With the new year fast approaching, let’s talk about something so many people do: Make a New Year’s Resolution…. and forget about it a few weeks later.
I’m going to lose weight…get out of debt…find a new job…de-clutter my house…fix a relationship….slow down…get motivated… The list goes on and on. Our intentions are good, so why don’t we follow through and instead, forget about our resolutions a few weeks after making them?
Because that’s the way our brains work. Our brains make decisions based on what WAS and what IS….NOT on what’s possible. For example: You say you want to lose weight. Your brain says that every time you’re sad, anxious or angry, you eat. Your brain says you’ve never gone to the gym before, you shouldn’t go now (and it will give you a million reasons to never go). See how easily this happens?
Our thoughts are powerful things. We have to learn how to manage them in order to change our results. One of my teachers says an unsupervised mind is like an unsupervised three-year-old. How’s that for a visual? So, we have to start managing them.
Our brains want to solve problems….but they won’t if we shut them down with thoughts like, “I can’t.” Instead, we need to say, “I’m figuring this out.” That gives our brains permission to do just that: figure it out.
There’s also something to be said for your true motivation for wanting to do something. You say you want to lose weight to be healthier. But if your true motivation is to look and feel better about yourself, your brain is going to get confused.
Let’s look at how different the resolution to lose weight looks from the un-managed mind and the focused Managed Mindset.
First the Unmanaged Mind:
Make a resolution to lose weight this year
Eat less and eat healthier foods for 3 weeks
Sign up for gym membership and go to the orientation and go work out at the gym 3 days the first week, 3 days the second week and then the third week, you “don’t feel like” going and tell yourself you’ll go next week.
Next week comes and you go once. You get on the scale and there’s been no change in weight.
You give up telling yourself you tried.
Now the Managed Mind:
Make a resolution that by the end of February you will lose 10 pounds.
Tell yourself that you are going to figure out how to do this because you want to look and feel better by the time spring rolls around.
You figure out why you want to eat the way you do and realize it’s because when you’re bored or uninspired you eat sweets. So you decided that when you’re bored, instead of scrolling through Instagram and eating cookies, you will go for a 10-minute walk (cold outside? GOOD! It’s invigorating!!) and listen to a new podcast you found on a topic you love and is inspiring).
By week two you already feel better because you're not starving yourself or doing anything other than understanding and giving yourself a new way to do things. You get on the scale and have lost 2 pounds!
Now you actually WANT to keep going. You’re going for walks at lunchtime. You’re learning more about something. You’re sharing your experience with a friend. What other things can you do? Once a week, you decide to eat really healthy foods, all day. Fruits for breakfast, a salad with chicken breast for lunch and salmon for dinner.
Week four you’re feeling really good. You DO join a gym. You go a few times and find it FUN and a little challenging. You meet someone at the gym and decide to be workout buddies. You’ve got accountability to yourself and someone else. You’re motivating yourself and someone else.
This spring I will feel and look GREAT! By summer, who knows!
This is easier than you thought….
See the difference?
Now what resolutions do you want to not only make this year, what goals do you want to achieve? Why do you want to achieve them? If the goal is important to you, go for it and tell your brain to figure it out.
Does all of that seem either too simplistic or too difficult? Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit robintefftcoaching.com and request a free mini-session with me.
We can figure it all out together.