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New Year, New You?

A new year with good intentions

Millions of people around the world have made new year’s resolutions, believing this is the year to finally achieve XYZ. Resolutions are a process where, for many, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. 

It helps to remember that goals and dreams are helpful and useful. It is the failure to meet them that creates a whole new world of harsh self-criticism and blame. So, new year’s resolutions cry out for a way to break free of this self-defeating cycle!

So, knowing these natural patterns, how do we leverage them to achieve something we want?

Deciding if you want a new you

It may sound counterintuitive, however, change needs motivation and clarity of purpose to bring it to life. We cannot change because someone says, “we should”. We change because we want to do so ourselves because we believe in the outcome, the benefits, and the purpose. Change is ultimately about us, not someone else (no doubt a quirky irony for some people). 

So, let’s assume we’ve decided that a particular change is worth making. A purpose-driven approach holds the key to success, one that considers purpose and motivators. The PECSAW approach developed by Pegasus NLP is very effective.

The PECSAW Twist

  1. Identifying the outcome that we really want. Spend time clarifying very specifically what we really want. Allow the desired result to become vivid and clear (only we need convincing; this is entirely for our benefit).
  2. Clarify the necessary help and define what success looks like. Look at what we can do for ourselves, the attitude necessary to support our objective. Look at the role humour plays, if any, and how knowledge may reduce the stress typically associated with change. A key element here is ensuring our success isn’t dependent on the actions of another person. If it is, explore tweaks to regain control.
  3. Evaluating both the benefits and downsides of our chosen goal. Benefits are often easy to describe such as health or quality of life. Whereas drawbacks can be more challenging because they may tap into our value system. For instance, if weight loss is the resolution goal, some drawbacks might be losing the ability to eat favourite foods, losing social experiences, or forgoing a glass of wine. Delve deeply into the benefits and drawbacks for your entire environment establishing connections to what really matters. If the steps to achieve the goal are misaligned with our values, then success is unlikely to occur.
  4. Integrating what we truly desire with what matters to us. Bringing it all together so that we can “see” the plan in vivid detail. Visualization will maximize the likelihood of success. Share the objectives and the plan with others. Doing so achieves two objectives. First, it increases accountability (for us), and second, it offers us a support network if the going gets tough.

With these simple steps, change becomes a positive what’s in it for me approach. Behind us are the days of detachment and thoughts of “because I should” and hello are the dys of “I am doing it for myself”. 

Final Thoughts

So, 2023 is perhaps about attracting more of the things we want in life than it is about setting new year resolutions. Whatever your personal objectives, allow yourself the time to make them a reality. Contrary to the popular belief that new habits are formed in 3 weeks, researchers determined that it takes just over 2 months for new habits to form and stick. You’ll enjoy the fruit of your labour before you the end of the first quartera!

Need additional help or motivation? The Power of Potential provides a practical and supportive approach to help you achieve anything you want to do!

Your turn

Sign in to the Community Member Area or comment below to share your advice with others on how you drive change in your personal or professional life. Do you make new year’s resolutions or have you adopted a different approach?  

Give it a try!

Cartoon credit: John Wagner

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