Happy New Year

Tuesday, 10 de January de 2017 · IBCI

Every time I hear, read or discuss New Year Resolutions, the same question burns in my mind. “How is it possible that an external point in time: January1 can suddenly activate an internal mental-emotional process of change?"

The Wish—The Dream—The Reality

Around the world, the outset of a new year is considered as an opportunity for a new start, for new beginnings and new success stories.

Social media overflows with likes and shares of quotes, wishes, references, suggestions, even grand mandates for change.

On TV, glamorous shows are dedicated to "new year resolutions", simply to be ignored in a short while, as we watch the world news with  painful impact, and are reminded of the social and economic changes we did or cannot manage over the many years in our lives.

It seems as these global events happen;  the elements of enthusiasm, renewal, hope and joy are juxtaposed with world agony and fear that  raises the stress level in us and our lives and contradicts and confuses our futures. Think about how we are emotionally challenged by political events in Syria, Europe and the USA

On a personal level, each new year brings dreams, wishes, hopes and promises to ourselves : "I will do things differently", "I will make it!", "I will make the decision", "I will make the right choice", "I will give a meaning to my life", "I will define in a better way my relationships", "I will increase my influence and manage to get the promotion I deserve" and on it goes.

With such thoughts in our minds, hearts and souls New Year’s Eve finds us dreaming for a better, more effective, upgraded edition of ourselves and our lives. Then the New Year arrives! This “external” new year, a time and date set by the calendar as a ready platform to think about new things, to dream, to wish, to make promises to self, as intentions only but not necessarily to succeed in achieving anything  because hopes, wishes and dreams do not in themselves create reality. Resolutions stay as resolutions placing an added burden of guilt on the "I should list" The annual cycle continues year after year with good intentions but with few real concrete results.

Despite the wishes, dreams and the hopes, a new year has rarely proved in action to be the beginning of stated new resolutions…and change.

Why does this occur? Why are we not successful, give up or never start in the first place ?

Ancient Principles at Work

  1. Even if the year is new, we remain old! The old has a magic way of repeating old things even when found in front of new beginnings. We are creatures of habit who find security and comfort in habits that we rationalize as "good" for us.
  2. We do not believe it! Feelings of defeat anchored inside of us (our self view) following similar unsuccessful attempts in the past instills a negative assessment for our capability to make the change happen (self efficacy). This dynamic progressively lowers our will and our self esteem. Every time we postpone or fail, our next effort begins from a lower set point – a more difficult starting point. Our "inner critic" takes control to ensure we aren't worthy of the changes we wish, dream or hope to make.
  3.  We cannot change alone in spite of good intentions. With  a coach we have  objective   counsel to help us source new personal meaning, identify action steps and to keep us accountable, challenge the "Inner Critic" and break the habit chains as we make the changes we wish, hope and dream for.

The Actions We Take

Alas! Let's stop promising ourselves or others, that we will implement a change that is not ripe enough within us because of a new year date on the calendar, or because of the exercised pressure from our manager or life partner. This is behaviorally premature, simply because it is mentally and emotionally premature.

What are the readiness steps we  must take to achieve new goals in our reality and to avoid simply talking about them, once more while loading up the guilt sack ?

  1. See in yourself something more from what you see already: your potentials. To find the "new" within yourself explore aspects of yourself that are unknown, hidden, completely, inactive or subactive.
  2. Re-write part of your personal truth and your "purpose". To view the "old" from a different perspective, often provides important clues to the "new" to discover the "new" that need not a replica of the "old".
  3. Increase your own level of understanding, consciousness and commitment to where "I want to go, why I want to go there, what I WILL do, and when will I know I am there.".
  4. Choose what you will learn and what you will unlearn, what you will start, what you will stop, and what you will continue on the way to your newly defined destination.
  5. And finally decide this time you will not try it alone and, will find a trusted coach to support you in reaching your target faster in a more focused and timely way and, to hold you accountable. This a life and work strategy

The steps above create the prerequisites for a starting point where possibility, hopes and dreams can become reality since the action will be generated from within (our intrinsic self).

It does come not from the outside world with a  New Year's deadline. It is a change that we to which we can give authentic meaning in its right time and place. Every day is a new year's day where external triggers tagged by the intrinsic self can create conditions for change anytime, anywhere, in any way and for anyone. The fundamental questions are "am we paying attention?", "am I motivated to take steps to change"? and "am I willing to invest in a coach to maintain the momentum for change?" 

In conclusion we learn:

  • Hoping, wishing and dreaming are a necessary step, but do not guarantee change and  nor change success
  • We can achieve a target if we know its personal meaning, makes sense, has value and know the rules to follow
  • Find the opportunity, time and place when it is our unique moment for a new beginning,
  • Distinguish when it is the authentic “me” that acts at the right time and place for "me"
  • Find a trusted coach to provide objectivity and accountability
  • Change starts and stays for as long we are giving active attention, meaning and action to it.                                                                                                        

                                  Happy New Year whenever it starts for you!

                        Yiannis Koutsoumaris, Regional Vice-President Greece

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