Andrew Harmon



2015: New Year, New You

How to Mean It When You Say It and Deliver on It This Year

By Janette R. Smith, SI Certified Life Strategist & Mindset Coach

I have a personal quote, “Making change is never as difficult as accepting change.”  It only takes a few days into January to realize you’ve either already BROKEN your New Year’s resolution or you’re not as committed to it as you THOUGHT you were. We’re all a bit resistant to change because it can be hard and often - scary.

As we prepare to boldy bound into 2015 clutching our New Year’s Resolutions in hand, I thought I’d offer you tools to help set you up to win in the area of personal development this coming year. After all, wouldn’t it be nice to mean it when you say it, and deliver on all your goals this year?

Just maybe, though, the problem isn’t laziness or lack of willpower. According to Harvard Graduate School of Education professors Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey, when we fail at a goal we’ve set for ourselves, it’s likely that a type of psychological immune system is covertly at work, defending us from perceived threats.

To arrive at lasting change, Kegan (who teaches Adult Development ) and Lahey say you must dig deep to identify what may be in opposition to your goal. These hidden competing commitments are rooted in our individual world views and are represented through our 'big assumptions’ -that’s how we think things operate. Real change can only come as a result of us altering the way we think. *

Kegan and Lahey lay out a process for overcoming these emotional obstacles in their book Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization, It’s a four-column immunity map that helps you understand what feelings are at play and how you are sabotaging your efforts.

Before I share the link to a downloadable version of their immunity map - let me point out, SOME of you are just not going to dig that deep and work toward understanding the resistance that keeps you from getting exactly what you want out of life. NO JUDGEMENT here, but it is ABSOLUTELY imperative to be clear about your intent and resolve to take action! There’s a joke that goes: If fifteen frogs are on a log and three decide to jump off in the water, how many frogs are on the log? The truth is fifteen frogs are still on the log. DECIDING to do something and ACTUALLY doing it are two entirely different things. For this reason, I simply want to offer another ‘change agent’ option to those of you who aren’t UP for quite an extensive self-excavating journey as the Immunity to Change process will provide.

Try a Mini Quest.

I was employing this technique for years, and then heard Elizathe Guilbert , author of Eat, Pray, Love talk about it on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday program. Mini Quests, as she calls them, are goals through experiences you challenge yourself to partake in everyday. Today, my mini quest was to make each person I came in contact feel loved and cherished. I didn’t quite succeed. Truth be told, I ended up working much longer than I was supposed to and missed a deadline on something because of the overtime—so the worry and frustration did start leaking out as the night wore on. I don’t think anyone felt Devalued or disrespected, but I didn’t leave everyone swimming in a lake of skittles and soft bunnies as I had hoped. My transparent share is to encourage you in knowing that change is a process and usually does NOT happen instantaneously nor overnight. (Though I did go “cold turkey” on eating sugar at the beginning of December. Catch me in January to see how that journey goes. )

That’s the great thing about Mini Quests: they expire at the end of the day, and you get to set out on a new one the very next morning. This is a goal-setting exercise that challenges you to live more fully and presently, focus on things outside of yourself, helps you find things to be grateful that are all around you and helps you practice setting and meeting goals.

Once you graduate from those, you will find something open up inside you. It is your authentic self emerging —embracing life in new and interesting ways. If you are a ‘stuck in the rut’ kind of person, THIS EXERCISE IS DEFINITELY for you!  There’s nothing better to get you going and growing again than daily positive challenges. Imagine how drastically different you can be in the span of even one week if you set and meet Mini Quest goals every day.

Day one- look for three beautiful things around you. (You’ll be forced to look for positivity.)   Day 2- Give everyone you meet a smile.  Day three- Try a new food. Day four- Take a dance break… etc. This new approach to goal-setting and New Year’s Resolutions could create a rejuvenating energy within you, add the spice of spontaneity along with a shift toward heightened thinking and connectivity with yourself and those around you.   If you are  ready to take on with goal setting challenge— I’d love to hear back from you about how things went.  Good or Bad, keep it real…but keep it moving, you’ve got to really try. You have heard a scripture quoted as saying, ’Faith without works is dead.” Translation: There is no hocus-pocus in life, your faith, beliefs and even good intentions must be followed up with action.

For those of you who are serious about unlocking your Immunity to Change - go to my website UBeEmpowered.Com to download the free immunity map and instructions that walk you through the process. You can learn more and REALLY go deep by purchasing their book.

I also welcome questions and comments. Write to me and stay connected through social media as we begin this journey together into 2015 with the intention of lving on purpose, staying present, learning, laughing and living on purpose.

No matter what you decide to do moving into 2015, remember to start from an authentic desire to live fully and freely. Choose a goal or goals for the right reason, that serve you and would help you become the highest expression of yourself. Don’t forget to celebrate progress as well as achievement and let us celebrate with you. Send your thoughts, comments and testimonials in.  Until next time - #BeEmpowered

*Source: Leslie Helmuth, Harvard Extension blog editor




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