There are some simple steps that you can take to make your resolutions real change this year. I would like to point out that I didn’t say easy- just simple. No real change in life is as easy as it appears, but the solutions are usually simple ones. In the next posts I will break down 4 reasons why we don’t seem to be able to make resolutions (or any change for that matter) stick and some potential solutions. Not all of them may resonate with you but hopefully there will be some useful tips along the way that you can easily apply to your resolutions.
- We don’t work through the emotional energy tied to the bad habit
This is the most common pitfall that we have as humans when we want to make change so I will spend more time on this than the other three. With good intent, we make a decision that tomorrow we will start doing things differently. We will just begin to make new choices and really test that will power of ours. When we slip up, we then reprimand ourselves with tons of negative self-talk, and so begins the downward spiral back to our old habits.
What are we missing? It is simple really. We don’t take the time to acknowledge and work through the reason we may need this change in the first place. Depending on the seriousness of the resolution we are making, this can be a crucial step in actually moving forward. No matter how small your resolution is, this step will help you.
As we live through life, our emotions, past choices and experiences all become stored energy, sort of like a memory, in our bodies and minds. All our choices are driven by this energy. Until we acknowledge what energy is driving a poor behavior it will not go away. We can work hard based on will power and sheer determination, and we may successfully change that one habit, but this energy will manifest in a different way that is just as bad. Majority of the time, these poor habits are driven by painful memories that we try to forget. We don’t want to fully experience this pain so we push it down until it is nothing stored energy waiting to be felt. It will creep up a time or two to remind us that it is there, and we continue to self-medicate with poor habits. It is human nature to avoid things that are uncomfortable, so we do things, even if it isn’t healthy, to try to avoid this pain. Over time we forget this pain even existed and we just look at a poor habit and wonder why we do it. That is when we decide to change the habit, not realizing there is more to be healed.
For example, if a person overeats it may be due to a past experience they have that makes them feel as if they are not good enough. To avoid it they self medicate with food. Over time they forget the original experience or forget that they dealt with it by turning to food. Now, as they overeat it seems like a response to current situations, not linking it to the past. They begin to try to change but get frustrated and eventually feel it is useless and no diet ever really works.
Anytime we demonstrate some self-sabotaging behavior (no matter how small) it is generally tied to something from our past that needs to be healed. It may not be a big thing, but there is something there we need to address and deal with. The way to fix this is to take time to listen to yourself and your body. When looking at your resolution, ask yourself this simple question; Why do I do this? Acknowledge whatever comes to mind continue to keep asking “why” until you dig deep enough to have found what may need to be healed. Once you get there, simply feel. Explore where that emotion comes from, what memories are driving it. This will all be an indicator of what can help heal that part of you. Then take what steps you may need to move forward. It may be forgiving yourself, adopting affirmations, talking to a therapist or coach, generating a list of people to confront, etc. The list of ways to heal is endless and many things will work depending on your individual situation. Some are quicker than others to heal, but it is all worth it and necessary if you really want to stick to your resolutions. Doing this healing work in conjunction with adopting new behaviors will help the change you are trying to make without it failing or manifesting in a different way.
If this sounds intimidating try it with something really small to start. Also, remember there is always support and this is great to talk through with a close friend. Once you acknowledge what you need to heal, feel free to comment or send me an e-mail if you would like resources or suggestions on what the next steps should look like for you. 🙂