How many of you still make New Year’s Resolutions? I used to be a New Year’s Resolver and sometimes made it to February before the flame fizzled out. Here we are on the cusp of March, are you still going strong on your new goal for self?
I can honestly answer that yes, now. I’m constantly renewing and rebuilding the mental structure of myself nowadays. Its an ever changing, flowing, evolving process. Within that flow, I am consistent in my focus on the new goal and I persist until I’ve “won” it. What changed? Why now do I consistently enjoy success, where for all the previous decades of my life I fizzled by this time of year?
Why do we do it to begin with? Because we desire more, we desire better, we desire evolution. Hopefully your answer is yes to your persistence on your new goal, but don’t beat yourself up if its a no. We make New Year’s Resolutions because we are supposed to…that’s what everyone does. New Year, New You! But if we truly desired a new us, we’d be doing it. all the time. anyway. I’ve said it before, evolution is not a thousand years from now thing, or a 10,000 years ago thing. Evolution is an ongoing, ever changing, expanding process that is constantly happening NOW.
True change requires consistency and persistence and the majority of folks dwell within an INSTANT gratification mentality. (I’m gonna lose 30 pounds by this weekend!!) I did, I’m not gonna lie (no, not lose 30 pounds in a week, but I used to exist in an instant gratification mentality). Not that there is anything wrong with this, it’s a perfectly viable way to move through life, from a certain perspective. But it lacks the oomph usually required for an “I’m gonna make this the best year ever!” Or, become my best self ever! Or, I’m gonna FINALLY start that exercise program, or write that book, or quit my job and paint full time, or …or…or, whatever your IT is.
We make a new goal for ourselves, for our life and get caught up in the emotion of it all, my God, its exhilarating! Just thinking about it! Oh the possibilities!! I’m gonna change the world!!!! And then…after a couple of days, weeks or maybe even months, if we don’t “see” the results we think we should have…. challenges arise, sometimes seemingly impossible challenges and the momentum of the “old” life drags you inexorably back…fizzle goes the flame. Why? Because we turn around and look at what we’ve got, instead of keeping our eyes (and feelings and focus) on the prize.
You want to be different, better, happier, stronger, fitter, more affluent, etc. only you get sucked back into old habits, old patterns of being, feeling stuck. What’s missing, what’s the catch, how do I stop doing that…going back to the seemingly easier old habits? FYI, old habits are not easier, they are simply more familiar. An old habit is only easier to maintain due to air time, familiarity, consistency and persistent application.
So engage your beautiful mind my friends. Take your habitual focus off of the old familiar patterns and habits and CONSISTENTLY place it on the new desired habit or tendency or way of being. Take losing weight for example, or starting an exercise program to get swole, err whatever. Again, it’s March so all the ads for swim suits and getting beach ready are blasting across the media. Making you paranoid and feeling like you NEED to change, “ahh and I MUST DO IT NOW, so I can be beach ready by tomorrow! Oh Great Goombah help me!”
If you are 20, 30, 50, 80 pounds overweight, or underweight or just generally out of shape, you can’t change that overnight. You just can’t, I don’t care what cleanse you take, or radical celebrity diet, or whatever supercharged workout program you begin, how many supplements you shove down your gullet or protein shakes you consume. It’s not going to happen overnight. It is a process.
It WILL happen. And it will get easier and easier as you PERSIST in your new habits, your habits of thinking and believing first and foremost. Mental habits precede physical habits, so you have to change the mental track before the physical results will follow. I’m using health as an example, but apply this to any area of your life you desire significant change. Want a new or better job, want a new or better relationship, want a new or better house, win friends , influence people, that sort of thing, etc First change your thoughts, beliefs, habits, patterns.
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” James 1:22
What’s the difference between just being a hearer and a doer? Night and day. I was a hearer only for years and years and years. I thought if I just read the book I’d absorb the information and presto chango, I’d be instantly transformed into who I wanted to be (thinner, fitter, richer, better at relationships, smarter, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, J.K. Rowling…etc)
Only problem was…I didn’t actually CHANGE any of my habits because I didn’t put forth the effort to change my thinking. Sure I read the book, but I didn’t apply the exercises, I didn’t actually DO any of the suggestions that were offered in the hundreds and hundreds of books I’ve read on all the assorted subjects that tickled my fancy. Well, let me clarify, I would attempt the easiest ones, the ones that didn’t take much effort or time. (Because I was SO busy…busy drowning in my old habits).
