It’s that time of year again!
It’s time for the blank slate, the do-over, the fresh start. It’s time to make some big changes. It’s time to get serious and do the “I’m finally going to make this happen” thing.
It’s time to make your list of the top ten radical life changes you’re going to make. The ones you’ll need all the willpower you have to achieve — because you’re going to make them all at once.
Yes, it’s time for New Year’s resolutions.
Making resolutions (tons of them) is incredibly alluring. That’s because we all want to transform ourselves. We want to be different than we are.
Actually, we want to be a different person.
And we want it now. We want to kick some major ass in January and wake up February 1st with a brand new life.
And, of course, the prerequisite for a brand new life is a brand new body.
So you resolve to do the following: work out five days a week, drink green juice, do intermittent fasting, eat clean (whatever that means), quit drinking, eliminate sugar, take 10,000 steps a day, journal your heart out, and meditate every night before going to bed.
All of this so you can lose ten pounds and finally (finally!) have the “perfect” body.
What you’re actually resolving to do is kill yourself in the short term to get something you desperately want but don’t yet have.
However, the reality is that you already have it — you just need to patiently and consistently do what it takes so that it can emerge.
You’re probably thinking right about now, What in the world is she talking about?
Let me explain.
What’s Wrong With New Year’s Resolutions
First of all, let’s get clear on one thing: New Year’s resolutions don’t work. For the same reasons that diets don’t work.
Making multiple really big changes — especially all at once — requires an enormous amount of willpower. And willpower runs out.
When you run out of willpower, you fail. And you feel like a failure. Which makes you even more desperate, which makes you more likely to keep buying into the notion of the quick fix.
Second, you don’t change your habits. You make a bunch of radical changes, then go right back to what you were doing last year. And get the same results you got last year.
Third, making these kinds of radical changes prevents you from getting the incremental small wins that help you learn to do things differently so you can get permanent results.
Fourth, and most importantly, making sweeping changes in order to become a totally different person means that you don’t get to gradually become the best version of yourself — which is a tragedy because you at full potential is way better than the watered-down version of you with someone else’s body.
Basically, what you’re doing with New Year’s resolutions is doing to get . . . rather than feeling to become.
Permanent Results Start With a Shift in Thinking
Resolutions have a hollowness to them. They have no heart, no meaning. They’re about desperation. They’re about buckling down for a short amount of time to get surface results, rather than learning, evolving, and becoming.
Becoming doesn’t happen overnight. It happens over the long term. So what you need is a change in mindset that takes you from desperation to commitment. A change from resistance to acceptance.
Permanent results are achieved through incremental trial and error. They are achieved by someone who is willing to embrace temporary failure, get back up again, and stay the course.
Setting New Year’s resolutions and going at it full force to undo the damage done by months and years of bad habits is like spending four years of college getting hammered and skipping class then cramming for the last month to get your diploma.
It doesn’t work that way. Even if you do get your diploma, did you learn anything to use for the job you get hired for later? Results don’t last if you don’t have the foundation to back it up.
Think of the lottery winners who make millions overnight — then lose it all because they didn’t change their financial habits.
You have to change your habits. And to do this, you have to change your mind. You have to shift your mindset.
Here’s the first shift I want you to make: You already have the body you want — you just have to help it reveal itself.
Um, Camille Martin, WTF? I definitely don’t have the body I want.
Yes, you do. What I mean is that your perfect body is in there. It’s just buried underneath a layer of stuff you need to shed.
This layer of stuff has accumulated over years of bad habits. Habits you’ve cemented into your life by way of thoughts that don’t serve you.
You kill yourself to get someone else’s body — when your perfect body (the one you were born with) lies just below the surface. And in order to excavate your perfect body, you have to consistently do different things.
And shifting your mindset is what helps you do them.
Now let’s also talk about something else really important that affects what you do: How you feel.
Acting and Feeling Go Hand-in-Hand
If you’re still having a hard time letting go of the idea that you want the body that so-and-so has, think about how she thinks. She no doubt thinks differently, which means that she feels differently. Both of these affect . . .
- How she carries herself — she walks with confidence
- How she spends her free time — she does exciting things and is engaged with life
- What she says — she doesn’t spread negativity, commiserate, complain, or make excuses
- Who she hangs out with — she spends her time with people who are uplifting
- What she reads and watches — she fills her mind with ideas that make her life better
- How she sees the world — she has hope and sees possibility rather than failure
Of course it’s also about what she eats. But the difference is that she doesn’t eat to satisfy an emotional need. (And because she’s doing everything on the list above, she doesn’t need to.)
She makes choices about what to eat based on how to properly to fuel her body, how the food makes her feel physically, how the food affects her mood, how the food contributes to longevity, how the food shows up on the outside (not just tastes good in the moment).
And since she’s living fully, joyfully, and authentically, making these choices is easy.
How she thinks and feels helps her take the right actions, and by taking the right actions she has become the kind of person whose “perfect” body is on full display — not buried underneath an unnecessary layer of fat.
Now here’s the shocking truth: The woman I’m talking about is you.
You’re just not acting like her. Yet.
Right now you’re dumbing yourself down with burdensome and self-destructive things like drinking too much, reading and watching things that bring you down, spending time with the wrong people, gossiping, and rewarding yourself with food. Things that are beneath you.
And it’s making you fee like crap . . . which makes you keep doing these crappy things.
You have to think, feel, and act your way into the person you were born to be — a powerful woman who doesn’t need to fill herself up with food, who “works out” because she was made to move, and who’s too on fire for life to waste her time obsessing over the parts of her body she doesn’t like.
You have to act “as if” you already have the body you want (because you do). And the more you act this way, the more powerful and alive you feel. And the more you feel this way, the easier it is for you to keep taking the right actions.
And the more you do both, the faster your perfect body will emerge.
The more “you” you become, the more you start to look like the real you.
Make This Your Resolution
So right now, promise me that you will get on board with this truth: The body you want is already inside of you. You don’t need to kill yourself to get a different one.
This year decide that you won’t keep desperately searching for the next get-rich-quick scheme, the next fad diet.
Decide that you’re not going to fall into the trap of desperately setting New Year’s resolutions — only to watch yourself fail and have to start all over again.
Let your one resolution this year be to start changing inwardly in order to change yourself outwardly.
It takes time for these ideas to sink in, but I promise it’s worth it. And the results will show up if you stick with it.
Be patient with yourself. You can do this.
To wrap this incredibly long post up, I’m going to quote one of my most favorite sayings: A year from now, you’ll wish you’d started today.
Happy New Year!
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