Did you know the ancient Babylonians were celebrating New Year’s and making resolutions 4000 years ago… Yep, 4000 years ago people were promising that this year they’d finally fit into their skinny jeans.
The statistics on New Year’s Resolutions aren’t the most inspiring. Only 10% of people successfully following through. It’s so bad that the second Friday after New Year’s eve is now called “Quitter’s Day” due to the number of people who drop their resolution within two weeks.
But you can be that 10% who rocks your resolutions to 2020 and beyond, by unlocking the secret to successful New Year’s Resolutions (NYRs).
Technically, a NYR can be called a ‘Behavioural Change Process’.
There are various strategies you can consciously apply to improve your chance of success with this. We’ll quickly mention a few of the better ones. None of these are particularly new.
A NYR created from an authentic internal desire (intrinsically motivated), and not simply to appease others, is more likely to succeed. Especially if it’s something you ‘want’ to do, not feel you ‘have’ to do.
Choose one or two NYRs and keep them simple, and make sure the NYR is realistic within your resources and potential capabilities.
NYRs which could take all year to achieve are best broken down into manageable chunks. This allows you to track progress and celebrate goals along the way.
Roadblocks, obstacles and lapses will happen. Use these as opportunities to reflect and make adjustments where necessary. The ability to adapt makes for robust NYRs.
The last conscious strategy is to write the NYR down, with a pen, using positive language. Commit and be accountable to the goal, and regularly revisit what you’ve written.
People have been applying these conscious brain strategies for years, with varying success. So what’s the confounding factor that leaves so many unfulfilled resolutions?
There’s a missing piece to the puzzle…
First we need to understand what we are doing when we make a NYR. We consider it a series of thoughts framed as a plan for the future. The NYR is a conscious thought from your educated higher brain centres (the prefrontal cortex). Which is the only part of your brain that actually wants to make the NYR.
What you are really doing when you make a NYR is you’re expressing a desire to change existing patterns of behaviour. Your existing behaviours aren’t just thoughts in your conscious brain. They’re physical patterns, ingrained throughout the structures of your unconscious nervous system.
Your unconscious nervous system is more concerned with survival than it is with fitting into your skinny jeans. It wants you to continue playing the old behavioural patterns from the past, because they are the ones that have proven to keep you ‘safe’ in the past. The less safe your unconscious nervous system feels, the more rigid it becomes in sticking to old patterns.
If you want a successful NYR and a better life, you must let the unconscious nervous system feel safe enough to relinquish its existing patterns and co-operate with the conscious higher brain centres.
The main obstacle in achieving your NYR isn’t how clearly you write it down with a pen. It’s reducing the Physically Retained Stress that is held throughout your unconscious nervous system, locked in your body. If you want a successful NYR, or a better chance for any positive life change, you must address this Physically Retained Stress and let your body feel ‘safe’.
That’s our focus at Foundation. Our gentle Neuro-Structural Optimisation teaches your body to resolve Physically Retained Stress, by providing a personalised solution to shift you out of the defence physiology locked in by years of low level, chronic stress.
One of the supporting features of our Neuro-Structural Optimisation involves 12 stages of specific breath training, called Somato-Respiratory Integration. SRI is linked to your progress through the various levels of care. Many of you are practicing stages 1 through to 4, some even higher. Practicing directed breathing has been shown to provide a bridge to access and create safety in the unconscious nervous system.
Breathe You Way to a Better 2019…
Here’s a basic but powerful breathing drill you can use to increase success with you NYR.
1) Write down your NYR in a simple short sentence. Repeat it to yourself until it becomes a little mantra you can remember.
2) Lie down on the floor, face up, Focus on where you are comfortably breathing in your body and place one hand on that area.
3) Repeat the NYR in you mind (or out loud), and notice where you aren’t breathing, or where your breath feels ‘stuck’ or tight when your mind goes to the NYR. Put your other hand there.
4) Keep repeat the NYR in your mind (or out loud), and think about doing it as you breath alternately into one hand and then into the other. Keep your breath smooth and slowly build momentum. going back and forth from the comfortable area to the ‘stuck’ area.
5) After 2 to 5 minutes, it will feel easier to breath into the ‘stuck’ area. Finish the directed breathing and take a few relaxed ‘normal’ breaths while you stretch and unwind.
6) Now get up and go take action that will achieve your NYR. You should find a lot less resistance. Repeat this simple exercise daily or whenever NYR motivation is low.
To ensure you enjoy a better quality of life in 2019, Foundation is providing complimentary Somato-Respiratory Integration workshops for Foundation patients and their guests during January and February. Stay tuned for more details…