I would give it a half-assed go for a week, MAYBE two but inevitably I would fall back into the old patterns. I never allowed myself to become FAMILIAR with the new thoughts, thereby transforming them into new habits. I was much more consumed with the easy quick fix. Of which there was none, I came to find out, through trial and lots of error. “be ye doers of the word”, means, you know, actually DO something different, even if that doing is merely changing the way you think about something. Thinking is actually a DOING, believe it or not. I was consistent in my lack of consistency and persistence, in regards to the NEW and thereby found myself swallowed up once again by the old familiar patterned way of being 😀
So what changed? Awesome, inspirational, drool worthy pics of Dwayne Johnson aside, he didn’t step off the page and fix things for me. Nor did Indiana Jones sweep in and save the day. No, I did. I changed, and that change starts with self and how you think of said self. I made a commitment to myself to become a doer of the word and not a hearer only, who was constantly deceived by my overwhelming self-limiting habits and beliefs. How?
I picked up the book I was most inspired to pick up and I read it cover to cover and I truly and legitimately made an effort to apply the exercises to CHANGE my habitual way of thinking and being. I listened to Youtube videos. I picked the ones that “spoke” to me. I followed the teachers that sparked something within me, people who were living the life I wanted to live. I went to workshops. I read some more. I got on Facebook pages that were in line with my desires.
I took advice from successful people on what worked for them and began APPLYING it. I followed their advice on what worked for them. I TRIED things. Did I follow their exercises exactly? Not always, in the beginning I did. The more my confidence in myself grew, the more I tweaked them to work for me, but I DID them, and I kept doing the ones that seemed to benefit me the most. I began coming up with my own exercises.
Day after day after day after day, consistently. Until one day I realized my new habits were more familiar than my old habits. Now it felt odd to engage in something that just a few months ago I thought was super duper, or at least how I SHOULD do something. I don’t recognize the person I was even two years ago, because I’m an utterly new individual, and I hope to not recognize myself 6 months from now because I’ve evolved way beyond the point I’m at now!
You want to get ripped? Go to the gym and lift heavy, consistently. You want to publish that book? Keep writing, consistently. You want to lose weight? Stick to your health plan, consistently. You want to change the way you see the world? See the world differently, consistently. Day after day after day after day, always with that end goal in sight, always with the intention of persistently responding in a way congruent with your new habit, your new desired way of being, thinking, eating, moving, acting, etc. FEEL how you imagine it feels to BE who and what you desire to be.
And you know what? Everyday is different, some days you wake up and its easy as pie. It all just flows and you think, this is the best change I ever made, why didn’t I do this years ago? And other days you are gonna wake up and want to just bury yourself back under your sheets. Old cravings arise, old habits come knocking, old boyfriends show up, life throws something at you that triggers 50 destructive habitual tendencies and you think, what’s the use, this is so hard, it sucks, but it’s just easier to eat chocolate cake doused in vodka.
Some days I voluntarily launch myself off the wagon and just roll around in the old habits. Not as often as I used to, its more of a ” and how do I feel about this now?” scenario, I do it consciously to see if there is any residual belief or pattern hanging around that I need to clean up. I don’t do this often, as I really have reached a point where it no longer serves a purpose to intentionally punish or abuse myself with old self-destructive or delusional habits. The choice is always there, always available, and sometimes I do take it, but I get back up because I like the new view of life that the new habits offer. I am consistent in my return to my new vision of self and I get back on the damn horse, even if it scares me.
Persist! Persist! Remind yourself, in whatever manner best works for you! Have a plan, write it down, remind yourself WHY you are changing. Be consistent in your dedication to the new you!! Sometimes that might mean you spend a day in bed, don’t offer judgment on your familiarization process, that just slows it down. Rapid self-growth can be exhausting and overwhelming, so be easy on yourself. But redirect your mental habits along the new trail of thought as frequently as possible. IF you are having a bad day, go pick up a book from your favorite teacher, go watch a movie, call a friend that can help get you back on track or will listen and allow you to simply be at the level you are at, go take a nap, go eat cake. Don’t give up though. Never give up on yourself.
Any dream is possible, if you have a dream for your life, it did not come without purpose, and no, that purpose is not to torment you by lack of fulfillment. Your dreams are your own, they are an invitation from your higher self, calling you ever upward and into expansion. Evolution of the soul, that’s what your dreams are. Heed that call, don’t just listen, an idle wisher, to your own dreams, they are sent with purpose. Take steps towards the fulfillment of them, if that involves completely overhauling your old habitual patterns of being, then so be it. What one can do, any can do.
Seek inspiration from any source you need to, but commit. Commit to yourself, to your ideal self and be consistent in the new habits you lay down. Believe me, you are worth the effort. You very well might be overcoming a lifetime of detrimental habits, so you have to repeat and repeat and repeat these new habits until they become second nature, just as your old ones were. So persist through the rough patches, be consistent with your new habits until they become utterly familiar and the old ones begin to fall away. Revel in your newfound sense of power and freedom as you evolve well beyond the being you previously thought you were. Wishing you great love and joyous evolution!