We are about halfway through January and those resolutions we made on the first are getting a little wobbly. Surveys show that by February 80% of us will have dumped our New Year’s initiative to make a life change. There are lots of good reasons for this: the weather, the goodies lurking around the house, the leftover angst of family interaction, and most importantly the wording for our new resolve.
When making our resolutions we usually start it with, “This year I’m going to (fill in the blank).” By putting our action in the future, it can hang out there forever. You don’t have a start date and you can procrastinate all the way to end of the year and then blame your failure on the lack of time available.
Instead use an “I am” statement. By putting yourself right smack on it and making it your daily mantra, your resolution becomes an instant reality… that is, with a commitment from you. Our brains believe what we tell them. So, if you say to yourself, “I am healthy” you will start thinking like a healthy person. You’ll at least consider taking the stairs or parking a few spaces further from the door at the mall and while you are wandering the grocery store, you’ll more likely pick up fruit instead of chips for your snack. That’s what healthy people do, and you are now among them.
Maybe your issue is punctuality. Rather than saying “I won’t be late in 2020” go with “I am 10 minutes early for my appointments.” Your brain will jump in to help make that happen because as you repeat it to yourself you also start to figure out how to make it a reality.
Your financial resolution could be “I am thrifty.” With that in mind, you can still go to your favorite coffee shop but instead of your café mocha latte double espresso with whipped cream you opt for a regular cup of joe in your travel mug. Or just fill that mug up at home and feel extremely proud of yourself.
To make a successful change in your life first decide what the end result should be, start envisioning yourself as that person, make your commitment to it, and then claim it with an “I am” statement that you repeat to yourself throughout the day to stay your course. You can reinforce your message by scribing it on post-it notes and plastering them in key spots at home, at work, or in your car. The repetition helps to reinforce your commitment.
Starting right now you are what you think you are. What is your “I am…”?
By Contributing Author, Jane H. Maulucci, The Reactive Voice, LLC