Most people know what we need to do to be happier, healthier, or more productive.
Most of us do not do it.
Example: if I know that losing 10 pounds; or walking more; or spending more time with my family; will improve my life — and I have the wherewithal to do so — why don’t I just do it? Avoiding change is as much a part of the human condition as is falling in love or growing older. We all do it, whether we plan to or not.
This time of year that predicament is in full bloom. Millions boldly proclaim their “resolutions;” goals they will finally make real. The media are replete with experts, products, and services to assist in the quest. Diet centers, gyms, and self-improvement clinics of all stripes are busting at the seams. Yet, within weeks, you can shoot a proverbial cannonball through them without danger of hitting anyone.
Richard Bandler is one of two co-creators of the field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). As I understand, NLP, in its most basic sense, states that our internal dialogue is a cause of our actions. For example, should my inner voice stubbornly insist, “You cannot lose weight,” I will develop a series of beliefs and resultant actions which reinforce that, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Conversely, if I “program myself” to say, “I am losing weight;” it will cause actions toward that end. In effect, you are what you think.
In an interview I recently viewed, Mr. Bandler explained why resolutions are usually ineffective. Being a student of change, and one who speaks to this topic, I was familiar with many:
- We really don’t want to
- Unrealistic goals
- Lack of a plan