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How your New Year intentions are boosted by your story

New Year's resolutions have a very low success rate (less than half in your 20's and once you're in your 50's it drops to 14%)

Success in keeping promises to yourself is more than dates in your calendar

I recently heard a new angle on New Year Resolutions - that we should refer to them as intentions instead. Resolutions have a certain demand or permanence to them that don't allow for any errors. Then, we have no choice but to beat ourselves up about what we haven't achieved. Instead, we can intend to invite a new habit into our lives with the goal of enhancing our experience or someone else's.

To create a new habit, it is key to attach it or replace it with a current habit. For instance, if you wanted to introduce some reflective time into your daily practice, you would have to introduce it to a daily practice that is already part of your routine. You want to make this new task as EASY as possible, so the adjustment is very subtle. Perhaps, on the even days of the month, have your music / news off as you drive to work. Or when you are brushing your teeth, simply use that time for this new practice.

Another element that allows for consistency in this new addition of your routine is your self-story. We all have self-stories that unconsciously dictate practices in behaviors. We strive to be consistent. So, if you are introducing something new, perhaps your self-story is that you need music to be playing on your way to work because it calms you. Or, you can't get up earlier to add something in your morning routine, because it upsets the rest of your preparation.

Consider your self-story about your career or current job. Perhaps you would like to advance your career, or take on more responsibility. How can you adjust your self-story to deliver such an outcome?

To move into your new self-story, you have to be aware of your current self-story. Here's an idea: carve out some time this weekend and write down your current self-story. What do you know to be true about yourself. What are the highlights about how you would describe your current position and what is the new self-story that needs to be told to be promoted to a more fabulous you? What if you wrote, "I am deserving of more responsibility," or "I am a capable and worthy manager. My colleagues respect who I am and what I contribute to the team."

The best place to start is to know your story. You may be telling yourself a tale whose ending you would like to change.

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