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You can do it in 2015:  The Ecology of Resolution.

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The Ecology of Resolution.  You can do it in 2015!

By Mike Stokes

You know how it is.  You say to yourself,  “this year I’m going to lose that extra fat” or “this year I’m going to take that trip I’ve always wanted to take” or “New Year’s resolutions don’t work.  It’s better to just go with the flow” or “I don’t have the willpower.”  And usually nothing changes either because you didn’t try or you tried and failed.

Well, I’m here to tell you that you can succeed at New Years Resolutions, they’re totally worth it and you don’t need willpower.  You just need desire, some courage, and some tools.  The desire and courage are yours to bring to the game, but I’ll give an introduction to the tools that will maximize your chances for success.

Be specific, time limited, and conservative.  For example, I will do two 20 minute cardio workouts a week for the next month.  Don’t be vague.  Make your goal small, with an end date, and be as specific as possible.  You need to feel the excitement and power of saying, “I said I would do it and I did it!”  Then make another goal.

Failures are Opportunities to learn to Succeed.  If your goal was to work out 3xs a week and you missed a week, and if you are like most people, you will start thinking, “see, I can’t do it,” or  “I don’t have what it takes,” or  “that was a dumb goal,” or “I’m really too busy.”  Ninety-five percent of the time those stories are false and are only to placate our damaged ego.   Any capacity that you don’t have will require you to fail and learn as you develop.  Instead of interpreting those failures as reasons you should quit, look for the lessons in each.  Ask yourself, “What was different today from yesterday when I did it?  How can I change my behavior, thinking or environment to succeed next time?”

Set a date in the future to start.  Any time you feel pain, you have a strong emotional motivation to change.  But as soon as you start feeling better, your motivation wanes and you loose the urgency you had when you made the goal.  You say to yourself, “Oh, it doesn’t REALLY matter,” or “this is just too hard,” or “ I deserve this ice cream,”  or “this time I really need to…”  Setting the goal in the future does two things.  You get a chance to indulge guilt free; those indulgences will help you refine the goal.  Second, you get habituated to the idea of following through in varying emotional states.

Write the plan down in detail.  What, when, where, how, with whom.  Plan the actions in the finest detail you can. This makes you think through the steps of fulfilling the goal.  Writing it down literally changes your brain to align more with the goal.

Visualize yourself doing the specific actions.  The latest in brain science show that the brain has a very thin distinction between imagination and reality.  If you see it in your mind happening again and again, it will happen.

Plan for roadblocks.  Think through your times, place and actions you’re going to take, and list all the possible reasons you’ll not follow through.  Come up with contingency plans to compensate for those failures.

Practice believing.  Create an affirmation.  Make it Personal, Positive and Present tense.  “I am doing it.  I have what it takes to fulfill my goals”  is good.  But do not say things like “it’s easy and effortless.”  Instead tell yourself, “I have what it takes and I am moving through the inevitable challenges.”  Any new capacity comes with new challenges.

Create a Social Ecosystem of Success.  Once you’ve created a solid plan using the steps above, start telling everyone.  Tell them that this time you are going to succeed.  The more you do this, the more you’re going to have people around you that are pulling you towards your success.  Ideally, create an accountability support group.  Find someone(s) in your life that you don’t like letting down and ask them if they’ll be your accountability buddy.

Make 2015 the year which you achieve your dreams.  With desire, courage, the tools listed above and support from others, you can do it!

Come to the workshop on Jan 5th where you will get all the information and support you need to create your personal ecosystem for success.




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