As we launch into another New Year, let me first offer my warmest, most heartfelt wishes for a healthy, happy, and abundant New Year. With the last year bringing most of us unique challenges that taxed us both physically and emotionally, it may be helpful to consider how we make the most of this upcoming year. In many ways, we are ‘not out of the woods yet.’ So, it is with this understanding that I suggest three simple meta-level commitments to ensure you have the best year ever!
What Is A Meta-Level Commitment?
This is a fancy way of saying that we are stepping above the individual goals which any of you may have for the year and looking at strategies that will help to ensure success. In other words, rather than discussing a personal goal, like exercising daily, today we will discuss HOW to approach any goal to better ensure its success.
We will ‘rise above’ the many success stories of the past, and look down upon their strategies and pull out key pieces that seem to make a difference, regardless of the personal goal.
Three Meta-Level Commitments
1) Make Certain There is WHY That Gets You Inspired
Those who are successful with any New Year’s resolution are typically inspired by a strong ‘why.’ They are changing their daily habits because it is important to them. In fact, the importance compels an inner emotion. This emotion comes from that strong WHY.
Why get up early? Why stop drinking? Why stop prioritizing work over family? Why stop eating unhealthy foods? Why start learning how to invest? Why stop yelling at those you love? Why not more forgiving? Why not more loving? Why not kinder to yourself and others? Why? Why? Why?
If you have a strong WHY it is much more likely that you will hold the course when things get tough. As you change your neural programming in the brain, consistent self-effort is required. It is well-documented that the ‘strong reason why’ is the secret to getting you to maintain this self-effort when the going gets tough.
This compelling WHY is about the drive for the daily action that is required if you are to arrive at your ultimate outcome. We must nurture this and keep it in mind to get you where you want to go.
2) Know That The Future You Seek Is Inevitable
If you are to shape a better year in 2021 based upon your choices, then you must develop a sense of knowing that this future is real. In other words, the future resolutions you make will be worthless without nurturing a sense of certainty in their inevitable presence in your life.
And not just a sense of certainty today. But this certainty must be there every day. Almost as if, when you close your eyes, you can see it there. It’s just waiting for you.
Of course, in a sense, that’s the secret. The more you ‘see it,’ the more you believe it. Thus, nurture your skill as seeing the result you want. With this, also nurture the skill of visualizing yourself, completing all the daily actions required to get you there. In other words, your internal sense of certainty in your resolutions will get strong by visualizing both the ultimate outcome, as well as the daily process of completing the steps to get there.
Invest daily in both of these visualizations for just a few minutes in the morning. The impact on your life will be quite dramatic.
3) Enhance Your Progress By Celebrating Incremental Movement
The tendency is to want a big change now. We are a society wanting immediate gratification, and this is one reason why we become unhappy, impatient, and unmotivated. Everything that really matters must be nurtured with continued self-effort, and gains are measured daily in small increments.
If we can add this piece to track our progress, then we can surely make headway, regardless of the particular New Year’s Resolution.
The Real Secret Juice Here: Behind this celebration of incremental movement is a process that starts to unfold naturally. You start to fall in love with the daily efforts, and these become self-rewarding. Your sense of esteem, self-control, and personal power will all increase when you fall in love with your own daily efforts. Noticing and enjoying these moments every day will bring you a better life. Guaranteed.
When we chase a big outcome because we think THAT OUTCOME will bring us happiness, we are going to be disappointed. The big outcome only brings a temporary result, and the mind now wants more. Please don’t misunderstand me: There is no problem with setting and seeking big outcomes. It’s a beautiful thing.
The key is this: The big outcome is good for the initial why, as it helps with motivation and will likely improve the quality of life. However, this will not bring us deep satisfaction or happiness, at least not for the long term.
However, if we have the big goal as the outcome for one of our New Year’s Resolutions, this is perfectly wonderful. Simply do your morning visualization, and after that, turn your attention to noticing and celebrating your daily effort to get there.
We live our lives only in the present moment, and this is the genuine source of the joy that will ultimately feed our deepest desires. Thus, focus your attention on daily efforts, and be present for each daily step along the way. Our happiness and esteem will evolve with ease when it is our daily, incremental efforts that we come to notice, enjoy, and celebrate.
I hope you consider adding these three-pointers to your New Year’s efforts to evolve your better life. And again, my best wishes for the New Year.