I hope everyone had a happy and rewarding holiday season and is off to a good start on 2020! New years are always interesting as most of us reflect on what we have done over the last year and what we hope for the year ahead and beyond. I think it is safe to say that in our lives we all have tried to make resolutions, goals, plans or whatever you might refer to them as around this time of year. So often these good intentioned plans fall by the wayside before the first few weeks of the year have even past. I want to pose a different way of enacting change that I have used with some success in hopes that it might help you better achieve the lives you all deserve.
There was a time a few years back when I was writing down daily intentions in my journal every morning with the hope of changing some of my personal character defects. After a few weeks of doing this I looked back through and read out loud some of the entries. What I found was that I had very good intentions of changing, but my word choice lacked courage, strength and conviction. If I was being honest with myself, it felt as if didn’t really believe I could be different and I needed to protect my ego from failure. What am I getting at you may ask? I will give you some examples.
Let’s say I wanted to improve my listening skills. I found that I had written in my journal something like, “I will try and listen intently when others are talking and focus my attention on them.” This is a seemingly good intentioned statement, but I believe it can be restated in a way that has more power. I realized that I can exact a greater effectiveness by assuming my personal change with a statement like, “I am a good listener, I engage with others and am interested in what they have to say.”
It is easy to think these two statements are one in the same, but I challenge you to try and identify where you are using “soft” language that could be changed to more “assertive” phrases. I truly believe that setting a standard of accountability can make us all more effective and successful. I listen to the voice in my head for words like, “try to” or “planning on” or “should”, and shift them to alternative phrases like “ I will” or “I am” or “count on it”.
Life is unpredictable and full of things I cannot control. There are goals I will crush as well as attempts where I will come up short. I have and will continue to deal with my share of both success and disappointment. I have found it does me know service to weaken my stance by preparing for failures. Give it a shot, and let me know how it works for you.