By Chad E Cooper
So, it’s a week or so into January, and all the enthusiasm you had on New Year’s morning for your new resolution seems to have vanished… now what? Do you just give up and say I’ll try again next year? Or, do look for a way to get a re-boot!
The advice I have for people to get past all the negative voices in your head and the naysayers in your life, be it family or friends, who say things like, “I don’t know why you’re doing this to yourself again, you’ve never succeeded before and you getting so cranky!”, is threefold:
First, you must have some sensory acuity as to who the audience is. I often say, “Trust but verify”, meaning trust that people have good intentions for you, but it’s your responsibility to verify that they are trustworthy and the advice is sound. Are they absolute strangers, family, or friends? If it is a stranger that made a comment like that you would likely just dismiss it with, “This person doesn’t know me at all.” I suggest you apply the same insight to your family or friends. Naysayers are usually the people who are closest to us, our friends and family, not strangers. When they make those harmful comments, it’s because they think they know us and subconsciously it’s often what is best for them, not you. They’re judging you and asking you to play small because they don’t want to see you get hurt, fail, or take a risk. In some cases, they just don’t want to feel uncomfortable dealing with your new life changes and habits.
I have a client who constantly wants to quit smoking, and her partner always wants to be supportive and quit with her. They live together and work together and have become very co-dependent. When one wants to quit, the other will last a day or so, then as they begin to feel the withdrawal symptoms and irritation of the other, they inevitably it sabotages them both. It’s a cycle that has continued for years with excuses of why they can’t do this one thing together. I believe it has more to do with the fact that neither one has established their own individual values or desires around kicking the habit. If they continue to only use each other for the reason to quit, they will also use each other for the reason to fail.
Getting past naysayers is important. First you must learn to love and respect yourself, because without that, you’re always seeking other people’s approval to measure whether you are enough. The whole Hollywood portrayal of a partner in the Jerry McGuire movie line of “You complete me”, is a total falsehood. The reality is, a partner is meant to complement you — not complete you — because you’re already complete. I invite you to intentionally be listening for compliments and support, even if it’s not blatant. Let love in and don’t keep your guard so far up that you can’t let the light come in as well. Some people may surprise you in unexpected ways.
Follow this with the ability to be courageous and show love. Don’t suppress the feedback and the voices or all the societal negativity because that’s — well, suppressing it. It is like a tea kettle that’s just building, building, building, and eventually, you’re going to explode. Muster your innate grit and respond to those who have only negative things to say, and be courageous to love instead of judge. If someone says something like, “dang you’re so crabby, maybe you need to have a cigarette (or chocolate cupcake)”; have the courage to see that this judger likely doesn’t know what else to say, so they revert to what they think they know about you, not understanding that it’s hurtful. Love is having empathy for others and yourself in this situation instead of judging yourself or them. From a position of love, you can grab onto your grit and say to yourself, “They have no idea what I really need in this
moment and I don’t want to eat something or smoke. I can do this!” I invite you to build the muscle of success and accomplishment by showing love both to yourself and others. Speak your truth in love… You might respond to their comment with, “I appreciate you pointing out that I may be a bit irritable, and I will correct it. I am not giving up my goal, I can do this!”
From the dictionary
courage and resolve; strength of character:
courage, bravery, pluck, mettle, backbone, spirit, strength of character, strength of will, moral fiber, steel, nerve, fortitude, toughness, hardiness, resolve, resolution, determination, tenacity, perseverance, endurance.
Next, be prepared even if you are weeks or months into the year; you may find you need outside support to renew your drive to succeed. Did you know you can leverage technology to find a mentor, community group, or even an app to assist you? You may find yourself in need of a support group that allows you to connect on a consistent basis for positive support from others with the same goal. This does not make you weak; in fact, it can make you more confident! There are apps for everything these days. I recently let my fitness trainer go because I reached the point where my goals shifted and I wanted to do it on my own. I purchased two specific apps that I could use to stay on goal like… after my workout, which muscles I used and what the recovery time was from previous workouts. There are trainers I can watch videos of to target specific areas or change my routine to keep it interesting. I can design and create the custom workout that is best each day for my goals.
Let’s say your New Year’s resolution is to lose some weight. Well, did you have a specific weight in mind? A hundred and 167 pounds in 6 months for example might be making the goal a difficult one to win. What happens when you hit 169? Suddenly, 6 months in, you’re no longer happy or encouraged because of 2 pounds? Instead, I invite you to have a range for your weight loss goal, and change from pounds to a percentage of body fat content you want to reach. If you change your goal now to reach a weight range between 162 to 169 pounds in 2018, it gives you some fluctuation to enjoy life without being miserable on holidays or when special dinners come up. This makes the rule easier to win by making the bull’s-eye bigger to hit.
