If you are like most people, you created some sort of New Year’s resolution – like losing that baby weight; changing your business from a hobby to a real revenue maker; not drinking that glass of wine at the end of the day to unwind; or finally leaving the job that doesn’t light you up. Whatever your resolutions were, the question is, are you still on the path to pursuing them?
According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, 33% of those who made resolutions at the beginning of the year have already given up on them by February 1st. And only 8% of us will actually achieve those resolutions come December. Ouch!
So, essentially, for 92% of us, New Year’s Resolutions just don’t work. And I have a theory on why that is. Want to hear it?
For years I was a corporate executive and then moved on to being a consultant and coach in 2000, and four years ago I shifted to helping other coaches and consultants build their businesses. In all these roles, one thing I have studied fervently is Change Management and it has always been the key foundational element in my work. It is not enough to want to change… in order for change to happen, desire has to be 10x greater than the obstacles, resistance or challenges.
What’s fascinating is that when your desire is truly high enough, you will seemingly sail over obstacles that other people can’t fathom. Think of some of the great leaders, such as Martin Luther King Jr. or Gandhi, who both achieved great change when it seemed not only improbable, but impossible. Their desire was so high, that they could not turn their back on their dream, even if it meant risking their life. They believed so much in power of their dreams, that giving way to opposition simply was not an option.
While these are extreme examples, we can overcome our resistance, obstacles and challenges when we are totally anchored to our desire so that it is 10x greater than anything standing in our way. Fulfillment coaching (one of the CTI pillars of coaching), is one method of achieving great clarity of vision. Generating structures and accountability to support you in staying anchored to that desire can aid in keeping that desire strong. Creating vision boards, accountability partners, visualizations you can do continually to keep you connected to your future vision, having a one page business plan on your bulletin board where you see it constantly are all helpful tools in connecting and re-connecting to your desire. The key to follow through is keeping your desire present and center stage.
So what if your desire is high, but the obstacles/challenges/resistance (internal or external) are still holding you back? Then you need to look at these, shift, resolve or eliminate them. Often times, our inner saboteurs operate at a subconscious level and block our way. That inner voice that tells you to eat the cookie or says you’re too tired to work on your business. It’s the voice that sounds really convincing but is in conflict with your higher truth.
The first step is to identify what your obstacles and challenges are. Bring the unconscious to consciousness by putting them in the spotlight and naming them. Usually as we bring these things to light, they automatically start to neutralize. They don’t seem so big or daunting. With a coach or accountability partner, you can brainstorm ways to recognize, minimize and handle these detractors. And some may require some deeper process work or belief clearing to reduce their influence.
Essentially, the heart of many of the obstacles, challenges and resistance is the “not knowing how” and getting overwhelmed at HOW to get from here, all the way to over there. One thing to remember is that you don’t need to know every step along the way, you just need to know what to do next…and then what’s next after that.
As I say to my clients, if you want to go from CA to NY on a road trip, you need to have your tools ready (like the car/truck/van, the map or mapping program, plenty of potato chips and diet coke). And you need to have a sense of the big picture (if you’ll go over the mountains, or go south to avoid them, if there are sights to see along the way, about how much time it will take to get there and how many hours you want to spend driving each day). But what you don’t need to know is which gas station you’ll stop at in Topeka, or even what hotel you’ll stay at each night. Those details can be figured out later. All you need to focus on, is what is in your headlights and how many miles before your next pit stop.
And yet some of the greatest resistance comes from the trepidation of “not knowing how”. And it’s one of the biggest things that keeps people stuck exactly where they are. How many times have you said, “I’ll tackle that later”, yet later never comes?
If you want to be one of the 8%, it means doing everything you can to heighten your desire and lower your obstacles, challenges and resistance. Clearly this is a challenge in and of itself, which is why coaches have such job security because it is really hard to navigate big change without major support. Sure, there is a cost to coaching and not everyone is willing to invest in themselves, even though there can be a huge opportunity cost to not getting support. Feeling bad about ourselves because we never lose that weight; putting our business dreams on the shelf; the rinse and repeat doldrums of being in a job that simply pays the bills; that constant yearning for more than we have.
Don’t let that be you. What needs to shift in you to be part of the 8%? What kind of support do you want to provide your clients so they can be part of the 8%?
I hope this has opened your eyes and helped inspire you. As always, I’d love to hear from you with your thoughts, feedback and questions!