New Years Resolutions And Achieving Life-Long Change

by Merv Stevens

new years resolutionsHow’s your New Year turning out so far. I know it’s early as where only in the first few weeks of this new year. I ask the question because statistics show that 95% of people who made a New Years resolutions have already broken it by January 15th.

That’s if you even made a resolution. If you’re the exception to the 95% I’m certainly thrilled for you and I support you and encourage you to keep going.

If you have already broken your resolution then in the video below “Master Peak Performance Coach” Tony Robbins will help you not only get back to the goals you have set yourself. But more importantly he will take you beyond “New Years resolutions” to actually make real long-lasting positive change in your life.

A New Years Resolution and Your New Life

Most people don’t even make New Years resolutions anymore more. Why? because they’ve made them for years and years and know that they’re not going to follow through. So they don’t want to continue to disappoint and upset themselves.

So why even bother to set a new standard for this year when you know it’s going to be the same as last year… you’re not going to follow through.

So the question is what makes us even want to make a New Years resolution. It goes beyond being traditional and part of our culture. Why is there something inside of us that wants to make things better?

The calendar and starting of a New Year gives us the idea that we can have a fresh start and achieve this great victory. Lets use the calendar today and lets see what it really takes to make this happen.

There’s no denying that inside of us the only thing that will make us happy in the year ahead and the decades ahead is having an experience on a regular basis you feel that your life is making progress.

There is one thing that Tony Robbins teaches and that is just getting things will not necessarily make you happy. This may be good news in a tough economy. And it doesn’t matter what you get, whether it be money or opportunity.

All those things might excite you for the moment. A new relationship will be exciting at first but if you don’t keep growing the relationship will not stay exciting.

So the secret to real happiness is PROGRESS

Progress = Happiness.

If we can make progress on a regular basis we feel alive and that’s why at the beginning of the year we say to ourselves, “Ok. I’ve got this fresh start. I can grow. I can improve. I can change. Or maybe better than change, I can progress.”

Progress has a certain ‘aliveness’ to it. You don’t have to work at changing. Change is automatic – your body will change as the years go by, no matter how hard we work. The economy is going to change, the weather is going to change and relationships will change.

Change is automatic but progress is not

Everything in life is always changing. We don’t have to work on change.

We’ve got to look at life in a different way. You’ve got take take control of the process and not hope it’s going to work out like people do who make a New Years resolution.

Because is that not really what is happening at the beginning of the year – people are making a ‘Wish List.’ They hope it all comes together and call it a resolution but they really don’t know what a resolution is.

To have a resolution is to resolve something… “this is how it’s going to be.” That’s when you cut off any possibility except the thing you have committed to.

new years resolutions

It’s like the old adage, “If you want to take the island then you burn the boats.” Because when you burn the boats there is no going back. You have to find a way to make things work.

What does it take to successfully create lasting change in your life. To not only have a New Years resolution you follow through on but to really having a lasting change.

1. Have a Vision

The first step is you’ve got to have a VISION. A vision to what it is you really truly want. Not what you think you want or what you should have.

A vision is about what you are here to create. A vision that really works is one that excites you. It has to be a compelling vision that has the power to pull you and not something that you have top push yourself to do.

“Push” requires willpower and willpower never lasts. What will last is “pull.” Having something so exciting, so attractive, something you desire so much that you have a hard time going to sleep at night and get up early in the morning so that you can go and rock it and take it to the next level.

2. Have a Strong Reason

The second step is having a STRONG REASON. Along with that compelling vision you’ve got to have strong enough reasons that you are going to follow through when the going gets tough. And that’s what is missing from most people… they don’t have strong enough reason to push themselves through to get that dream, to achieve that goal when the inevitable challenges come up.

Reasons come first answers come second. If you’ve got a compelling vision and you’ve got strong enough reasons that will push you through the tough times you are going to do things other people don’t do. Even if you get off target you’ll get back right on target and make the change to make things happen.

3. Review every Day

The third step is you have to REVIEW it and feel it everyday. Sometimes we are so desirous of something, we want something so badly that we can think of nothing else. Even though we don’t know how to get it we keep thinking about it, focusing, imagining and envisioning.

After a while stuff happens and you suddenly start attracting people and situations to your life connected with that goal. You didn’t been have a particular plan, but it was so much a part of your life, of your focus, of your emotions, that it sensitised you to notice anything to help you achieve your goal.

There’s a part of your brain called the “reticular activating system” (RAS). That part of your brain determines what you notice in the world and it’s really important. This is because when you set a goal, get really clear on a vision with strong enough reasons and you review it enough it becomes part of you.

