How many of your past resolutions have been about your weight or fitness?
How many did you keep?
I had 40 years of resolutions to “lose weight.” Since I spent every one of those years on the Diet Yo-Yo, obviously, they didn’t stick. I’d start and re-start and abandon it and start again. I tried willpower, I tried accountability, and 40 years went by with my weight up and down – but mostly up.
Here’s the thing: Whatever you choose, the key to keeping a resolution isn’t will power, although that can help.
The key to keeping a resolution isn’t even accountability, although that could help you maintain longer.
The key to keeping a resolution is resolving the issues driving the behavior you want to change. If you don’t resolve the issues, you’ll fight your tendency or habit forever because your need isn’t being met.
Not enough willpower in the world for that.
The issue driving the behavior keeps that behavior alive. It wasn’t intentional, but behaviors develop when you need an alternative to what’s happening in front of you or around you. It’s how you learned to cope or what you fell into doing or what you picked up from watching someone else for some reason – good or less helpful – and it worked for you in the moment, and you needed it then.
You probably don’t need it as much now, and if you can identify it, you can unwind it. So, what is driving the behavior you want to change?
Do you remember when it began? If not, what’s your earliest memory of it? What was going on around you? What did you need?
Was it a shortcut? Did you need some version of escape? Were you anxious?
We develop soothing behaviors like fiddling with a ring, twirling our hair, biting our nails, or going to the refrigerator. What’s your behavior or habit, and where did it begin?
Once you know where it began and why you needed it, how can you meet that need in a different way? How can you resolve the issue?
Sometimes we need help unwinding those things, particularly if they came from a wound in childhood. We need some outside perspective to put the pieces back together in a healthy and helpful way.
Then how will you implement the behavior change? What support, guidance, or accountability will you need?
Even more – think for a moment about what it will look like when you’ve achieved it?
And how could that NOT be worth the effort?
If you need some help, I have a very special offer for you. Go to packyourownbag.com/ny for details. You’ll get my full What’s Really Eating You video course plus two sessions with me. It will give you a really good start to the year – on track and making progress, getting it done in 2021.