.
2. Set Intentions
When you've made a plan and you know what you have to work on to improve your life, you can set the intention in a way that makes you feel as if there is no other choice. Intention is just another word for decision. So decide. Decide that this is the best step for you, decide that you'll be uncompromising and decide that the Plan B does not exist.
Give the Universe the clear signal that you are no longer ON the fence, but you are clearly and 100% invested into one side or the other.
The way I like to support intention setting is by visualizing what my life looks like once I've reached my goal. Picture it in your head, hear the sounds, feel the feeling, smell the air - what's it look like? What's it feel like? Immerse yourself in that feeling for a few minutes every day and focus on what it FEELS like to be at the achievement of your goal. And then? Accept nothing less.
If you can do these things, you'll be miles ahead of the resolution makers who have one foot on either side of the fence, ready to jump ship onto their plan B at any moment.