January is the top month for people focusing on all the ways they fall short. We create a list of resolutions, determined to do better. If we could just be a little more of the good stuff and a little less of the bad stuff, we would be happy. We could feel good about ourselves. Unfortunately, I cannot recall a single year when that actually happened. So why change?
I am not against change. I am against blind change. Personal change is not easy. It is important to be really clear with yourself why you want to make a specific change. What is the benefit, and is it worth it? Don’t waste change energy on things that are really not important to you, even if someone else thinks it is important. Focus on one thing, or at most three things, you want to change. List simple steps you can do daily to support your objective. Use affirmations to visualize yourself successfully doing the new behavior habitually. Imagine the benefit you will be receiving from the new behavior. The mind can absorb clear visualization almost like doing the real thing.
As you work on building new habits … you will fail at times. That is normal. Do not beat yourself up for falling short. Simply say to yourself, “Next time I will … (the positive new behavior)” and move on. You probably do not need a checklist to brush your teeth in the morning because you think of yourself as someone who brushes their teeth. When you use the “Next time I will …” phrase with your affirmations, you are training your brain to place the new behavior next to your toothbrush. When it becomes ingrained in your self- view, the new behavior will be naturally yours.