Starting out the new year with positive intentions is all very good until we are faced with our old residual habits, behaviors and beliefs. Setting New Year’s resolutions is one thing, living up to them is another matter. Any gym owner will tell you that the membership will peak in January and fall away in February. This is why gyms take all year round membership fees early in the year. They know that people simply won’t keep up their promises! As long as the gym has your payment they don’t care!
For things to change YOU must change and the main reasons that people don’t change is fear of the unknown and the familiarity of their comfort zones. Even positive change can be uncomfortable because it means challenging who you think you are, changing your world view, meeting new people and making new friends, or changing your circle of influence.
Here is my top 10 list of reasons why your 2016 will be almost exactly the same as your 2015:
- You keep doing the same things. Like the old adage goes, the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things but expending a different outcome. This also applies to buying a lottery ticket! Given the odds of winning are so small, keeping on buying your ticket is not a guarantee of eventually winning. Same job same friends and same conversations will give you the same you have had previously. Change something in your daily routine and interrupt your vices. Just taking control over a small element of your life (like giving up something or cutting out sugar in your coffee) can empower you to take more control over other things which are running themselves in your life on autopilot.
- You keep the same company. Have you ever noticed that the same people keep having the same conversations? Or have you instinctively known someone’s take on a situation before talking to them? There is a saying that: “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt. Have you ever had a great idea and shared it with someone who dismissed it? If so it can leave you feeling deflated and you soon fall back to normality. This is what happens to your creativity when you give your ideas to the wrong people. Before long you are agreeing with them. Take a look at your 10 closest friends and the average of their income will be very close to yours. Birds of a feather flock together!
- You think the same thoughts. This is great one to change if you are looking to make the new year different to the last one. Check out The New Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz which is a fascinating look at how our self image controls much of what we do. It’s a great read for anyone who wants to question their reality and make some serious changes in their live. Notice your thoughts but don’t allow them to control you. Choose your thoughts wisely. Thoughts become things. We become what we think about – Earl Nightingale.
- You like a good moan. Everyone likes a good moan! Is anyone really positive all the time?! In Yorkshire it’s a local pass-time. Anyone who isn’t moaning is a liar! It’s often what connects us when we have nothing else to talk about. But what if our lives were perfect? Who would we talk to then? Our problems are self created and often used to justify our actions. What we think and thank about we bring about. Our subconscious mind is powerful and is listening to every thought and word we utter, creating our future and bringing about those things we give our most attention to. All the books on the Law Of Attraction say as much and state that gratitude is the single most powerful way to turn around your life. If we focused as much energy on being grateful as we continually do on complaining, our lives would be magical – which of course they are! (See Working with the law – Raymond Holliwell, Think and grow rich – Napoleon Hill, The Secret – Rhonda Bryne, The Science of getting rich – Wallace Wattles).
- You focus on what is wrong. This is again the same topic as number 4 but I think it deserves another mention.” I don’t want …. ” “I’m fed up of …” “This ….really pisses me off”. It’s written into our language and I often catch myself thinking or saying one of these phrases. (Fill in your own blank). We are so passionate about what is wrong we give it much more attention that what is right. Again this is the Law of attraction lining up some similar experiences when we give our emotional energy and attention to something negative. We create a pattern which is hard to break because we learn to identify this pattern as ourselves. For just a minute focus on what is great about your life. If you’re struggling then you have a lot of work ahead. Simple things like a roof over your head, food in the cupboards and clothes on your back are often taken for granted but without which our lives would be considerably worse.
- Fitting in is more important than doing something different. If fitting in with those around you is your goal you may find it hard to step away from the opinions of your peer group and venture into unknown territory. Most people have an innate desire to belong to one group or another. We want to fit in. However, a strong desire to fit in and maintain the status-quo can often sabotage any efforts to change. Are the people around you also wanting to change and improve themselves? If not then you may have a subtle conflict as your friends, relatives and co-workers can see your change as a threat and (perhaps) unconsciously sabotage your efforts at change.
- You’re completely happy with every aspect of your life. If this is you well done! If this is truly you I doubt you would have read this far! It’s a good thing to recognize which aspects of your life are good and which you want to change. It’s ok to have a gripe even though things are pretty ok. Change often comes only when there is a serious conflict with where you are and where you want to be. You need the desire to change to be stronger than the desire to stay where you are. We often want things but are not prepared to put the effort in. In which case thing remain the same. We can tell ourselves that we’re really not that bothered, or we can change if we really want to, but we can’t do both!
- You don’t set goals. Every ‘successful’ person who has achieved anything worthwhile will tell you that they had an aim, a goal. They didn’t just wander into it by accident. Having a specific goal is vital if you want to achieve anything. A goal should be SMART. S- specific, M – measurable, A – achievable, R – Realistic/results focused, T – time bound. Not setting goals will guarantee that things will remain pretty much the same as they have been, given your habits and activities.
- You live within your comfort zones. Stepping out of your comfort zones is hard especially if you have been there for a while. The longer you remain in the zone of comfort the harder it will become to step away. Eventually you become trapped by your habits and circumstances and struggle to see a way out. Exercise some will power in a new direction. Even it is just giving something up or joining a new class. Learn something new you have always meant to do but never got round to. Change an aspect of your life which you are unhappy with. Break some familiar habits and make some new ones.
- Your identity is too wrapped up in your habits, belief, rituals and circumstances for anything to change. You will keep doing things as you always have and never question them, or your ideas about the world. A consistent world view keeps you safe and you are far too entrenched to make any changes now.
By changing your awareness of your ideas, beliefs and attitudes, you can make make small changes which will eventually bring about larger results in your life if you really want to change. Real change comes from changing yourself and a huge obstacle to change is being unaware that your self image is running the show. Unless you change your self image your life is likely to remain the same in many ways.
Check out Maxwell Maltz in The New Psycho- Cybernetics and How to get lots of money for anything fast (also cybernetics) by Stuart Lichtman:
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