So it's been almost a month since you've made your New Years' resolutions!
The promises that this year would be different!
That this was going to be YOUR year!
I wonder how you are doing?
For so many of us, this is the time when we start to fall off the bandwagon.
We miss days going to the gym.
Or we forget to make that call that was going to keep us more connected to family and friends.
Or we get stressed so we reach for that drink.
Or we put some item in the 'need' category when we know it's just a 'want', even though we promised ourselves we were going to save and not spend!
We've all been there!
And we have all asked ourselves "Why does this happen? Why can I not follow through?"
So here's a crazy idea...
Who we think we ARE, determines what we DO.
If we set the goal of losing weight, but see ourselves as a couch potato we will never keep up with our health goals.
If we set a goal to complete a project, but see ourselves as a procrastinator we will never do the follow-through that we need to do.
If we set a goal of speaking up at work, but see ourselves as timid, or not a good communicator, we will simply lose our courage and stay silent.
Our identity, how we see ourselves, is a powerful force!
And no matter what goals we set for ourselves if they do not align with our identity we will feel incongruent and eventually not follow through!
Even though we WANT the goal!
Our identity is simply too powerful!
But here is some good news!
Your identity is not set in stone!
It's something that you have been building over time and experience and given more time and experience it can change!
So how do you give your identity new experiences so that it can rebuild itself?
One way is to chunk your goals down into smaller pieces that your identity can accept.
Take for example the goal of losing weight.
Your new identity in order to achieve that goal would have to be something like:
"I am an active person", or "I am a person that makes good choices for my body", or "I am a healthy person."
If this has not been your identity up until now (maybe your identity up until now ways more along the lines of "I'm the chubby one") setting a goal of going to the gym every day will not work!
It's too drastic and your identity will fight you causing you to fail.
The victim of self-sabotage again!
Instead, chunk your goal down into something smaller that your identity can integrate into itself.
It might be walking around your block once a day, or wearing work out gear and running shoes while you do errands.
Something small enough that you can say "Yes I am this" and here is the proof.
It's using atomic goals to work towards your big goals.
As you slowly integrate new experiences you can add more new experiences.
After you walk around the block once a day for a while you may add another block, or do it twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.
Until that feels integrated.
After that, you may try jogging for a bit, and then going for longer stretches, slowly adding to your identity until you finally say, "Yes I am ready to go to the gym because I am a healthy active person!"
So when thinking about your goals, try saying "By the end of this year I will be doing X" and then break it down into small atomic goals that will be easily integrated into your Identity and value system.
Even if you feel like you have already let yourself down, that this is going to be another one of those years where nothing changes - trust me friend it's not too late.