As we celebrate a new year how do you make this the best yet? Many of us use New Year’s as a time to make resolutions that often focus on good habits we want to start or bad habits we want to stop. Gyms and weight loss programs see a huge surge in business as we start the year with determination to make it count this time. I don’t know about you but the road of great intentions regarding many of my previous resolutions often became too steep. After a month or two I often find myself back on the same well traveled road from the past.
Forming new, healthy habits is similar to launching a rocket into space. The pull of gravity is greatest at the beginning of the journey where the most fuel is required. As the rocket moves through the atmosphere and into space the effect of gravity becomes less and less and the energy it takes to continue drops dramatically. How do we find the energy to get off the launchpad and to stay on the steep path of change until it becomes “the path”?
“Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.” As this maxim states, the key to a new destiny starts with our thoughts. Our habits are the “fruit” of how we think about ourselves and the world around us. The path of increased effectiveness requires that we not only consider what we do but also how we view life. Stephen Covey in his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” challenges us to take an “Inside-Out” rather than an outside-in approach to increasing our effectiveness in life. This process requires us to start our journey by focusing on our paradigms, our character and motives.
So instead of focusing our new year’s resolutions on outside actions or habits we want to build, the key to success is starting on the inside. Choosing to live inside-out requires us to live counter to our culture and to tap into universal laws. By challenging our thoughts about circumstances, other people and even ourselves we open our minds to new perspectives that can set us free from habits and help us start new ones. As Daniel Goleman explains regarding emotional intelligence, it all starts with self-awareness. Building self-awareness takes personal humility and openness to honest feedback. It’s no wonder that most people struggle to make New Year’s resolutions stick! It’s hard work and there is not quick formula for meaningful change but the results are worth it.
I hope you will join me in taking a new approach to your resolutions in 2014. Concerned about sticking with it? Consider having a coach join you in the journey to help you maintain momentum with the path gets steep. At Genesis Assist we offer both business and leadership coaching that can make the difference between success and failure. Let’s make this the best year ever by investing in our own personal foundation. Our families, co-workers and clients will all reap the benefits.