Here we are past the doorstep of a new year again, but how many of us have actually become “better people” with the clock’s strike of 12? Why do new year’s resolutions very rarely last? What can NLP contribute to making new year’s resolutions last?
The year will fly fast. We are back to “normal”, life hurtles on… But the January blues is always in the air all over the world to different extents. While the first week of January is the busiest week of the year for divorce lawyers in some counties, 21st January is officially the day when the highest number of people are depressed due to:
- festive spending
- lack of light
- unfulfilled or broken resolutions.
So why don’t new year’s resolutions last?
How do you think of a resolution?
You resolve to do x.
Resolve = feeling = you’re committed to doing something. But feelings are volatile = they change [and fast!] = commitments crumble down.
Our state of being is part of the story, but we need strategies too. For example, you symbolize your commitment by a gym membership. But as soon as you don’t make time to go, you have an internal conflict of willpower. The strategy to go for is: you delegate motivation by hiring a personal trainer. Now you’ve created a structure that supports your intention. It’s there regardless of how you feel = the trainer will keep coming to your house / gym regardless of how many excuses you make in your head.
So you want x = feeling.
Do you have the strategies to achieve it?
Have a goal that’s possible to control.
- What does it mean to have x?
- What will having x do for you?
- And what will you see when you have it?
- And what will you hear when you have it?
- What will you feel when you have it?
- What will others see you do when you have it?
- And what will others hear you say when you have it?
- Can you start and maintain doing / being it?
- When, where, with whom do you want it?
- When, where, with whom do you not want it?
- For how long?
- What do you get from your present behavior that you want to keep?
- Is it worth the cost to you?
- Is it worth the time it’ll take?
- Does this fit with your sense of self?
If you have answers to those questions, you’re imagining. Imagining = experiencing.
Now it’s time to look at:
How does this contrast with the state you were in before? Now the old routine is becoming less focused. And as you start relaxing into the new imaginations, more relaxed = more focused.
Build a representation of the x you want to achieve.
What will be its structure? Structure can be a simple strategy that allows incremental change.
Your power comes from making choices.
Are you choosing success by what you eat?
Could you make a decision that would put you in a positive direction?
If the trend is your friend, what trend are you creating?
Little things make huge differences in incremental steps over time.
Another example: taking up sport. The structure of your strategy is:
- What sport?
- How often?
- For what length of time?
Who you are [your identity] is associated with specific activities.
So resolve to:
1. be specific
2. create structure that will support you through time
3. create structure that will support you in the HARD time
4. How about collaboration? Could you collaborate with others to get what you wish to achieve?
NLP for making new year’s resolutions last:
Imagine it, experience it, hear it, feel it, apply it to any context in your life.
Happy new year – and many more! If you’d like to start the new year with new strategies, inspiration, and more NLP gifts, let’s talk about it. Or would February be a better time to start?