Resolution Hiccups - part 1 of 3

Have you hiccupped on your change resolution? Are the hiccups increasing rather than decreasing? In three parts, I offer three uncommon insights that may ease your resolution hiccups. These uncommon insights don’t replace the advice you’ll commonly read elsewhere, but they may just be a critical key to enabling the change you desire for your life and behaviour.

We know from watching those about us that many experience hiccups in resolutions for behaviour and life change. Reportedly, many resolutions are abandoned within just days or weeks with just 45% of resolutions lasting longer than six months and only 9% of people considering themselves successful [1]. However, it is also reported that the fact you even made a resolution means that you 10 times more likely to succeed in changing your behaviour than those who wish for change but don’t actually make a resolution.

The first insight I offer is to get clarity on your higher purpose. The purpose of your resolution must be inspiring, energising, motivating. Trying to change just because it sounds like a good idea or others are doing it is rarely enough if the going gets tough or it actually starts to cost us something to achieve the desired objective (financial, emotional, time, energy, relations etc.). Knowing your higher purpose for change can be found in the answer to questions like ‘Why is this important to me?’, ‘For what higher purpose do I want this?’ and ‘What will I do, say, hear or feel when I have this?’ Repeat the same question up to five times, each time re-asking the question of the answer just given.

Your higher purpose should align with a deeply held, core value. It should be inspiring and make the cost required to have it seem totally worthwhile. If it isn’t, consolidate this learning – ‘resolutions with no higher purpose are not worth your time and effort’.

My second uncommon insight will explore the tussle between will power and emotions – stay tuned.

[1] Norcross, J.C., Mrykalo, M.S., & Blagys, M.D. (2002). Auld lang syne: Success predictors, change processes, and self-reported outcomes of New Year's resolvers and nonresolvers. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 58(4), 397-405 cited by Sadie F. Dingfelder Monitor Staff January 2004, Vol 35, No. 1 accessed at (American Psychological Association).

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