A new year has come and this is when everyone scrambles to figure out what their resolutions are. As the years go by, though, it’s just as easy to say “Screw it” and “I never keep them anyway”.
If this is you, have no fear. It’s still possible to make this year better than the last!
As humans on this planet, we are in a constant state of growth and understanding. As we keep our minds open we are always filling it with new information and new concepts. Especially in our current economy, information is plentiful. The trick is knowing what information you will take in and what information you will ignore.
Very often, especially as we age, we allow ourselves to get comfortable with what we already know, so much so, that we prevent new information from coming in. Your job is to take a quick assessment of your situation. Are your beliefs set in stone? This could be as general as “we go to heaven when we die” to as specific as “I can’t lose weight”. Whatever you tell yourself becomes the truth. Why? Because our brains don’t know any better. Do you think your brain is making the shots on how fat or skinny you are? Or what jerk is the best one to date right now? Well, in a way it is, but only because you’re allowing it to call the shots.
The truth is, it’s really dark in there. It’s so dark your brain cannot see a thing. It’s also completely soundproof in there. That means our brains can’t hear anything either.
So how does the brain get its information?? From you!! That’s right, everything your brain believes is something you told it. Sometimes other people tell you something and then you believe it enough to let your brain in on it. That could be anything like “I suck at math” (perhaps a prior teacher or parent told you that) to “I can’t dance” (maybe a former peer or “friend” told you that one).
Regardless of what other people say - remember, these are only opinions of others - it’s your job to do something with it. You can either write it off as complete nonsense and ignore it, or you can take it in as truth and solidify it into your being. Unfortunately, when we’re young, we tend to believe everything people tell us. Since we’re still forming our identity, we willingly take in what other people tell us about ourselves. This can be traumatic for children and adults in an abusive situation. Growing up with a parent who yells a lot, and who is consistently telling you or your siblings how worthless you are, tends to create adults who have really messed up opinions about how much they suck. These same adults tend to find themselves in abusive relationships later on in life - because that’s all they know. You think so lowly of yourself, it’s natural for you to find a partner to remind you of that - daily.
Is this you? Do you think you are no good at life? Do you, deep down, believe you’re not worth it?
The first step to making this year better than the last is by recognizing what isn’t working for you. This takes some self-analysis. Some people call this work, but I call this fun. You get to play scientist for your life.
What are you telling yourself that you want to go away? What foods are you putting into your body that you want to disappear? What would you like to be telling yourself instead? What would you like to be eating instead? Notice how I only mentioned two things. We’re not going to go into all the minute ways your life will be better, like when you get that perfect thing or go on that trip you’ve been dreaming about. You see the comfort of your life boils down to one thing - what you allow into yourself. This can then be separated into two things - food and thoughts. We have full control over what we let in our mouths and what we let into our brains.
If you can take some time and focus on what exactly you allow in, your eyes will open and you will quickly see what is serving you and what is not. Do you regularly binge on fast food? It’s an easy cycle to fall into and I totally feel you on this. But what happens when you eat fast food for several days straight? Do you feel the same as when you binge on salads and smoothies for several days straight? Probably not. What I notice personally is my skin getting a bit bumpy and my mood gets extra crabby. I am more lethargic, less interested in doing stuff, and my tummy works really hard to process food (which is why I get so tired and lethargic). Quite the contrary, when I binge on whole-plant foods I feel more energetic, my skin and eyes get clear, and I actually feel skinnier on the inside - perhaps because I have more energy and feel more nimble. I don’t know if that’s a mental trick because I’m eating better so I feel better, or if I have less fat in my digestive track so I feel lighter. No matter what the scientific explanation is, I feel good inside and that’s honestly all that matters. But it only takes a few days of eating the same food for our bodies to react positively or negatively to what we’re eating.
So, your job is to take an assessment and really feel into how various foods and thoughts make you feel. Once you determine what is working for you and what is not it’s time to start filling your life with more of what works and shedding your life of everything that doesn’t work for you. Remember, we’re all different so the advice in your favorite magazine or post you’re reading may not even come close to working for you, specifically. This is one of the reasons we get so humdrum about making resolutions. It’s because we’re all picking the same resolutions and they might not be ones that actually matter for us. This is a generalized game with very unique players. If you’re the one handling the ball, let’s make sure it’s in your court and not someone else.
