Before I tell you the HUGE mistakes I made, three years in a row, I will tell you what I will NOT talk about today. Nope, I will NOT talk about resolutions. I will not tell you to make resolutions because resolutions are meant to be broken. Let me tell you what I have learn in the past three years making resolutions. In our mind, our society has given a temporary state surrounding a resolution. So, we feel that resolutions are temporary. There’s even an international day of break your resolution. Did you know that? Yes, January 17th is the break your resolution day. So no, I will not talk about resolutions, nor will I make resolutions this year.
I discovered that it is best to make life changes, commitment, new habits, new routines because that’s the place to work from if you want permanent results. That is what I do all the time with my clients and somehow, I had it all wrong when it came to my own personal life. If you are creating a resolution, you are creating something temporary.
Just like, when I work with people in my THINK Yourself® THIN program, I talk about avoiding diets because they are temporary. I prefer to promote a no diet approach. I’m talking about making changes in our lives that are permanent and not being temporarily on a diet because everything that is perceived as temporary by our brain will definitely work while you’re doing it. And then when it’s over, you go back to normal. So, instead, if you say: “This year I will make a change and from now on I will do this.” It’s very different than if you say: “I will do this for one year”. Even if you do it for a month only or for 10 days only, or for two weeks or until my daughter’s wedding or whatever, if it’s perceived as being temporary, more likely it’s not going to work in the long run. Just like if you quit smoking. You have never heard anyone say: “I will quit smoking for a month or for a year and then take it on again”. Right? Or have you heard someone in an abusive relationship ever say: “I will leave them for a month or a year and then get back with them.” Really? When something is worth quitting, it is worth quitting it for good.
So, you have to find a way to make your commitment permanent and it starts by the way you call them.
Here is what happened to me, so you can learn from MY mistakes. About three years ago, in 2017, I didn’t eat dessert all year long except on my birthday, on my husband’s birthday and on our anniversary. (It was part of the rule that I was going to be allowed a few times during the year). So that year, I completely stopped, and I was used to not eating dessert. Then my resolution was over. And the following year I started eating dessert again and I was right back to where I started because it was a resolution. And even though I was very proud of myself for maintaining it for a whole year, it was just a resolution.
Do you think I learned then? No! I did it again! The following year, in 2018: Same thing with purchasing. I spent a whole year without buying anything. I actually kept my resolution again. I had just come back from my first trip to Haiti and, I was overwhelmed with the amount of stuff I had, noticing how my orphan friends in Haiti can live with nothing over there. I decided to purge and to simplify my life by making this resolution that would last a year.
So I didn’t buy anything for a year. I bought grocery and necessities and did not buy anything else for myself or for the house or any new courses or any new investment for my business or, or anything. It was a resolution. So when my resolution was over the year after, I started buying stuff again as it was temporary. I had created a habit during the year and then, when the resolution was over, I lost the habit of doing that. It did not come back overnight, of course, it took me a good six to eight months before I got back the point where I was before, but still, I went right back there. It did not stick either.
Do you think I learned then? Nope. In 2019, I did it again. This time, I thought I would combine both, That I would not buy anything, nor would I eat dessert from January 1st until December 25th, so that at Christmas, I would be allowed to eat dessert and on boxing day, I would be allowed to shop. So here I went in 2019 and didn’t buy anything, nor did I eat dessert and it became a habit. It is now January 4th 2020, and I have eaten more dessert in the past 10 days than the normal person would eat in a year! My brain really perceived the whole thing as temporary. Again. Alas.
So let me tell you that the last 10 days have taught me a lot. No, I’m not calling anything a resolution anymore. I am now changing my beliefs about shopping and nutrition. I am telling myself that I used to think that I was keeping myself from buying and eating dessert on a temporary basis. Now I am willing to learn how it feels to actually make these behaviours permanent in my life. I am in the process of making these as something that I just do. All the time. Until I can fully believe that I just buy what I really need. I’ve changed my way of living and in my life now, I just think before I buy and I buy what I really need. I will just asked myself what I really need and if it’s not a necessity, then I will pass. Same thing with dessert. I know I am able to do it because I have done it twice for a full year. I know that the missing piece is that I did not program it well in my mind.
So in 2020 my plan, my commitment to myself, to my health, to my lifestyle is that I am implementing a new permanent habit of buying only what I really need and eating healthy food. Notice how I did not say: NOT buying and NOT eating dessert. When you set up a goal, or when you think or speak, it is imperative that you say what you want, NOT what you don’t want. That was a HUGE mistake on my end. I spend three years NOT buying and NOT eating dessert. So I was constantly reminded of what I did NOT want to do. Now I am saying it VERY differently. I am buying what I really need and I am eating healthy. That’s gonna stick this time because that’s a way of living and it is STATED IN THE POSITIVE. It’s very different than thinking of it as a resolution, going away from something.
Change the way you think about your commitments and make them sink in your mind. Make the neurons connect permanently in your brain. Use positive statement and chose something that you want to do for the rest of your life. A small thing that you start doing.
If you need a reminder on how to change a limiting belief, you can read my previous post WILL YOU AVOID THE COMMON TRAP? Here.