How to make this year, the best year yet…yep that old chestnut!

This time of year you will see plenty of tips and tricks floating around the wonder web that encourage you to change your life.

Some will be en pointe.

Some may be left field.

Some, in all honesty, you can ignore.

But the one thing you can not ignore, is that no matter what you choose to change it will take action.

Pure and simple.

So why can it seem such a challenge to make those changes? Well, it’s normal as the human brain is actually wired for laziness. Yes you read that right.

“Gee thanks Jules, thought you were meant to be helping to inspire and motivate me!” I know right. Bear with me though!

It’s true the human brain is wired for laziness. “Conserving energy has been essential for human’s survival, as it allowed us to be more efficient in searching for food and shelter, competing for sexual partners and avoiding predators” Matthieu Boisgontier, researcher at University of British Columbia.

Which is why going to the gym or going for a run, doing DIY/housework/homework is a challenge. Whilst we know we want to, or think we should do the activity, our brains have to work harder to be active and so to take action we have to override this process.

See Matthieu’s research here

I realise that some may see this a reason to not do anything, and yet here you are. Still taking action.Reading on. Curious I suspect, as to what to do and how to override that lazy brain.

The first step is the most important and not rocket science. Be clear on what you want to change. Very clear. And specify even further for clarity. Most people don’t have a clarity on what they mean for example when they are asking for more success, happiness, confidence. These are great words but are a starting point, they are not the whole picture. More on this in moment.

The second step is to get very clear on your reason for this changeWhy do you want this change in your life? What’s the purpose of the change? The main point of knowing this, is that often people discover that they are either wanting to make a change because someone else expects it of them – family member, friend, society at large or because they assume it will help them feel something.

But before I get on to that and the third step, let’s circle back to that first part, clarity.

A few months back I was working with a client who had something she wanted to change – her body shape. In fact her words were “I must lose weight’ A few coaching questions later and we were no longer talking about her weight but her energy levels. ‘Actually I am not bothered about my weight. It’s my energy levels that I want to change.’ She beamed a smile, relaxed her shoulders and took a deep breath out. That’s often what clarity can look and feel like. The ‘losing weight’ goal had come from the external world. The ‘more energy’ focus came from within.

They may sound similar but imagine you are sat in a restaurant and have the menu in front of you.  Your focus is that what you eat, must help you lose weight. What’s that like for you? Most people experience a sense of pressure, tension or overwhelm.

Now imagine you are in the same restaurant with the same menu. Your focus now is your energy and the food you eat is based on your energy and whether you want it to pick you up, sustain you or you are going to head for the couch and snooze. What’s that like for you? t’s a different choice.  One that many experience as being less pressured.

So make sure that you have real clarity on what your goal, or I prefer intention, is. And if this is a challenge for you to discover, then work with a friend or mentor or coach to dig for that clarity with you as it is as valuable as gold.

Then we can move on to looking at your purpose for this change. And if we stick with the real world story of the above client, she realised that current way of life was not helping her energy. The discussion broadened from food to all areas of her life where this was happening, including sleep, moving her body and her thinking.

She spoke about her busy life and how she wanted to be giving herself, her work and her family the best opportunity to be attentive to whatever task she was doing, rather than be distracted because she was tired.

Her purpose to be awake and present.

Your purpose acts as a reminder. A pointer to your destination if you like. e.g. why am I getting on this plane when I hate flying? Because I want to see that destination.  So take the time to know the purpose of your intention….and again this is a digging process! Get digging!!

The third step, which I haven’t yet mentioned is to break your change down into achievables.

A number of years ago I trained as a Reiki Practitioner #thingsyoudidntknowaboutme and the lineage that I studied with had the following principles;

Just for today I will not worry

Just for today I will not be angry

Just for today I will be grateful

Just for today I will do my work honestly

Just for today I will be kind to every living thing

The bit that resonates with me still is…just for today. It’s not a ‘forever after or else’  It’s just for today. And I have used this in most of the changes that I have made in my life.

Just for today I will take the stairs rather than the lift.

Just for today I will have herbal tea instead of coffee.

Just for today I will eat fresh fruit and veg/cut out chocolate/not eat bread etc. The list goes on.

It gives me an action to take and supports the lazy brain default by stating it’s just for today. And each and everyday I make a choice as to what that step/action is…just for today.

By the end of the session the above client had clarity that her focus was her energy. Each day she would look at how she could support herself that day and her energy in order to be awake and present. Yes, even with a busy schedule!

So what’s your intention?

Your purpose for it?

And what can you do, just for today, to make that change?

Oh and by the way, you do not have to wait for a new year to change something.

Any day is a great day to start.

In fact, if not now, when?

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. And of course if you would like me to coach you to gain that clarity and purpose, then please get in touch via Jules@juleswyman.com or through the contacts page here