The RAS part of your brain says that anything related to this I need to notice. So when you really get clear and compelling vision and you are reviewing and feeling it each day then the brain becomes incredibly acute at noticing anything that will help you move forward.

Raise your Standards to have Lasting Change

If you are going to have lasting change with anything you are really talking about RAISNG YOUR STANDARDS. Lasting change is different to a goal. You don’t always achieve but you always get your standards.

Everybody in life gets their “musts” – they don’t get their “shoulds.” Most people have a list of things they should do… work out more, eat healthily, respond to emails, etc. People love to have the things on their “should” list met but if they don’t, it’s a bit disappointing but it really doesn’t matter – like New Years resolutions.

On the other hand if you decide something is “must” for you, where you say I’m going to find a way or I’m going to make a way – and you will find a way. This happens in peoples lives when they have reached a tipping point and decide that they have to make a change. This could be giving up smoking because of health reasons for themselves and loved ones, eating less due to being overweight.

They make a change and don’t go back and after a while it does not take any willpower anymore. Because when we make this change and make something a “must” we attach part of us to it – it becomes part of our identity.

Human beings absolutely follow through on who they believe they are. The strongest force in the whole human personality is the need to stay consistent with how we define ourselves.

new years resolutions

How many years ago did you come up with what you could and could not do in your life. many people living their life today is based on a set of standards they made choices about, 10, 20 or 30 years ago.

We often make decisions in our youth about what to believe, what we’re capable of, who we are as a person and that becomes the glass ceiling that controls us. An elephant at a circus can easily rip out the stake in the ground to which it’s tied.

But it doesn’t because it has been conditioned since it was a baby when it was tied to the stake and could not pull it out. And now when it’s bigger and stronger, the large elephant still believes it’s not strong enough even though it obviously is.

The elephant has defined itself and does not even try anymore. It’s settles for the fact that who it is, that’s how things are, and that’s just the way things are in it’s life.

If you have a limitation in your life, ask yourself, “When did I decide to accept that limitation?” You may not even see it as a limitation, you may see it as “just who I am.”

Think about the “should versus “must” in your life. There was most probably a time when you shifted and raised the standard and your life changed. whoever people have their identity attached to they live.

We live who believe we are

We live who we believe we are. That’s just how it works. For example the physical condition of your body today is a reflection of only one thing – not your goals, not your desires but your standards. The identity you have for yourself.

If your standard is that of an athlete then there’s a certain amount of strength, muscle tone and energy that will be in your body because that’s who you are. And you will do what’s ever necessary to maintain that identity.

The strongest force in the human personality is a need to stay consistent with how we define ourselves. Because if you don’t know who you are you would not know how to act. Once you lock in on that identity your brain finds a way to keep you there.

It doesn’t matter what’s happening in the market place people that make money will always find a way to make money no matter what. Most peoples standard is to pay their bills and so that’s what most people find a way of doing even when economic times are tough, because that’s their absolute standard.

Some peoples standard is to pay their bills most of the time… and so that’s what they do. Some peoples standard is not just to pay their bills but to take care of their family and even some of their friends.. and they find a way.

There are situations where a family may not have enough money to pay their bills and a family member gets sick. They then find a way to pay for the medical treatment and pay their bills.

They could not do it before so how can they do it now? The situation made them raise their standards. However, not everybody does that as there may be somebody else in the family who has money and they still would not take care of their sick relative.

Change the Inner Game and Change your Life

It all comes down to the inner game. Changing your life is a change in the inner game. The outside world you can’t control but you have absolute control of your inner world if you learn the dynamics of what shapes you.

Identity is one of those simple, clear, fundamental basics that if you start to shift it everything else will shift in your life as well. Some people will have to have more than enough money to do what they want, when they want, with who they want and contribute the way they want. if that’s their “must” then they find a way.

It may sound overly simplistic but it’s true. Somebody once said you can take all the money out of the hands of the wealthy and successful and give it to other people and it would not be long before the successful people would have it back in their hands.

This is not because they’re manipulative but because they have a standard. They’ve got a standard of how they are going to find a way to maker things happen.

Take those 3 Magic Words and live ‘em: Raise Your Standards.

And if you really want to do it the secret is to back up those standards with what make those standards real and that is rituals. Rituals are where the power is.

Break things down into bite-sized steps and do these little things each day. This makes it easier to succeed as you’re not overwhelmed having victory day after day on little things.

Rituals Define Us

All the results in our lives are coming through rituals.  They start with a standard and have rituals that follow it up.

For example if you are where you want to be physically you have very different rituals from those who are not where they want to be physically. if you are overweight you will have a different ritual to that if you were physically fit.

