Every year about this time, many of us begin thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. We also think about past years and the fact that we abandoned our resolutions by the end of January. Many times, we felt like a failure and could not understand why we were unable to follow through and reach the goals we set. Setbacks actually create psychological tolls which activate stress hormones in the body. Surely, we don’t need more stress! It’s a vicious cycle in which we stress about our stress and develop feelings of low confidence.

You’ve been doing it wrong! 

Unfortunately, merely stating a goal, joining a gym, signing up for a marathon, or buying an Instant Pot isn’t going to automatically produce the results we intend. And that makes perfect sense! Starting and maintaining a lifestyle change is difficult. It involves making emotional, psychological, and physical changes. It is very complicated to change those aspects of ourselves without understanding the process. There are, however, some exciting concepts that can help you in advance to forward the process.

Create a mindset for change.

How badly do you want it?


            NO!                                         Meh                                Nothing will

                                                                                                         stop me!

How badly do you want it (your goal, to make a change)? Ask yourself on a scale of 1-10, like the one above. Where are you on this scale?  If you answer 9 or 10, you are ready to rock on and have reached the first important step. If you are 6-8, you have some emotional work to do. Perhaps you need to modify your goal. If you are 1-5, that indicates that you may not be emotionally and psychologically ready to progress toward your goal. There is no buy-in. This is an opportunity to think about what you want to accomplish. Set another goal and ask yourself how badly do you want this one, using the scale above.

Secondly, and this is critical, how willing are you to feel pain and discomfort, and how willing are you to push yourself through that?  Many people have good intentions, but it’s the pain and discomfort that causes them to throw in the towel. This is exactly what has kept them from being successful in the past. Heck, if it were easy and pain-free, you would have accomplished it already!

Ask yourself the hard questions which surround your resolution.

How willing am I to wake up at 5 am on Saturday mornings, regardless of the weather conditions, to meet the running group?

How willing am I to clean out my pantry, grocery shop on a consistent basis, and prepare a healthy lunch and dinner every day even though my family is not on board with my new eating plan?

How willing am I to set boundaries with people in my life who I have allowed in the past to take advantage of me, even though my family or friends may get angry with me?

You may have noticed that I have not asked, “Are you willing?” Instead, “How willing are you?” is more likely to help you determine how ready you are to are to start your journey.

Am I willing to feel discomfort/pain/awkwardness in order to be the person I envision?

Yes, there are emotions and physical discomfort that we don’t want to feel, and because of that, we make the decision to release our goals. Being mentally prepared for those particular feelings is a huge step toward success. Fully accessing your inner strength and determination will override the uncomfortable feelings you may face. In addition, acknowledgment and acceptance of the pain is an important step in understanding the process and moving forward. Many people do not consciously take into consideration that to reach their goals, it is necessary to drive through some discomfort and possibly pain. Not being fully aware of this fact can cause setbacks or goal abandonment.

Once you do the emotional work involved in goal setting, you are ready to take the next steps which can set you up for phenomenal success! You have everything inside of you that you need to succeed. Allow yourself to explore how to reach your true potential and accomplish your goals.

For more information on how to accomplish your goals and reach your full potential, contact Arlene Schneider, MSW, ACC, PCP, ELI-MP at 713.922.8083. www.schneidercoachinggroup.com

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