We all have “aha” moments, moments when we realize something we had never realized before, moments when something that was clear as mud suddenly becomes crystal clear. For many, New Year’s is the perfect time to harvest those inner knowings that have come throughout the year. To design the new year with our “aha’s” in our heart and in our mind.
What happens after the New Year’s excitement wears off?
How do we ensure that those insights don’t simply vanish, and we go back to the same old same old? According to some statistics, about 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. At Newfield, we have found that there are some key factors that can assist us in sustaining the change we long for.
What’s the purpose or significance of that “aha?”What will flourish if I take this on?
When we recognize that something is meaningful to us, we connect to the impulse that can move us into a new action.
Why is that important to me? Why is this meaningful to me, to my loved ones, to my community and beyond?
When we connect our care to something larger than ourselves or recognize the cost or consequence to our life of doing nothing, we take the next step forward to designing meaningful action.
How do I bring this into my life in a practical way and have it become enduring? What practice would bring this into my day to day life? What support will help ensure my practice endures?
Once we have some clarity on the meaning and value, we can begin designing practices that will support us in cultivating that seed in our life. The practice can be in any domain of life: financial, career, family, relationship, health, etc. Make it simple and doable. If a practice is simple and doable, we are much more likely to do it!
Once we have designed a practice, we next decide how we’ll implement it and ensure it.
Specifically, we can ask:
- Frequency – How frequently do I want to practice (daily, 3 times per week, once a month, etc.)?
- Duration – For how long (5 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, etc.)?
- When – When do you commit to doing it (upon waking, after a shower, during lunch, after work, etc.)?
- Support – What support systems or structures will help ensure my practice endures (arrange an accountability partner that you report to, invite a buddy to do it with you, etc.)? Making a commitment and then falling off the wagon is a common human experience. Therefore, having a support system in place can help us stay on track with our practices over the long haul.
As one of my mentors, Bob Dunham, Founder of the Institute for Generative Leadership, often says, “You are what you practice.”
Enjoy the New Year and may your daily practices be in alignment with what matters most to you.