A Better Approach to New Year’s Resolutions
► Why Don’t Resolutions Work?
► The Four Secrets to Successful Resolutions
► The Change Sequence
► Mastering the Art of Change
► Take Charge of Your Happiness: A Special Private Offer
Let’s face it: the truth about traditional New Years resolutions (and resolutions in general) is that they don’t really work. Want to know the hidden reason why? It’s that most resolutions, at best, are little more than good intentions, and at worst, they’re merely fancy-sounding "shoulds"!
Good intentions by themselves rarely result in lasting change! And "shoulds" are even worse at creating lasting change than good intentions alone. Both reflect a wish that you had more motivation, readiness or willingness than you have about this desire in this particular moment. Making a resolution based on good intentions alone is a sure path to later feeling inadequate, guilty, shameful, hopeless, or stupid, when you realize you didn’t succeed at making your resolution come true.
The good news is that there IS a way to greatly improve your chances that your resolutions will come true… no matter whether the change you want is a new attitude, skill, habit, or achievement.
Here are the four keys to creating the changes you desire:
1) HONOR the Change Sequence: Be clear about the stages though which change happens and follow the sequence all the way through to the end (you’ll discover these stages in "The Change Sequence" section below);
2) PINPOINT Where You Are in the Change Sequence: Be impeccably honest with yourself about where you are in that sequence regarding the particular change you want to make;
3) SELECT the Right Actions for Where You Are: Choose your actions based on where you ARE in that sequence, not based on where you WANT to be (each stage in "The Change Sequence" section below includes a brief description of what mastering that stage includes);
4) RESOLVE Your Success Objections: Change entails risk. So does not changing! How effectively you identify and handle these will determine the extent to which you will succeed. (You’ll find more about this in change stage 5 below.)
Change occurs in a predictable eight-stage sequence. If you try to proceed out of sequence, you will likely be inefficient and frustrated at best, or feel hopeless and defeated at worst. The change sequence is: 1) Gleams; 2) Commitment; 3) Preparation; 4) Training; 5) Manifesting; 6) Anchoring; 7) Teamwork; and 8) Mentoring/Leadership.
1. GLEAMS: Gleams are about wanting the end (a goal) but not the means (what you’ll have to do to achieve the goal). There’s nothing wrong with having a Gleam. In fact, Gleams are dream incubators. The Gleams Trap is mistaking a Gleam for a Commitment.
2. COMMITMENT: Commitment occurs when you access the passion that is necessary for doing whatever is necessary to manifest a Gleam. This is the shift from “wanting to want” to "authentic wanting.” It occurs when a goal stops being a "should" or a "wouldn’t it be nice if" desire into being a passion.
3. PREPARATION: Change is rarely as simple as snapping your fingers. It requires revising priorities and selecting best resources. Revising your priorities includes changing your habits or lifestyle to create the time and energy necessary to enact your Commitment. Selecting best resources means deciding which resources you’ll use to help you reach your goal in as efficient, rapid and effortless a way as possible.
4. TRAINING: During the Training stage you practice using your selected resources to create a new habit, ability or other change. This is the stage when your change process moves into full swing. How consistent you are in following your chosen Training regimen reveals whether your desired change is a true Commitment or if it still remains a Gleam.
5. MANIFESTING: When you are repeatedly and consistently applying your training toward your committed goal you have entered the Manifestation stage. But, here’s the big "change paradox:" The more you move toward success the more your self-defeating programming, patterns or baggage are likely to pop up. Three common examples of this include: "It will be unsafe for me (or for certain people in my life) for me to be successful in this way." "I don’t really deserve this amount of good." "If I finally succeed with this it will mean that someone who did me wrong in the past will have gotten away with what they did." Not dealing with the limiting beliefs that come up is the reason why people will often self-destruct during the Manifestation stage: they might have had inner permission to try to make this change, but they didn’t establish the inner permission to succeed. If you notice this sort of thing coming up in you, don’t panic. It’s really common. But, don’t run away from it either. It is important to confront the question: "What are my blocks to sustaining higher levels of good in my life?" (Blocks include objections, risks, and/or old unfinished business, which is often referred to as "baggage.") Don’t hesitate to seek competent assistance in resolving these blocks. Your success with your goal depends on you getting past them! (Energy Psychology methods — either the self-help version or provided by a well-trained practitioner — can be particularly helpful in resolving these blocks.)
6. ANCHORING: You have Anchored the change you were making when your new belief, skill, habit or way of living has become natural and automatic; that is, second nature. This new rootedness is what makes your change resistant to backsliding. You can tell that your change has become Anchored when it continues (or you rapidly and easily return to it), even during times of stress or other life challenges.
7. TEAMWORK: People tend to discover that as they develop individual mastery with a new attitude, skill, habit, or achievement, they prefer to spend most of their time with others who have also succeeded with this. Teamwork is partly about being stimulated to new levels of proficiency by a nourishing community of like-minded people, and partly about enjoying the pleasures of synergy: co-creating with others greater results than any one person can create on their own.
8. MENTORING: Becoming successful naturally leads to a desire to have a positive influence on others. Mentoring is a form of Teamwork in which you take others under your wing to coach them in developing the attitude, skill, habit or achievement you have now Anchored in yourself.
The better you become at distinguishing between Gleams and Commitments, the better you will get at selecting the best resolutions for you to pursue at any given time.
The better you become at recognizing and dealing with your success objections, the more enjoyable and rapid your change process will be.
The more you focus your efforts on the change sequence stage you’re currently in, the more efficiently you’ll move forward.
And the more you follow and complete the entire eight-stage change sequence, the more successful you will be with your resolutions.
Now, go for it!
Would you like to go even further and use the information in this article to master the art of Sustainable Happiness? Since the end of World War II our culture has been under the spell of a life fulfillment formula that promises happiness through constantly buying one thing after the next after the next. This faulty happiness formula has created a population of consumers who are committed to generating huge profits for businesses because they believe their happiness depends on having what marketers have made them believe will make them happy. All while their happiness remains as elusive as ever.
Now it’s finally possible to create sustainable happiness and success without sacrificing integrity, people or social responsibility. Don’t you owe it to yourself to start off the new year right by discovering how to create this for yourself and with those you love?
The New IQ: How Integrity Intelligence Serves You, Your Relationships and Our World is the SIX-award-winning step-by-step guide to putting sustainable happiness back in your own hands where it belongs. It shows you precisely how to reorganize your life around the common-sense three-part formula that DOES create sustainable happiness: 1) Being fully yourself PLUS 2) Enjoying nourishing relationships with others PLUS 3) Having positive impact in your spheres of influence.
The New IQ Integrity Makeover Workbook is a ten module self-study guide enabling you to customize the material in The New IQ book to fit your own unique goals and life circumstances.
Are you ready to return your happiness back to your own hands, where it’s always been (even though unscrupulous marketers have encouraged you to forget this)? If so, these two resources enable you to create a complete personally tailored action plan for your personal development in second decade of the twenty-first century!
© 2005, 2009 Integrity Revolution, LLC, Willingness Works® & Dr. David Gruder
Disclaimer: The information in this article, in all of Dr. Gruder’s products, and throughout this website, is purely educational. You and you alone are responsible for how you make sense of it and what you do with it. In addition, it is not medical or psychological advice, nor is it a substitute for consulting or working with a qualified helping professional. This sole purpose of this educational material is to share what Dr. Gruder has learned from his own personal experiences and from what the thousands of people he has served over the past three decades have taught him. Dr. Gruder encourages you to make your own decisions about your development, health care, and resource selections, based upon your own research as an informed consumer, and in partnership with a qualified helping professional whenever appropriate.
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