Changing Lanes for the New Year
Changing Lanes. This may be the solution for those this year’s elusive New Year’s resolutions. Did you know that 80-92% of all new year’s resolution results in a fail? Why is that? I think mostly because of several things that we will be discussing further on in this article.
Oh yeah, goals. Everyone talks about them. Even a few people will tell you how to set them. Then you hear that in order for your goal or life change to be permanent “IT NEEDS TO BECOME A LIFESTYLE” and then the room goes silent. Like you’re supposed to know how to do that, right?
Think about it this way. Is there something you started doing a while ago that has become part of your daily activity? This could be anything from brushing your teeth left-handed (I did that one) when you are right-handed to smoking, drinking or doing drugs. They all have the same habit structure we just need to break it down.
Correct Goal Structure
1. What do you want?
2. When do you want that? (also when don’t you want that)
3. How will you know when you have it?
4. What’s stopping you from having that now? (habits, behaviors, beliefs and identity changes)
Most people make a picture in their head of what they want and then immediately start making a list of what they need to do next, instead of how it will impact their whole life.
This year, Take 5 minutes and write your goal down in this format. Once you’ve done this a couple of times it becomes automatic. Our unconscious mind learns very quickly how to make things work if you give it the correct format.
Wants vs. Needs
We all want what we want when we want it. But what about what your needs? What I tell my clients is, “I want a motorcycle big enough to pull my boat, but what I need is a reliable car that doesn’t cost me a fortune to keep and maintain.”
If you really want to impact your life and those around you check out the following NEEDS list, without these things in place, your goal will not be sustainable.
The Real List of Needs are:
1. Consistency (safety, security)
2. Variety (difference, thrills, adventure)
3. Connection/Love (touch, intimacy, friends)
4. Significance (being seen, heard, acknowledged, important)
6. Contribution (giving back, part of a team, etc)
If you are going to set a new year’s resolution you may want to consider what the impact will be in the 8 areas of your life. Every sustainable change I’ve ever made has been moved into those areas and now they have become who I am. Real life change is an identity change.
By evaluating the impact (and benefits) of the goal on the other areas of your life can improve your chances of success by eliminating “surprises” in advance. It also may change the length/duration of your goal depending on your existing commitments. Think, asking your spouse/partner/family about existing life commitments before committing to a dinner party-type questions.
Here are the 8 areas of your Life
1. Personal Environment
4. Intimate Other(s)
5. Friend and Family
7. Personal/Spiritual Growth
Move Your Resolutions/Goals From The Wants Column To The Needs Column
Anytime you do something new or unfamiliar it takes time to create the habit. Opinions vary on how long that takes from a couple of times to years. I knew the first day I did yoga that I would do that for the rest of my life. Quitting drugs and being an “a”hole took a little longer than expected.
Just knowing that you are deciding to move “a want” to “a need” could be enough, but stay the course until it happens.
Let’s look at a couple of examples.
1. Weight loss is probably the #1 new year’s resolution. So Bob or Mary will say ” I want to work out/diet so I can lose some weight”. Good plan, right? Probably not. What’s missing here is what do they need. Do they need to lose weight so they don’t have to buy a whole new wardrobe because nothing fits? Are they not taking a summer vacation because they can’t stand the way they look in a swimsuit? Drilling down to what they really need and focusing on that will get them closer to their goal than a simple “I want”.
2. Smoking Cessation is the second most popular reason for new year’s goals. I get dozens of people in my office this time of year. And the reasons for stopping vary as much as the people coming through the door. Mostly, they started a long time ago and it’s time to stop. But they need to take another step and figure out what needs that smoking fulfilled and replace it with something better. Most of the time smoking and drinking is a coping strategy for stress or instant relaxation. There are better methods than lighting things on fire and inhaling. Think about something you want and what that want will fulfill in your needs category.
You Need Your Needs
When you get that your needs will always overshadow your wants, life gets pretty simple. So if you want a BIG CHANGE in your life it has to be something that you need to be you.
Once you’ve aligned your new goal with your 6 fundamental needs and the 8 areas of life you should be good to go. Granted it may be in a different form than you originally imagined but ALL OF THE PIECES ARE IN PLACE, except one.
Get An Accountability Person
I’ve said this before in multiple articles, “GET A ACCOUNTABILITY PERSON”. It isn’t because you are weak, unmotivated, etc.; it’s because humans need other humans. The percentage of people who are true independents is small, like 3-5% of the population. There of us are either proximity or cooperative in our working styles.
This means that you will have a greater chance of success with an accountability person than without one. Like 80% more likely to succeed. Those numbers work for me.
And remember that working styles are contextual. You may be awesome in one context, but if you aren’t in the area of your chosen goal… think about getting an accountability person.
Lengthen Your Movie
The last thing I’m going to mention is lengthening your movie. What does this even mean? It means that most people don’t plan past their goal. They plan right up to the finish line and then the screen goes black and the credits begin to roll.
Think about a guy who wants to quit drinking. Generally, he makes a picture or has a feeling and says “I want a drink” and off he goes. If he made a longer movie about him having another and then another until something bad happens and there are multiple and severe consequences; He might make a different choice. But in order to do that the longer movie needs to slow him down enough to evaluate whether he just wants that drink or if he needs that drink. Those are vastly different things.
If he just wants the drink then this may slow him down enough to make a different pre-planned choice. If he actually needs that drink then he is beyond the scope of this article and needs to seek treatment of some variety.
Lengthen your movie enough to have mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, and particularly when you are doing something new or unfamiliar. So what do you do when these mistakes happen? NOW would be a great time to figure out what to do next.
Whether it’s diet, smoking, drinking, or any other thing, new habits take time. mistakes will be made so why not pre-plan your response to those alleged mistakes now instead of on the fly?
Call If You Need Help
The best way to succeed at anything is the willingness to ask for help. I have a facebook group called 100 Days of. that was designed to provide community and accountability. Check it out.
I also provide 15 Free Consultations for those who have a question about Hypnosis or Coaching. Go here.
And you can always book a Coaching or Hypnosis appointment if you’re really stuck. Click Here