What stops you from starting?
Welcome and Happy New Year. The new year is often a time of renewed hops. People feel inspired and hold hope that this year can make their dreams come true. Many people will set goals they want to achieve. There is a lot of research though that shows that most people will have abandonded those goals by the start of February. So...let's set you up for success and turn your dreams into reality.
What stops some people from starting and stops others from continuing is that many people don’t do something long enough for it to become a habit. To form new habits takes time. Let’s think of an example. You decide that this year you want to get your finances sorted. And then two weeks in you get a catalogue that has some beautiful clothes, or sportwear, or electronic equipment…and it’s all on special. You think you need the thing in the catalogue even though before you got the catalogue you didn’t know that. So…you pause your financial goal to buy the thing.
What you are doing when you buy the thing is looking for a ‘spike of happiness’. You are looking to have a little bit of spontaineity in your world so it feels a bit more exciting by indulging in a little bit of retail therapy. Even the language used to describe shopping for things you don’t need indicates something deeper. When you are considering buying something, before you ever part with your money, you get a little dopamine hit in anticipation of your purchase. Sales and catalogues entice us even more.
And now, we don’t even need to leave home to purchase things. I know that I often get catalogues and special offers in my inbox. Some of them seem to keep turning up even though I unsubscribe from them. I delete most without ever reading them.
One way to combat this is to get into the habit of putting things off. In a world that is screaming at us to ‘have it now’ this can be difficult. In that moment we are thinking about the pleasure we might get from the thing rather than the pain we might feel by indulging. So….what if we could get in the habit of seeing how our decision may cause us pain long term.
Take some time when you see the thing you want and write down the following.
Take a little bit of time and think about the long term impact of what you are about to do. Will this help you in six months time? What about in one year? At the start of 2023 will you be able to look back at this year and be proud of your efforts? Or will you be living in hope that 2023 will be a better year for you and that you will achieve those goals?
I’ve used finances and shopping here as an example but it could be anything. It could be your health and fitness, your relationships or where you live and work. Whatever it is that you want improve in this year, when you are making decisions relating to that part of your life, take time to reflect. It might just change your mind.
#goals #goalsetting #NewYear #resolution #habits #lifecoach
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Sherry is the principal coach and blogger at Inner Rhythm.