When you make
a resolution, you usually sign up for some behavior
change. If you want to lose weight, you
start a diet. If you want to excercise more, you
join a gym. If you want to meet the love of your
life, you join an online dating service.
But 95% of you
abandon these behaviors relatively quickly, after an
average of 4 weeks, you are back to your "old"
ways. You are a creature of habit.
And habits die hard.
I believe that it takes more
than just commitment to make a long-term behavior
change, it requires a mind set change
first. Behaviors follow
thoughts. You can't alter behavior and expect
it to be a new habit without first changing your
thoughts. Action without a change
in thought is not sustainable. This is
why my tag line for my business is "Changing
Vantage Ponts to Create Advantage." I like to help
people and companies see things differently, so that
they can realize sustainable change.
You can only
create advantage for yourself by first changing your
vantage point or mind set.
The first and most essential step of
shiftng your mind set is taking personal accountability
for where you are today. You
need to see your contribution to the problem. What
ever it is you wish and hope for in 2008 can and
will be yours if you first take personal
accountability for the fact that no one else is to
blame where you are, except yourself.
This might anger some
of you, but you are single because you choose to
be. You are over weight because you choose to
be. You are in a dead-end job because you want to
be. This is what I mean by taking personal
accountability. You must see that you make lots of
little choices that lead you exactly to where you are
It is not
easy to blame ourselves, or to see that we actually have
a hand in creating and sustaining our own
misery. However, it is only when we
fully take responsibility, that real growth and
change can happen.
I was single and
miserable for many years. I was also unhappy
in several dead-end and unfulfilling jobs for many
years. I got tired of hearing myself complain, as
I am sure that many of my friends and family did
too. I rationalized my unhappy situations in many
ways: "There just aren't any good guys out there,
who needs a man anyway." "There
still are going to be things I don't like in
another job, I get paid well, so why leave and go
elsewhere." A conversation with my
brother-in-law jolted me to change my vantage
He said to me, "Laura,
despite what I hear you saying about your unhappiness,
it appears to me that all of your actions tell
me that you want your life exactly the way it
is." What he told me in a nice way is "you
are single because you choose to be and you are in that
job because you want to be."
I realized that sometimes
you resist change because even if you are
unhappy, it is less threatening to stay put in your
misery than to own up that you have caused yourself
to be where you are...so you blame others
or you blame circumstances.
Thanks to that
conversation, I looked deep inside to see that I
had been making choices to support exactly where I
was. He was right. I made a
resolution to myself that things would change...that I
Things started to change
for me when I really saw myself as the root of the
problem. That is when real behavior change
happened and it was sustainable. It had
been so easy to complain and blame...while standing
still. It was much more
difficult to be accountable and to make
the changes I needed for my life.
Fortunately for me, my life
has continued to evolve and grow in those areas where I
was once "stuck".
That is why I don't believe in
behavioral resolutions. I believe that the only
resolutions that matter are those that start with
being personally accountable for where you
are. See yourself at the root of the
problem and real change can happen.
Resolutions can be
life-changing and sustainable. Or they
can be an annual traditions that just keep coming around
year after year, never to materialize.
Which one will it be for
you? It's your choice.