New Year, New You! Every ending is a new beginning. We celebrate that powerful principle on a massive scale as the year comes to a close and we set ourselves up for the start of a new calendar year. But this year, I want to challenge you to think about endings and beginnings just a little differently.
Think back for a moment about your previous New Year’s experiences. If you’re like most of us, you used the celebration of the calendar turning from one year to another as an opportunity to make a list of “resolutions”: lose weight, begin writing the great American novel, stop a bad habit – whatever you knew, on a conscious level, that needed to change in your world. You made a list. The odds are pretty good, though, that by the time you got to the end of January, you had stopped taking action on most of the items on that list!
Why is that such a common experience for so many people? I believe it’s because conscious awareness of the change you need to make is not enough. All too often, the most important “resolution” of all gets left by the wayside: the daily habit of summoning and strengthening mental courage. Without that routine, constructive change is far less likely. The moment we hit adversity or opposition, we slip back into what’s comfortable and familiar. And what’s comfortable and familiar often does not support our growth as human beings. It takes courage – not a to-do list – to launch and sustain growth in the face of adversity.
Courage is a muscle. In order to be able to use that muscle to its full capacity when we need it most, we must get into condition and stay in condition. This conditioning is mental.
Mental conditioning takes dedication and may even seem overwhelming at first…but that’s only at first, before you’ve established what I call a mental workout routine. Once you pick up that routine and get used to it, getting into and staying in condition becomes a whole lot easier. That’s just as true mentally as it is physically.
My challenge to you this New Year is to change the paradigm. I want you to set aside every other “resolution” you’re considering – and make a mental workout routine your daily reality, starting NOW. I want you to make this your first, last, and only “resolution.” This is the commitment that makes all the other progress you want to make in your life possible. This is the new beginning that can and will transform your world.
DO THIS NOW:
- Get a rubber band and put it around your wrist.
- Whenever you have a negative thought (such as What if I fail?), simply snap the band on your wrist.
- Then, as quickly as you can, find a way to rephrase the negative thought as a positive statement or question. (For instance, change the thought What if I fail? to the question What can I gain or learn from this situation?)
- Go online to www.couragebydesign.com and download the free journaling tool I’ve created for you. It will support you as you make this mental workout part of your daily routine.
This is the New Year’s “resolution” that will stick – if and only if you make a personal commitment to follow through on it without fail for the first 21 days. Are you willing to invest in yourself, your future, and your joy for 21 days? Once you do that, the rest of the year will take care of itself. That’s my commitment to you. Send me an email when you finish so we can celebrate together. Post a photo of your progress with you wearing your band and tag @couragebydesign on Facebook and @_couragebydesign on Instagram with the hashtag #couragebydesign.
If you really want a “new you” this New Year, this simple process is how you make that happen!