I read an article that lead to one of those ah ha moments about my business. I knew my business already incorporated some of these elements but I saw it with a different perspective. So I thought I would write it out and share it.
The article was about non- cliché psychology tricks to make your New Year’s resolutions stick. Intriguing right? I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions but I thought I’d check it out just in case I wanted to THIS year (but I didn't make any once again). I had thought, if nothing else I may be able to share it with someone who does partake of that annual tradition that typically starts out enthusiastically and ends a month (I’m being generous) or so later with a little “poof” like a dud firecracker. Like the firecracker in all its glory, the expectation of that sparkly brilliance of successfully changing a bad habit is elating! People cheer, they rally, they high-five, they join you in this brilliant plan! The intention and the date to start is set. The props are put in place; new running shoes, a diet plan, the brand spanking new pack of smoking cessation gum or patches, (insert yours here). The firecracker is ready to be lit!
A week later the doubts set in. The rally-ers are texting mutual feelings of deflation. Excuses are craftily created. A new “start” date is set. THIS time it’s going to work. The firecracker is lit and it is shooting into the air.
The new start date comes and goes. There may be a few days of meal plans that took shape and made it to the table, there may have been a few miles run over a few sporadic days, that gum worked for a day and only 3 cigarettes were smoked – but hey, that’s much less than normal! And then, a feeble pop is heard, a small puff of smoke is briefly seen as it is whisked away by the breeze. The firecracker, and the resolution, are duds. Disappointment sets in. The whys are asked and the excuses are formulated.
Here’s where I tie this together, hang in there! As I was reading the article “7 Psychology Tricks to Make Your Resolutions Stick” by Mandy Oaklander for Time, I thought “HEY! I offer some of these so called tricks (they are really tools) to my coaching clients – and MORE! I need to point this shit out and tie it in to this article.”
My business as a Transformational Life Mentor helping people to move meaningfully forward in their lives, already incorporates some of the tips pointed out in the article and certainly can incorporate others. According to a forthcoming paper in the journal Behavioral Science and Policy, you are actually less likely to PLAN for your goal the more you want it. It seems that we think the intention is enough. Not so. If you have a PLAN in place you are much less likely to procrastinate. People with a plan can see their goal laid out before them and actually achieve their goals more frequently than those who just wing it.
My system is a PLAN! My clients and I co-create a plan that works for them. Part of that plan involves working on shifting inner beliefs so they can get the outer results they are looking for. It’s really pretty awesome stuff.
Another tip is to start on a Monday. Typically people want to start big changes on a significant date, such as January 1st. That feels like a good and natural starting point. Studies show that the most popular date to start to change a bad habit is on a Monday. So there you go! I can work with that if you can. So let’s start working together on a Monday! Honestly, any time is a good time because it means you are decisively taking action toward your dreams and I love to support people to do just that.
This “trick” seems like common sense but it often overlooked. It is to break the goal down into smaller, easily accomplished pieces. You know how awesome it feels to check things off a list and actually see those things done. I do the same thing with my clients. We have the big picture goal, create a plan to get there, and break it down into do-able chunks that can easily be checked of the list. BAM! I get excited just thinking about it!
They don’t mention accountability in the article but I think that is a HUGE motivation factor. I know this to be true for myself. If you are not held accountable for the steps you are taking in your plan to reach your goals will you actually get the steps done in a timely manner? Probably not. Life happens after all. I’m an accountability partner to my clients. That little voice that nudges them to say “Shit, I have to get this done because Cherrise is going to ask me about it and I really want to say I have checked that off my list!”
If this isn’t a motivator I don’t know what is; they suggest in the article to put cash on the line. I know, this may cause a bit of a stir in your gut, create a smidge of anxiety, I get it. Believe me I get it. But if you take an honest look at it, it is true isn’t it? If you invest in yourself you are more likely to actually do what you set out to do. You put cash on the line to ensure that you accomplish your goal. You are holding yourself accountable in this way because you paid something to get something and dammit you will put your all into it to get the results you want. You want your investment to be worth every dime. I can honestly tell you that I never would have accomplished what I had in 2014 if I had not invested in myself. As scary as it was to make that leap I did it and I know there is value in that. Since I truly know the “freak out” feeling that some people (like me) get when they invest in something like coaching, I am committed to my client’s success. I know everyone can reach their goals and create the life they envision.
Realistically and to be completely honest, it likely won’t happen in one big chunk overnight. Big and lasting changes need to settle in over time. In my system we co-create a plan and steps to reach a goal. My clients see where they are and where they are going. There needs to be an investment of resources, including willpower, to make lasting changes in your life. YOU HAVE TO WANT TO MAKE A CHANGE.
Willpower as a resource is actually another little trick. Use your willpower wisely. Conserve this natural resource because it is the opinion of some experts that it is finite. An example given is that if you say no to a glass of wine or cookies at work, you will have less willpower to resist other temptations. True? Perhaps. I can see how if you resist things frequently you may justify giving in to something else which could be construed as losing willpower. Personally, I feel that everything in balance and moderation is relatively a good rule of thumb. If something is not obviously unhealthy or risky behavior then I think common sense and moderation is cool. Nobody needs to go into the “what ifs” here. That’s why I said common sense (wink, wink).
I am there to hold my client’s hand so to speak. We all have doubts, fears, and loss of willpower from time to time. I’m there to support and guide them through this as we work toward their goal. Everyone gets stuck, discouraged, or feels a general lack of energy toward something at some point. That is why it is so important to have a hand-holder and accountability partner to support you.
What I have gleaned from this little article is that my business of helping others has the keys to a successful New Year’s Resolution for both myself and for those who resolve to make changes in their lives in a big and meaningful way. I am all in to creating the inspiration, motivation, and plans to help others make 2015 the year they say “I did it!”
I have created a video series called Th Inpire-views™ to ramp up YOUR get-up-and-go to create big changes in your life. Sign up for The Inspire-view Series™ updates and free membership to The Passion Base at www.CherriseBoucher.com/inspireviews where all the goodies from the series, including recordings and links to free offers will be housed.
My intention for the series is to connect with people who have stories just like yours. They overcame some obstacles and built their dreams by incorporating their passion into their lives. I’m going to find out their tips, tricks, and tools that got them to where throughout 2015 to get you off your tookus and invite your passion into your life.