It’s also important to stop with the excuses… But the treadmill is down in a basement with no windows and I just look at a gray slab wall. In reality, excuses are not valuing and honoring how you actually fill up and enjoy life. It’s equally important to know your values and rules, but to honor them in the vehicles that you enjoy using. Find a location that is visually pleasing if that’s an important value to your life and you’re much more likely to stick with the plan.
Consider the percentage of people living in the effect of other people’s decisions (which usually have good intentions, but sometimes poor judgement) for their goals. Think for yourself and get resourceful. If a treadmill in a basement is boring, move it or yourself to a pleasing location. Perhaps you should plan to visit that park nearby to get you energized instead. Another example may be if a friend thinks you’re spending too much time alone and suggests you go for drinks after work. Maybe you could suggest a dinner instead? Going for drinks may be great for others to socialize, but not helpful for you if you’re trying to change your drinking and smoking habit. When you’re searching out support from someone, make sure they hold the values that you desire; otherwise, you may be sabotaging your desire for change. It’s about understanding yourself and what recharges your batteries and what drains your energy, even if it’s supposed to be good for you.
Lastly, I’m often asked “Is it ever too late to change your goals (resolutions)?” The answer is no! I encourage you to measure along the way so you understand when to make adjustments. Two things will help tremendously: First, have effective lead and lag indicators and understand them. Then, as you’re going along the path and you say, “Something is off. It’s not working,” you need effective measurement indicators. Once you’ve made that commitment and you are convicted in the purpose, the vehicle may change or you may even change your goal. So, what are lead and lag indicators? They are simply effective measurement tools that provide feedback so you can make informed decisions. Lag indicators — things like paycheck amount, revenue amount, number of sales, how many pounds of body fat you have shed, reduction in cholesterol levels, etc. which represent the end results that you are striving to achieve. Lead indicators are the activities that generate end results — for example the number of visits to the gym, or duration and intensity of a workout. Also consider the number of sales calls or referrals as lead indicators in the number of sales made. While most individuals effectively measure lag indicators, many tend to disregard lead indicators. A fully effective measurement system must have a combination of harmonizing lead and lag indicators.
If you are creating business goals instead of personal goals we need an example here as well. Look at many businesses, most have lag indicators. A lag indicator by itself may be too late to make an adjustment in your activities, since it’s only apparent at the end of all that work. Many businesses lack effective lead indicators simply because they very frequently are not understood. Effective measurements capture both lead and lag indicators that provide a full picture to allow you to make intelligent decisions. When you take time in the beginning to establish these measurements, you can determine if you are on course or need to make adjustments, so you cross the finish line and reach victory. As I said these are very important to keep track of. If you’re losing weight, you should know indicators like the duration that you need to work out and at what intensity, what are the most effective workout routines or machines, etc. Then you can use lead indicators in terms of your nutrition, hydration, did you get sufficient sleep the day before, etc. Lag indicators are the results of these measurements; body fat lost, energy levels, recovery soreness, mood, etc.
A second example: If your goal in 2018 is to get a raise or increase your revenue, a lead indicator is finding out what you need to do additionally from your employer or your clients that would generate more revenue. Do you need to increase the value of your product? Do you need to close more sales? Do you need to do more lead calls? Do you need to work extra hours? Do you need to make partner status? Do you need to have a discussion with your boss about a raise? What is the plan that you need to put in place to earn that increase in income? Then the lag indicator would be, Did you make more money by the end of 2018?
Hang in there and as the ads say, Just Do It! You got this!
Lastly, how are you showing up in your life?
I would like to invite you to take the DiSC profile for free right now!
DiSC is a behavior assessment tool based on the DiSC theory of psychologist William Moulton Marston, which centers on four different behavioral traits, which today are called: dominance, influence, steadiness, and compliance. This theory was then developed into a behavioral assessment tool by industrial psychologist Walter Vernon Clarke. DiSC is the leading personal assessment tool. After you take it you will understand how you show up, and what your values are. This is an amazing tool to learn what you value in life and where you may not have been coming from the right direction for success in your goals? See what emotions and feelings you desire to experience? This will make a huge difference on your outcomes with not only your current New Year’s resolution, but in all life’s goals. Based on the answers you will know what vehicles will serve you towards achieving your goals vs. draining you along the route and leaving you on empty along the side of the road.
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Learn more on how to live a Legendary Life go to https://chadecooper.com