Many people make New Year Resolutions to change some aspect of their well-being. But instead of focusing so much on what behavior to do, many of us would benefit by focusing more on how we are mentally approaching the change process.
Check out my quick video New Year, New Thoughts, New You below:
Thoughts precede Behavior
I’m guessing that you’ve heard the phrase…
“If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’re going to keep getting what you’ve been getting.”
There is wisdom in this statement because often when we want a different result we need to change something about our behavior and actions.
But when we are consciously pursuing a goal our thoughts precede our behavior. How we think about things influences what we do.
So here’s another statement to keep in mind.
“If you keep thinking the way you’ve been thinking, you’re going to keep doing what you’ve been doing.”
Personal Training for Your Mindset
I often describe coaching as personal training for your mindset. When I work with someone as their wellness coach, of course we spend some time talking about which behaviors they are interested in and which behaviors might help them reach a desired result. But often we spend just as much time talking about their mental approach to the situation.
The coaching process exercises your mindset through questions.
What makes this goal meaningful and important to you?
What are your hopes and dreams?
What are your fears and worries?
What are your needs?
What plan of action are you considering?
How much does the plan resonate with who you are and how your life is set up?
How do you view the challenge?
How do you view your abilities (strengths and weaknesses)?
What would success look like?
How do you typically evaluate your progress and effort?
Better New Year Resolutions
When we make New Year Resolutions or any plan to change, exploring our thinking is more important than what behavior to focus on because if we build a plan around behaviors that we hate, actions that we can’t do, or rhythms that don’t fit the structure of our life it will be difficult to stick to the plan.
One of the thinking challenges that people have is expertitis.
Expertitis occurs when an expert or someone we highly respect recommends a behavior or action and then our mindset gets inflamed with this one idea.
Because the idea comes from someone we respect it carries a lot of value to us mentally and emotionally. But sometimes the idea is not practical or fun to do, and this is where we get stuck.
We get fixed in the idea that we have to do a behavior that we don’t like or can’t do in order to reach our goal.
If we don’t like it… we can “Willpower” ourselves to start, but after a short while, we’ll stop.
And if we can’t do it… we’ll never start in the first place.
It’s okay to follow the advice of experts, and it’s often super helpful to model what others have done to achieve success but we also have to think for ourselves to cure expertitis 🙂
Let me clarify that sometimes we have to do challenging and difficult things to reach our goals.
But sometimes we have options that fit us better.
We all have to work to earn a living, but if we are fortunate we can find a job that suit us. The same can be said for our wellness plans. We still have to put in effort, but hopefully we can find a way that suits us.
Breaking the Start-Stop Cycle
As a coach, one of the ways that I help people to break the Start-Stop cycle is by helping them to identify goals, plans, and mindsets that suit them.
This sometimes takes a bit of exploration through questions, introspection, and experiments, but once you find or develop a wellness plan that fits it’s much easier to keep following it.
So when you make your New Year Resolutions or any change plan, keep in mind that your mental approach is important because our thoughts precede our behavior. And if we create a plan that is inline with favorable aspects of our thinking it will be easier to stick to.
Yours in Health
P.S. There so much more that can be said about the wellness coaching process, and if you’re curious about how I can help you develop a mindset more conducive to lasting lifestyle change, get in contact with me to set up a discovery call.