Struggling to Hit Your Goals?
By Chris Ihrig
Is Your Resolve Faltering? Don’t Worry – Help Is on The Way
Only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions. If your resolve is faltering, you’re not alone. It’s also not a character flaw.
We tend to think that people who set and achieve goals are mentally strong. We have put willpower, the ability to resist doing things we want to do on a pedestal. Practicing self-control doesn’t improve performance. Does that mean we’re destined to fail? Absolutely not!
What we do is based on the way we define ourselves. Our expectations influence our outcome. If we believe we are a failure we are destined to fail—unless we change our belief. When we believe we will find a way; we will find a way.
Human behavior begins on the inside. Our thoughts determine our words, our thoughts and words combine to form our actions. Attempting to change our behavior by changing our actions without first changing our thoughts, which are determined by our beliefs, creates natural resistance.
It is easy to act in accordance with our beliefs about who we are. I define myself as kind and heart-centered. Acting contrary to my definition of self would take monumental effort. Since it isn’t what I want, it’s not going to happen. Evidence that our beliefs determine our actions is all over the place.
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right” – Henry Ford
Believe You Are the Person You Want to Be
If you set a goal to exercise three days a week but the story you tell goes like this, “I want to exercise regularly but I’m just not the type of person who exercises.” You’re fighting a losing battle until you change your belief about who you are.
You can’t just flip a switch and change your belief. You can coax yourself to overcome resistance your own mind will put in your way. Telling a modified story creates stepping stones that can help you change your belief. You can be general or specific. General statements can loosen the existing belief and make it easier to change. Telling a new story is a lot like putting WD-40 on an old screw. It loosens it up.
“I get to decide who I am. Just because I’ve always been a certain type of person doesn’t mean I have to continue being that way.”
“I never used to be the type of person who exercised regularly but I’m changing. I’m learning to enjoy exercise.”
“I’m going to be nice to myself as I change this belief. I’m going to trust the process. I didn’t become who I am overnight, I won’t become the person I want to be overnight, but I will get there.”
When we believe we are someone we want to be, we become the person we want to be—even if we begin by using make believe.