The Will to Change
Every new year we embark on new resolutions, we start with hopes of a better self in whatever way that may mean to us. Is it a healthier diet, more exercise, removing toxic habits or people from your life? All of us start off the year with the best intentions but it’s going to take more than just good intentions to help you succeed and maintain your success. What you will need to work on is your willpower. Imagine your willpower as a muscle that can be trained. So instead of crashing and burning a month or two in, ditch the all or nothing attitude and set yourself up for a successful twelve months and beyond!
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will”- Mahatma Gandi
Making new goals a permanent part of your life takes a good game plan, taking small daily steps to hold yourself accountable is a great way to start. Good habits start from the inside out. Being aware of what fuel you give your body and how much rest you get at night contributes to a healthy focused brain. It will help you continue to stay physically and mentally strong to work on the best version of yourself. Small successes lead to even bigger ones and focusing on those daily wins will help you ditch the all or nothing mentality that can lead to setbacks. Keep the big goal in mind but don’t be discouraged when a day comes where your willpower isn’t the strongest. Give yourself a break, a minor setback does not mean you need to throw in the towel. Setbacks give you an opportunity to identify what you could have done differently so you can refocus and start again. Practicing and applying daily self-control will help make the new you hang in there for the long term. Taking small positive steps every day to strengthen your willpower muscle is the key to success.
What is it that you really want, is it a bad habit you would like to change? Or a new lifestyle you wish to establish? Recognizing what it is that you truly want to work towards is the first step of a successful strategy. Writing down your goals and having it somewhere you can see every day will help to empower you to work for the transformation you really desire. From the start set your intention on a positive new beginning, change is hard and your going to have to really want it to not give in to temptation. Being mindful of your goals and writing out your strategy is a great way to be prepared and get started.
Eleanor Roosevelt said “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”
Instead of wishing for a new you, start a plan and make it happen!
How are you going to achieve the new version of yourself, what are you willing to do to get to where you would like to be? Acknowledge what lifestyle changes you’re going to make. What will work best for you and your lifestyle to set you up for maximum success? If your goal is to exercise more often, are you willing to get up at five am to get to the gym before work or are you going to pack your bag and get there after? Being prepared for the day ahead of you is incredibly important. If you tend to be sleepy in the morning and getting into the gym at five sounds like a chore that’s okay, adjust your plan to what will work best for your long-term success. Knowing and understanding how to apply your willpower in a way that is the most beneficial for your lifestyle will help you to easily navigate through obstacles.
The final step to help you achieve lasting success isn’t always in your “I wills” it’s also knowing your “I wont’s”. It is essential to identify what you are willing to say no to. For example, in the hopes of saving more money are you willing to say no when you’re asked to go out for lunch at work? Even if that means disappointing your colleagues. Are you prepared to say no to a late-night party, so you can study and be ready to ace the test? There are always going to be difficulties that get in the way of reaching the outcome you would like to manifest. Identify early what “no’s” you will need to embrace to help you experience the most success on your journey. Being prepared ahead of time will take away the surprise situations where your willpower could be weakened. Saying no to temptation doesn’t mean you have to fight the battle alone either, having support of family or friends is extremely important to lifelong success. Find others that share your aspirations for positive change, someone you can call if there’s a day when your willpower isn’t the strongest or a friend you can set time with to help you stick to your goals.
“Be strong, be fearless, be beautiful. And believe that anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you.” -Misty Copeland
Setting your intentions to kick off the new year off right is a great place to get started. Building that willpower muscle with a simple strategic plan and consistency will help you keep up the Positive Forward Motion and continue those new healthy habits long after the new year.