Ok, so put your hand up if the resolutions you made for the new year are already going to pot.
Hand up? Yup, you’re not alone.
Over the years, I’ve found that the resolutions I’ve made for myself rarely last.
Mainly because they are powered by willpower. And willpower runs out pretty quickly.
Willpower runs out so quickly in fact, that this is one of the sole reasons gyms make so much money.
Think about it, if every single person who signs up for a gym membership in January actually goes to the gym 4 times a week as they intend to on January 1st, gyms would be packed out and there wouldn’t be any space for new people. I mean, imagine your gym being so packed out that you have to be queue for the bloody elliptical trainer. Who wants to stand there watching someone’s sweaty hands holding the handles of the elliptical you’ll soon have to grasp as you push and pull and grunt your way through a 5K hill-climb while watching inane television on a tiny screen and wondering why you’re not just at home and sat on the sofa?
No-one, that’s who.
And this is why gyms up and down the country will be rubbing their hands with glee in oh, about 5 days from now. Because people will be paying them hundreds a month for a 12-month contract they’re about to give up on.
This is called a passive income. (Nice one, gyms, you sneaky bastards, sucking dry the already fading willpower tanks of well-intending people.)
The willpower tank also tends to fade for these things too: Cutting down on alcohol, quitting smoking, eating less junk and more greens, finding a new job, leaving the partner you’ve known hasn’t been right from you for years, starting a business, quitting your business, reading more books, being more assertive and finally saying no, limiting your screen time to stop yourself aimlessly scrolling through social media feeds (so that you can actually read more books without losing focus).
The reason willpower doesn’t last?
Because we get in our own way.
Or, to be exact, our thoughts get in our way.
You know the thoughts I’m talking about. They’re the really unhelpful ones that kick in the moment you open your mouth to tell your boss to shove it. The ones that go, “I’ll never get another job” or “Maybe I should just wait a few months and see how it goes”. They’re the ones that slowly seep in – pissing all over the excitement you feel as you start to make solid plans for that move to New Zealand – the ones that go, “What about the cat? The mortgage? How will I even find work? Maybe I’m better staying here, I just don’t know if I can do this”.
And they’re definitely the ones that pop up each time you put on your trainers to go for a run, “It’s raining, maybe I’ll go later. Or even tomorrow! I’ll just check the weather forecast and see if it’ll be better to run then. Ah yes, sunshine, great!”
Except it’s not great is it? Because each time you turn your back on your intention, your willpower, your decision, you’re actually turning your back on you.
The you who tries really fucking hard and means well. The you who wants to make that change but struggles sometimes. The you who says, “This year, it’ll be different” but you’re already worrying it won’t. The you who experiences that mind-numbing settling-for-less feeling. The you who looks at others and thinks, “I’m different to them, they have something I don’t”. The you who resigns yourself to staying small.
You owe yourself more than that.
You really do. And I know you know it (even it’s deep, deep down).
And so, in all of this, I’m wondering, what is it that you owe yourself this year? Something other than flailing resolutions and forcing yourself to do things because you think you should be doing them. Something other than being a real shit to yourself because you mess up sometimes. Something other than the rigmarole of skipping the workout, telling yourself it’s ok, and then feeling totally not ok an hour later.
What is it that will actually help get you to where you want to go, towards the things you really want for your life?
Because, after all, this is your life.
And you have just the one. You won’t get another.
Come on. What do you owe yourself?
In January, I’m offering 20 minute coaching tasters, absolutely free. Want to talk? Click here.