Alright, so you’ve made your list of things that are serving you and a list of things that are not. If you’re still a bit hairy about what “serving you” means, it’s quite simple. If something is serving you it is bringing you joy. It is bringing a little spark of light into your day and brightening things up for you. This can be as simple as a small toy kept from childhood to a person or pet in your life. We’re all walking around with stuff that is not serving us - that super annoying co-worker or sibling that won’t leave us alone. The mean boss or teacher that won’t get off our backs, the pressure of eating junk and drinking with everyone because it’s Friday and it’s what everyone does.
It’s time to be truly cognizant of who is bringing you joy and who is not. The reason it’s good to slowly move away from the jerks in your life is that you have to work extra hard to keep what they say out of your head. Remember, the brain is clueless and only knows what you tell it. If you’re around someone who berates you all day, it’s easy for those feelings to start seeping into your brain and becoming true feelings. The last thing you want is to be walking around believing some stupid opinion someone else has of you.
The only thing that matters is what you tell yourself. If you constantly tell yourself you’re a badass, guess what? People are going to start looking up to you for all sorts of stuff. If you start telling yourself you’re drop-dead gorgeous, guess what? People are going to start looking at you as if you are. This sounds like a “fake it till you make it” approach which feels virtually impossible to see how people will see what you’re pretending, but it’s a bit different. Because your brain is clueless, it only has you to go by. So when you start telling yourself you’re gorgeous, your brain will start behaving as if you are. That means you’re going to start eating better automatically - non of this “willpower” b.s. It will begin to come naturally because you will start to believe what you tell yourself. If you start telling yourself you have these amazing ripped muscles the food and the exercise you bring into your life is going to match those that are already ripped. It’s an automatic process that once the belief is there, the actions automatically follow. This isn’t some guru, up in the clouds, not actually real-world advice.
As a personal experiment, several years ago, I decided to try out this concept for real. Every single morning I woke up and told myself how beautiful I was. I would look in the mirror and say “Wow, I’m looking hot today” or “Damn, I look really sexy”. Within a week (I’m not kidding) people started asking me what I was doing differently. I was consistently asked if I was on a diet because it’s working. I was asked what skin and hair products I started using, and I was asked where I bought my clothes because they look really good on me. Within two weeks guys were taking all sorts of notice of me. It was weird, wild, and fun. I did not change any habits, products, clothes, I did not go on any “diet” (ick) and I certainly did not start talking to guys any differently. Or, did I?
As soon as I started injecting self-confidence into my mornings, my days just fell into place. I naturally stood taller, I naturally spoke clearer, and I naturally walked with confidence all because I changed the words in my head. Instead of walking around with thoughts of “No one’s going to be interested in me”, “I’m not pretty enough”, “I’m too fat”, or “I suck” I changed them to “I’m hot”, “I’m sexy”, and “I’m fun”. If we fix our energy on the inside, people on the outside subconsciously pick up on it. This was all within two weeks! I hope that’s proof enough for you. We cannot change our actions without first changing our beliefs.
Wow, this may be a little mind-blowing for some. The good thing is there is plenty of hard data to back this up. There is even a whole industry based on this concept, too, of people helping people to be their best. I’m talking about the coaching industry of course. Having a coach makes it easier and you get quicker results, but it’s not necessary. Every single one of us is perfectly capable of creating the life we desire all on our own. It just takes a firm decision to change.
Change - that’s the name of the game. The reason why most resolutions fail is that the person’s heart was never in it. We create a lot of our resolutions from the place of the ego rather than our heart or spirit. When we make decisions from the ego we are making decisions based on societal terms. You want to make more money because everyone wants to make more money, right? But do you really need to make more money? Why do you want it? Is it because you want to have a big house and fancy car like everyone else? But do you really need a big house and a fancy car? Your house may already be a perfect size and your car may have all the function it needs to get you to where you want to go. What if what you truly desired was a retreat with your family? Maybe making more money isn’t the answer at all but, instead, it’s creating a co-op situation with some other families to go in on a vacation rental together. In fact, it may not require any extra money at all but rather a group of tight friends that are good at bringing ideas into reality. This is why it’s imperative you assess your personal situation. Most of the stuff we “want” and “need” is nothing more than the wants and needs of others. What is it YOU actually want?
Once the belief is there, everything will follow. It’s as simple and as loaded as that. Believe what you choose to believe and then let things flow from there. Want to lose weight? Start telling yourself how amazing you look already. Want to make more money? Start telling yourself you’re a money magnet and you can find money anywhere. Want to land your soul mate? Start telling yourself how amazing you are all on your own. The magic will happen once you believe in yourself.