Every year, we make New Year’s resolutions only to make the same resolutions again the following year. Whether it’s to lose weight, improve a relationship, take better care of our health, exercise, spend more quality time with our kids or aging parents, save more money, or improve our standing in the workplace. Year after year, for most of us, we resolve to fix the same old problem. Why is that? What gets in the way of us achieving our goals, satisfying our resolution?
LIES: Labels, Illusions; Excuses; and Stories. That’s what gets in the way of goal achievement. LIES are the thoughts, beliefs and feelings determine our range of choices and define how we behave.
LIES: Labels, Illusions, Excuses and Stories set up unnecessary, false limits. LIES undermine our belief that we can change; challenge our ability to dream big, or at all; they limit the range of options we see for ourselves.
How do you recognize LIES? They sound like this:
- I can’t because…
- I don’t know how to…
- They won’t let someone like me…
- I just don’t have the time to…
- Everybody [feels, thinks, is] that way.
- Everybody does – sometime.
- I’ll do it later, when I have more time; not now.
- When ___ happens, then I’ll be able to…
- When the kids are older I’ll…
- That kind of thing happens to other people, not me.
- That will never happen. Nobody in my family [neighborhood, school, racial or ethnic group] has ever___before.
- Well, what if…
Setting a goal is like looking at just the tip of an iceberg. What we see and are aware of is a tiny part of the whole thing. We can write it down and make it tangible so that we can look at it and read it.
The issue is what’s beneath the waterline – all the stuff that makes up our attitude and beliefs. And we all know that half of any battle or achieving any goal is our attitude. But what makes up our attitude is so often outside of our awareness. Get that. The stuff that’s really running my show is outside of our awareness. And a good portion of what makes up the base of the iceberg, which is the majority of it, isn’t the truth.
The 7 A’s for Lasting Change
- Analyze yourself and your situation. Where am I today? How did I get here? How did I create this? What LIES did I use to construct my world as I know it?
- Accept where you are today, without complaint, blame, or shame. You are not a problem, and neither is the situation, really. You’re just at a point where you have a desire for something else. That’s good.
- Acknowledge what you want. Be clear and specific about your desire. Write it down, describing it in such detail that you can see it and feel it. Get emotionally connected to what you want, not desperate or begging, just feeling great every time you think about having what you want.
- Access Awareness of what you think about this thing or situation you desire; how you really feel when it comes to mind; and what you believe about this thing and your right or ability to have this thing in your life. Note how you feel about the goal or desire; your attraction and fears about it; your resistance to a big YES! What do you think and how do you feel? Write it down. Ask: am I committed?
- Allow a range of choices and options to surface, once you’re committed. Think about the choices you’ve identified. Discern which options will lead toward your goal? Consciously choose; mindfully decide which option will serve you best. Imagine yourself using that option. Make your visualization vivid. What are the consequences? Are the consequences aligned with your desire, or do they work against you having what you want?
- Act only when you are really ready and have chosen an action that will lead to the consequence you want. You want to think it through and feel it through, the action needs to line up with both your best thinking and best feelings.
- Assess the results and reengage in the cycle. The process or cycle is never-ending. It continues throughout your lifetime. The more conscious and aware you are of it, the more success you’ll have achieving your goals and creating change that lasts.