New Year, New YOU????

“This is the beginning of everything you want” - Anonymous

Every year January brings renewed optimism for change, a fresh perspective on life, a clean slate to wipe away the old and embrace the new. We create lists of things to shift, new habits to embrace, and feel pumped and ready for action. Gyms nationwide are typically packed the first few weeks of January, only to fizzle out by February. study conducted by researchers at the University of Scranton found that 23% of people quit their New Year’s resolution after just one week. And only 19% of individuals are actually able to stick to their goals long term (two years, in the case of the study). Why is change so challenging?  What causes us to revert back to our old ways so easily? 


Perhaps we’ve been programmed to believe a new year means a new you. Lord knows it’s all over the media. So, we tend to fall into the same trap year after year that we are “supposed” to be addressing everything that plagues us, weighs us down or creates drama in our lives all at once, on January 1st possibly hung over and not of sound mind. Why can’t it be January 5th? Or tomorrow? Or next Tuesday? Or right now? Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves that this particular day is the day to burn the ships with no going back? 


In some of my previous writings I mentioned that the quality of your life depends on the quality of questions you ask yourself. If we cannot pinpoint the driving force behind the desired change, then how can we believe it will stick? For instance you proclaim to yourself and others “This is the year I am finally going to battle the bulge and win!” Often times losing weight isn’t about weight at all. Similarly wanting to quit drinking, or smoking has nothing to do with the habit itself, and everything to do with the source that fuels it. For example when I was drinking wine every day I thought the wine was the problem. I had to ask myself “what thoughts and feelings are preceding the pour?” I did A LOT of soul searching.  What followed was an avalanche of questions – I had to get REALLY REAL WITH MYSELF if I wanted to once and for all be done with drinking. 


Here are some questions I addressed:

What am I numbing myself from feeling?

What am I avoiding?

Does this really make me feel RELAXED? 

Is this behavior a healthy way to deal what I uncover as the source?

What else can I do instead to make me feel better?

Is quitting the behavior something I want for myself, or is my spouse, parent or best friend encouraging me to stop?

Does quitting feel like too monstrous of a task? Is there a way to do this in steps?

Is this behavior going to get me closer or father away from the life I say I want to have?

Does doing this behavior resonate with my core values?

How will I feel a year from now if I quit today? 

How will I feel a year from now if I continue on this trajectory?

Who will I lose along the way if I stop? Who will I lose if I don’t stop?

Is this behavior good for my long term health and wellbeing?

Am I willing to be uncomfortable short term for a long term gain?

What’s it going to cost me if I continue drinking every day?

What kind of a support system will I need to accomplish this goal?


These are just a few of the plethora of questions I have in my arsenal. I use this model with my coaching and hypnosis clients to help build a road map of the work we will do together. It’s a very effective way to determine your level of commitment. We can “say” all day long that we want to change, lose weight, get out of debt, quit an undesirable behavior, or start a new positive behavior, but until WE DECIDE TO DRAW A LINE IN THE SAND, it’ll be like the gym in February! I hope this has served you as it has for me, after all it’s always an Inside-Project.

“What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year!” – Vern McClellan


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