If you find yourself struggling with how to follow through on your dreams, goals or wants, feel free to read on. With the start of a brand new year, the air is filled with the buzz of new years resolutions. Some people will follow through and succeed with what they set out to do and some won’t. Knowing yourself, considering your lifestyle and getting clear on what you're willing to do and not do can greatly help you achieve your desires.
Here are two statements to consider when you're looking to change a habit or get to a new level in your life.
Your change or new habit has to be able to jive with your lifestyle.
Your change or new habit has to make sense for who you naturally are.
Who Are You?
Are you a morning person or night person? For example, if your goal is to attend a regular 6am workout class and you’re a hard core night owl, chances are you’re not setting yourself up for success. Do you work better alone, but are forcing yourself to join group work sessions to reach your career goals? Maybe think twice about that since it goes against your natural tendencies of how you perform well. My intention in bringing up these contradictions is for you to make sure that the vehicle that you are choosing to drive toward your goals makes sense for you. We all have ways and flavors about us that feel more natural. When we find a way of going about things that fit us vs. going against us, we are more likely to follow through and reach what we want for ourselves.
What’s Your Lifestyle?
Even though, deep within, my alter ego yearns for me to be a DJ, ultimately, if I’m honest with myself, the late hours and constant party vibe would not be a fit for me. My preferred lifestyle is way more mellow than that. With whatever goal you have in mind, be sure to assess that your desired result is something that works for what kind of lifestyle you want to live. If your goal is to live in a bustling city, but you dislike crowds, action, street noise and tons of people, you might be setting yourself up for a rude awakening. Considering who you are, what times of day you are best and which environments you enjoy are all factors to consider when developing a game plan that suits you. Warning, a diet that demands you to stop eating past 4:00 pm, although you have always been a huge late night muncher might not be the best fit. There is ALWAYS an alternative way and different path to get you toward what you want. Always. Don’t get caught in the trap and hype of believing that there is only one way toward what you want.
To be blunt. That’s crap. It’s not true.
Is It Sustainable?
Is what you are setting out to accomplish a lifestyle that you can sustain? Can you get up early every morning and write for an hour. Well, if you have three kids and have to be at work by 9am, perhaps that’s not a sustainable goal that you can do consistently. Creating a way about getting what you want entails making sure it’s a habit that you can do regularly without too many road blocks. Any want, goal or desire that calls for something drastic that is not possible for you to do on a consistent basis is something I would advise you to think twice about. If you are trying to get in shape and sign up for a 6 day/week boot camp after having a 5 month hiatus on any sort of physical exercise, perhaps its time to think of plan B. Make sure that what you are aiming for is realistic for you and your life and is something that you have the space, time and capacity for.
The reality is that whatever you are looking to change, excel in or add or subtract from your life has to make sense for the lifestyle that you want to live and who you are. If you can wrap your head around this and find a formula that is congruent with those factors, your chances for success are far greater. So often I see people who, with the best of intentions, begin a new way of existing that just seems really difficult to sustain based on what they like and who they are. Don’t deny yourself carbs if you love them because chances are you won’t want to sustain that kind of diet. (Regardless to say, who can not eat carbs as a lifestyle?) Be mindful of signing up for a job that entails minimal interaction with others if you are a sociable person. If it’s hard for you to sit still, maybe the 48 hour meditation and solitude retreat is not for you.
Get my drift?
Work with your true nature. Be honest with yourself about what kind of limits or goals work for you. Everything will flow much more smoothly when considering these points. Now carry on and go after what you want.
* This image of me was taken in Joshua Tree National Park by Ashley Williams, a San Diego based Photographer.