When you look at people who are successful you have to look at the standard that they hold themselves to. What are the little rituals they do that have all added up to their success.

new years resolutions

Success and failure are not giant events. They don’t just show up. You don’t just become suddenly successful or there’s some cataclysmic event that makes you fail.

Failure comes from all the little things. It’s failure to make the call, it’s failure to check the books, it’s failure to say I’m sorry, it’s failure to push yourself to do things physically that you don’t want to do.

All those little failures day after day come together and you blame it on some cataclysmic event. But really it’s because you missed the little stuff. Do you agree?

Success also not some overnight event. It’s all those little things like:

1. Having a vision

2. Making that vision compelling

3. Really seeing it and felling it everyday with strong enough reasons

4. Feeling the sense that you are here to grow and give something to the world – more than just yourself.

5. Caring about other people.

6. Calling and saying, “I love you” in the middle of the day for no dam reason….

Or sending a note. That will change your relationship.

Have a ritual of something funny, playful or surprising. How many relationships rate dead today because they have no surprise rituals anymore.

New Years Resolutions: You Need Rituals

You need to have some rituals… some cool things that nobody else does that gives you a better life that anybody else has. All the little stuff – that’s where success comes from.

In business it’s delivering more value than anybody else does and people say, “Wow, that’s who I want to do business with.” It’s true in any area of your life.

If you look at anybody who is successful and think how amazing they are, you’ve got to look underneath the service to see what’s actually happened. People are rewarded in public for what they have practiced for years in private.

Michael Jordan is arguably the greatest basketball player that’s ever lived. When he’s asked what sets him apart, is it talent, skill or natural ability? He has answered quite candidly without trying to appear humble.

Michael has said that he has a lot of talent, god-given ability and has worked very hard, but what he thinks has helped him achieve his success is his STANDARDS. Every day he demanded more from himself than anybody else could humanly expect.

He did not want to compete with anybody else, he wanted to compete with what HE was capable of. The magic formula.

Most of us lower our standards because who we spend time with is who we become. One of the greatest reasons that Tony Robbins started going to seminars when he was seventeen is because he nobody around him that was a great role model.

You could read about people but being around other successful people and being in that environment is very different. Finally working with someone who lived a high standard of life made all the difference to him.

If you get around people with low standards and you compete with it. The Jerry Springer Show was successful because viewers thought they had a pretty good life compared to those appearing on the show. They did not have to change their life, all they did is found someone with a lower standard and then started to feel good about themselves.

But in those circumstances the good feeling is an illusion. The only thing that’s going to make you happy in this year or any other is to step up and raise your standard.

Discover what you are capable of feel that incredible power pushing through what’s holding you back and get to the other side to find more of your true self.

The golfer Tiger Woods has a vision of just not winning tournaments but to be the best golfer that’s ever lived. And he backs it up with rituals by doing things that no other golfer had done before.

He started lifting weights. He changed his swing when he was the best golfer in the world because he realised to be the best that ever lived he’d have to change his swing. He retrained himself and had different rituals to other golfers but now others are modelling his rituals to get better.

It would be great to get what you really want this year. Don’t let this year be like the last. If last year was good still don’t settle for the same. Raise the standard.

If your life is perfect and extraordinary you know that will not be happy unless you keep making it better. That’s what makes us feel alive.

A Sense of Contribution Creates the Deepest Meaning

It’s not what we get that makes us happy, it’s who we become. And what we are able to give because we become more. That sense of contribution is what creates the deepest meaning.

What’s an area in your life you really want to improve? Any area, career, body finances,relationships, spiritual. Decide on the area.

Write down specifically as possible what your life is like in that area at the moment. Write the truth of where you are right now.

Details the rituals that have got you there and be honest. There are some rituals that are keeping you in that place.

Write down specifically what your vision is. What is it that you want?

Details the rituals that will get you to where you want to be – to your compelling vision. What would you need to do differently each day to get what you want?

A ritual is something that you do consistently at a certain time so that it becomes automatic. Willpower does not last but rituals can last a lifetime.

If you want a New Year and a New Life you don’t need to start on January 1st. You can start today. See how easy it is to do a few little rituals. You don’t have to do them all. Just do 2 or 3 new things and you will start getting momentum.

Once you discipline yourself in one area of your life you will begin to do it in other areas as well. There’s always 2 pains in life: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. Jim Rohn says, “Discipline weighs ounces and regret weighs tonnes.”

Stick to your New Years resolutions and start making changes in yourself and your life. No amount of money or accolades from other people can mirror the feeling of knowing that you have taken back control and moving your life to a higher level. Once you do this you will have something you can give other people, whether it be your kids, family or friends and ultimately that’s what’s life is about.

Merv Stevens Living Lifestyle by Design

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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