I’ve long passed on setting New Year’s resolutions. Though a fresh start and a line in the sand can give some momentum to making changes, it’s never enough. One year passing into the next, by itself, isn’t sufficient. Sure, there can be benefit in grabbing the psychological benefit of a clean slate and a kick start, but much more needs to be factored in if new habits are to be embedded.
Beyond that, there’s also the question of whether true change is even possible at all. How much change is on the cards? Aren’t I just me and everyone – myself included – needs to accept that?
The answer to that is determined by what level we’re talking about. At the fundamental, core level of our personality and character, I don’t think much change ever happens. We can alter the direction we might be going in, we can adjust the focus of our energies, but it’ll still be the same old me, just now heading in that new direction or focussing on something different. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not downplaying this! It can be life-altering. It’s simply that the essence of you is still, well, you.
At the level of habits though, I absolutely believe we can make meaningful changes to our lives. It’ll take more than a New Year, but with a meaningful plan and appropriate tools, all manner of change is possible. Katy Milkman’s ‘How to Change’ is the best book I’ve read on this, and a great starting place. (Available for just 99p on Kindle as of 14 January 2022.)
If you’re really looking to step up getting some breakthroughs in your life though, a programme like The Reset Challenge could be exactly what you need. It’s a 28-day guided roadmap designed to move you away from negative habits, addictions, and thought patterns and towards a healthy, purpose-filled life.
Ultimately, change comes down to choices. It may be recognising that we’re using the force of our personality for harm rather than good, and doing an about turn. It could be acknowledging that we want to have healthier habits – or break unhealthy ones – and taking the steps to becoming a better version of ourselves. We can’t do it alone though. We need help. Help from wise mentors (like the book and the course), but also those around us: friends, family, colleagues. Lasting change is rarely built in isolation.
Whatever else you may have planned for 2023, be sure to add intent to those plans. The life you desire won’t happen by accident.