Going back to the gym, quitting smoking, losing weight, not working so late at the office, saving money, taking more risks, going out to meet new people... these are some of the most common New Year's resolutions people make. If you have set any of these goals before and have succeeded in achieving them, then you're doing well, keep it up. Yet, you might be one who sets a goal, starts working toward achieving that goal, but stops just a few weeks later. And guess what? You are not alone!
Many people go through that same process every single year. You might have personally experienced that cycle of setting goals, writing down resolutions, telling your friends about the plans you have made and how you are going to make it this year.
Like most other people, you might even have begun on the first of January to start–this is when the gyms are always packed! You get very motivated and excited and pursue your goal passionately for a while.
But eventually, the excuses begin and you find reasons why you should wait a while to work toward your goal. Perhaps you are riddled with doubt or even blame someone else for your loss of interest in pursuing your goal to its end.
I have no doubt that when you make a resolution you really want to achieve it. It is important for you, and your heart is in the right place. And that when you start working toward your goal, you are truly being genuine and determined. But as beautiful as all that sounds, it is not about any of those things! Let's look at these two phrases and see which one feels better to you:
- I don't want to be fat, so I must lose weight. To lose weight, I must diet or go to the gym.
- I would love to have a healthy, fit, slim body so I will find an enjoyable sport that suits me.
What is the difference between the two? Phrase one is driven by pain, pure and simple. Yes, it can be a great motivator but unfortunately, change doesn't last. Why? Because it is not enjoyable. It sounds more like a chore we have to do or an obligation we have got and if we don't do it, we will be punished by being fat or lonely!
The other reason this kind of thinking won't work is because you are fighting life-long conditioning and programming. You have been living with limiting beliefs for so long.
You might believe you can't lose weight because your genes force you to be fat (which has been already proven by science to be not true) or because being alone is scary or means that you are not loved. When you think this way, it's easy to believe that you're better off with just anyone–quality doesn't really matter, as long as you're not alone!
But think for a minute, if you don't enjoy your own company, why would anyone else? Right? So my question to you is this: Is your new set of resolutions driven by fear and pain or is it driven by the desire for pleasure? If the resolutions are fear-driven, then how is it possible to change them into something pleasurable?
You must look for your own limiting beliefs, that little voice whispering in your ear telling you that you're not good enough unless you have done this or that. Retrain your brain to convert those negative whispers into positive ones.
Look closely at your life, find the blessings that are yours and love yourself exactly the way you are. Be your own best friend! And when you do make new resolutions or goals, revisit them often, setting new ones every few months, not just at the beginning of a new year.
Set goals and targets to aim for in every area of your life–self care, family, health–and make sure they are driven by pleasure and will make you happy. Because you deserve to be happy!
Happy New 2010!
- Hanan Nagi is the founder of Transform Coaching UAE. www.HananNagi.com
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