While I do not want to presuppose too much….it is likely that many resolutions have already fallen by the wayside as we realise that some of our ‘ideal’ resolutions are not as easy to stick to as we first thought.
One of the reasons we are not so good at sticking to our resolutions is that we pick too many. In other words, we bite off more than we can chew and our focus is all over the place. With too many to deal with, we decide it’s all too much effort and end up giving up on them all.
In my view one of the most compelling reasons for not sticking to our good intentions is because we fail to change our values and beliefs around those intentions.
Our values are made up of what we believe to be true and they tell us what is important about something. They are the underlying cause for why and how we do what we do. There is also something quite tricky about our values – they work mainly on an unconscious level so we are not always completely aware of them. So if we do not do the work to understand what our values are and how they are playing out for us, we may always be wondering why we are not being very successful at something – even if it is something we really do want to do.
There is also a problem if we are not clear enough on what we want our intentions to be. For example, if we simply make a resolution to make more money, then we could actually achieve this easily by walking down the road and finding a penny on the floor. So we wanted to make more money and now we are a penny better off! So while we may have meant we wanted to increase our profits by a certain amount, unless we are explicit in what ‘make more money’ actually means (and I mean by how much, what is the actual figure in pounds and pence that you want to make) , then by gaining a penny we have achieved our resolution – and at an unconscious level we think we have already done what we need to and do not need to do anymore so we take our foot off the pedal and do not take the necessary action to actually increase our profit.
A desire to lose weight works in much the same way – if your intention is just “I want to lose weight” without anything more specific, then as soon as you’ve lost a pound or so, subconsciously you’ll think you have achieved what you need to and give up. The unconscious mind is happy to have achieved what it needed to and so it goes back to the old habits of whatever you were doing before and the reason you thought to set new resolutions in the first place!
This is how we are self-sabotaging our efforts to achieve what we want. Then we tend to be hard on ourselves and think we have failed or let ourselves down. Most of our thoughts and actions happen on a subconscious level so we are not even aware of the behaviour patterns. When you provide the precise message you want to your unconscious mind and detail the specific outcome you want you can achieve it every time. Time and time again.
Going back to the issue of weight loss, more because this really interests me, even if you do have a target weight in mind when dieting. When that figure is achieved you probably finish your weight loss strategy thinking that’s it, you’ve achieved your goal and you relax. This is when your disappointment follows.
Well because after you’ve subjected your body to a reduced calorie diet (mild starvation diet) plan and you resume your pre diet/normal eating strategy (because you think your weight loss target is achieved). Your body thinks, “I didn’t like that. Now that I have the food coming in again I need to store it just in case I’m starved again”. And guess what? Your body does exactly that. It start’s to store the food and demands you eat even more food. This even bigger increase in demand is for the daily food intake you need to live on plus the extra is the food your unconscious mind has decided it wants to store.
That’s why so many “Slimmers of the World” winners end up putting more weight back on than before they dieted because of these phenomena.
Is that what you want?