Happy (still) new year!
It is no surprise that new year’s resolutions kind of suck.
We get all excited about the turn of the new year and we make a resolution to do differently, do better and then by February, it’s all a thing of the past. Are you already giving up on your resolutions for this year? Why do you think new year’s resolutions don’t work?
It’s not that making a resolution and deciding and feeling inspired to change is bad, it’s just that honing it in on that one little resolution way doesn’t tend to work for most people.
So what do we do instead? How to make a New Year’s resolution that doesn’t suck?
In this article, we’re talking about a particular block that people have around new year’s resolutions. I’m not going to give you the secret on how to make a new year’s resolution into this magical thing that somehow carries you through the whole year because frankly, I haven’t seen that work. What we do and teach instead (in our self-mastery program and our deeper training programs at The Body Wisdom Academy are what I call Cycles of Commitment.
Now, if you look anywhere in nature and in the natural flow of human life, there are always cycles.
There are natural times when we are up in a period of action, then we sort of come down and rest and regroup periods and we restart. To think that we’re somehow going to magically turn January 1st and make this radical change of maybe old habits that have been there our whole lives isn’t really realistic.
So what I choose to do and what I’ve seen work best for people instead is to actually create a cycle of commitment. You’re probably wondering, what does that look like?
How do I actually make changes that last?
Follow the steps below:
1. Pick a defined period of time
Whether that’s going to be for the next month or for the next two weeks or for the next five days, make it something small.
I would say definitely when you’re starting out with a cycles commitment, make it less than 30 days. 30 days is the maximum that you wanna do for something new that you’re really in training for your system. And I would say start with cycles of maybe 14 days at a time.
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2. Choose appropriately the activity that you're doing
What that means is you’re gonna choose your goal.
Maybe it’s something like working out for this amount of minutes, or I will do this new food habit. You want to choose appropriately the activity that you’re doing and for how long.
You want it to feel like a little bit of a stretch, but not so far that you know you’re going to miss out and you’re gonna have to move hell and high water just to try to meet your minimum commitment. That sets you up for failure.
News flash: behind the scenes, the reason why cycles of commitment work are because what doesn’t work is an all-or-nothing mindset. This is coming from what we call parts of our Protector System and the mind, these parts of our body that get us into black and white thinking. Protector System loves a new year’s resolution because it’s all or nothing and the moment that you fall off of that, then the body’s like, “well, sorry, we lost that, might as well go back to the old thing anyways”, and everybody loses.
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A painfully supportive consequence is something that you do that is still generally not harmful to you.
So I recommend you not choose something that is depriving you of something. Common ones that we use are things like paying your accountability partner $20 or doing some cleaning thing that you really hate, doing extra laundry, detailed-dusting the whole house, cleaning out the refrigerator with a toothbrush, picking up all the dog poop in the yard, doing some sort of exercise thing that you actually don’t do and you wouldn’t wanna do anyways but is ideally good for you.
So you choose some sort of accountability that we call a painfully supportive consequence. Then, if I do my actual action that I’m committed to, I win, but I also win if I miss on this a little bit, And I still keep my commitment by doing this accountability action, creating a structure that helps me win either way.
I hope you can incorporate this Cycle of Commitment. Ditch the new year’s resolution! Go for small cycles repeated many times, a drop in a bucket eventually will overflow so that’s what we’re doing by working with a natural cycle of winning and uplifting, increasing that self-love energy and moving you forward.
I also LOVE hearing your painfully supportive consequences, so if you have a particular one that you’re like, “oh man, that’s a great one for me”, drop it in the comments below. I’d love to get some more ideas of what we can recommend to people for their accountability actions.
You are a soul with a body and you deserve great things.
💕Let me know in the comments how this process works for you! Can’t wait to hear you report back on your cycles of commitment. For a little more reinforcement, check out my YouTube video on this topic below!
Disclaimer: This program is not intended to be a substitute for professional mental health or counseling services. No practitioner-patient relationship is established and the training content is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and nothing here is intended to diagnose, cure or treat any disorders.