From Resolution to Action - Alignment with Values

Starting a new behavior involves change, and change is difficult because it requires overcoming our built-in homeostasis. Facing inner resistance and some discomfort is therefore to be expected when attempting to shift habits and wire a new pattern into our nervous system.

See where I'm going with this?

In order to succeed with a new resolution, we must accept feeling some resistance and discomfort until the new habit becomes integrated into our life. This means that we must be willing to make a temporary sacrifice. A sacrifice of our immediate gratification of comfort at the very least.

And because we won’t stay motivated to make such repetitive sacrifice just for a "nice-to-have", we must align the intended change with our value system.

Or choose another New Year Resolution, one that would be a better match with our personal values.

We're usually more willing to sacrifice our comfort for the sake of a long-term vision. For example, what sounds more inspiring? Starting exercising regularly to go down one pant size and look slimmer or starting to exercise regularly to remain in good health and live a longer life surrounded by the people we love?

Although there is nothing wrong with the first intention, I believe that focusing on the second one has more potential to sustain us as we work through our resistance to change and wire the new behavior into our nervous system.

Journaling Questions:

  • How is my New Year Resolution aligned with my values? What's my short-term intention? What's my long-term vision?
  • How am I feeling physically and emotionally when I imagine the consequences of continuing with the status quo?
  • What new possibilities would the new behavior allow? In the short-term? In the long-term?
  • What mental image comes to mind when I imagine my future self in the new behavior? How would I feel physically and emotionally?

From Resolution to Action: