Give Me The Fish (GMTF): Every year people create New Years resolutions in an attempt to improve their lives, and every year they fail. At the end of the day, a New Years resolution is just words with little meaning unless they are tied into something that drastically affects your life. If you want to change your life, great, but do it when you notice the problem and have a clear-cut way to fix it. Chances are, noticing that problem is not on the 31st of December.
Forget The New Years Resolution and Change Your Life
Forget the New Years resolution. It’s a cultural dead-end habit that rarely results in anything more than a conversation topic. Words mentioned on one day of the year are not going to up-end your years of bad habits or addictions. If you are not emotionally invested in what you are committing yourself to, you’re going to fail to change your life.
People are only able to make sustained life-changing choices when they are able to tie a major impact of it to their lives. An impact that overrides whatever was holding them to their past lifestyle.
They might have a practical reason, they might have a logical well-thought-out reason, but that’s not the real reason they were able to change. There was one emotional tie-in that was finally able to push that emotional elephant that all people have into gear to make that change.
While you can dive into the details by reading Switch by Chip and Dan Heath, this is one of those facts that you probably see in daily life, but choose to ignore. But if you want to change your life, you need to start understanding what actually affects your personal growth and direction.
Your Reason To Change Your Life Needs To Outweigh Your Reason For Staying How You Are
There is one reason why you chose to pick a certain path in life, there is one reason why you picked a certain decision, and there’s one thing that made you marry that girl.
People like to say there are multiple “Pros” to the decisions they make, but it’s a lie and they know it.
Look at the last big change in your life, and think about what actually made you change. What stopped you from smoking, what caused you to get in shape, or what caused you to finally go and get that degree?
As you dig down deep, you know what that one thing is that made you change your life whether you choose to admit it to the public or not.
As you do some self-examination you’re going to find it is tipped off by some kind of emotional decision, whether it’s a fear of peer pressure, an extremely over-optimistic bout of excitement, extreme pleasure, or pure rage.
This doesn’t mean that everything you do is done on a whim; we can head off emotional decisions in the moment. But, if you are looking for a long-term change and for you to be able to stick to it, you need something that hits you, as a good friend puts it, right in the “feels”.
To Change Your Life It Needs To Hit Right In The Feels
Find out why you want to change your life. Understand what makes you unhappy about it. What makes you scared about it. Then find a way to publicize that, find a way to fix it, and make sure there is some kind of emotional drive to invest yourself in the solution.
The first steps are to break it down to the basics:
- Understand your problem
- Understand why it emotionally affects you
- Be able to clearly state what you need to change
- Make a personal motto
Then create a motto, this motto will encompass what you want to reach, and will be repeated by you as often as you can throughout the day… Forever.
Or, until you don’t need it anymore and you pick a new goal.
It’s probably going to sound dumb and childish, but that’s ok, it’s just for you.
I was just humiliated in an indoor track workout. I saw 10 guys pass me and finish a full 10 seconds in front of me in a 400m sprint. The same week, I failed at a wrestling competition and washed out in the first round and when I got off the mat, I was told: “It looks like you could use some strength”. That day, I decided to make a change.
I hate it when I’m the weakest link. I want to be the guy that holds the team up. I want to be the guy that everyone wants to be. Motto: “I will not be the weakest link”
This all works best if you do it right when the problem happens. Whatever you feel is the same thing that you want to be able to conjure up when you repeat your motto to yourself, when you’re in the gym trying to lift that weight (get stronger). Or, when you’re turning down that dessert (lose weight). Or, when someone screws up and you’re trying not to punch them in the face (solve an anger problem). It’s this constant self-reminder that is actually going to push you to change your life.
Not some random words spoken on the 31st of December for your New Years “resolution”.
Peer pressure is a powerful motivator.
Next, you are going to find a way to publicize your goal to change your life. Preferably without you sounding like your 6 and not being a randomly selected number (Here at Recast & Reforge, we do things for a reason).
There are numerous ways to publicize your attempts. The best ways are to find a competition to sign up for and then tell everyone about it or pick a challenge that you have to finish.
While it needs to include fixing your problem, it doesn’t need to be the focus.
Lose weight: Grappling/Wrestling competition. There are lots of these for amateurs. Pick a weight class that you need to get to, sign up for the competition, then find a coach, in that order.
Stop being weak: Sign up for a powerlifting competition, sign up for a race, or decide to rock climb a mountain.
Call your family more: Dumb thing to change, why do you want this? Are you lonely: Join groups or sign up for classes. Is it because you miss them? Then sign up to do something with them, or decide to learn a new skill at the same time as them but afar. The reason for this, it gives you an incentive to actually call them.
Forget The New Years Resolution
We are all about being better than average, and to do this, you have to make a drastic change to your life, but that means that these changes should be constant. Don’t wait for the New Years resolution and don’t wait for a designated time or place, do it when it matters.
When you do decide to make that change, understand why you want that change and find a way to be emotionally invested. Find out why you want that change and use it as a battering ram to overthrow your years of bad habits and problems to change your life for the better.
Moral of the story, New Years resolutions don’t work because regardless of what people tell you, words only mean something if they are connected to an emotional context.
Even if you come up with how you need to change your life on new year’s, don’t make it a New Years resolution, make it a new part of your life. Changes to your lifestyle are not for the year, it’s for you, and it’s for life.