New Year, New you.
We all hear this statement from every weight loss program, diet pill, and fitness club this time of year. Praying on the tradition of making resolutions to magically transform our post-holiday binge bodies into the ripped six-pack images we see from Hollywood, they project a magical future. One where we are running on the beach, hand-in-hand with our equally stunning and toned partner. One where we are laughing as we blend our green smoothies or cuddling close together intimately with golden candle light flickering on the nightstand.
They demonstrate what our perfect future could be… if only we would enroll or order today for three easy payments of $29.95, while supplies last.
What I’d like to prescribe instead is a different way. One where you are in control. One that doesn’t need to cost a dime. One that delivers the destiny that you design.
In our book “IMBAR: The Pathway of Transformation”, we present the message that our Results are determined by our Identity. Our Identity is how we see ourselves. This vision of our own uniqueness is what is driving our Mindset, how we think and feel about things. This is where we need to start. Looking inwardly to see ourselves for who we truly are, is what gives us the power to change the things we want to change. Our self-image controls everything we think, everything we feel and as a result, it controls everything that we do.
If we constantly see ourselves as lazy, we will continue to think and feel lazy and as a result, our Behaviors will live in that world. It is only when we alter our Identity and Mindset to fit the image of what we want to be, that we can alter our Behaviors as well.
If we see ourselves as dumb, uneducated, or undereducated for the career we desire, we will live in that world.
If see ourselves as cold, uncaring, a distant friend, partner or colleague, that is where we will remain.
Consider for a moment all of the past resolutions that we failed in our many New Year’s proclamations. We all start out with the best of intentions, but after the confetti has been swept away and the horns stop blowing, we fall back into our existing habits. Our areas of comfort. Unless we dramatically alter our Identity and Mindset to fit the desired outcome and break out of that comfort zone, we are destined to repeat this cycle year after year.
Now consider a new vision of yourself, a new extreme Identity. Consider a vision where instead of being lazy, your Identity is now an athlete. Even better, you are now a world-class Olympic sprinter.
Yes, this is extreme, I know. But it needs to be.
Think about if you had this Identity. How would you think and feel, what would your Mindset be? What would motivate you? What would drive you? What would your Behaviors be as a result of this way of permanent identification?
As an Olympic sprinter, you would see your body as a temple. You would protect it at all costs. You would focus everything on improving its efficiency. Everything would revolve around it. It would be your whole world. Look at any world-class athlete and their daily routine to prepare for competition and you will see someone so dedicated to the machine that is their body, that they get up at the crack of dawn to go for a run, monitor every calorie, every ounce of protein, and every glass of water. They wouldn’t dream of putting unhealthy food in their mouths because it would hurt the machine. They wouldn’t consider skipping a workout for another half-hour on the couch binge-watching some silly sitcom. This is their life. It is what they strive for in their heart-of-hearts, it’s what drives them.
Now consider the person who no longer sees themselves as dumb, uneducated, or handicapped in their career because of their lack of knowledge, but rather sees their Identity as a student. But not just a student. A world-class, valedictorian candidate whose dream is to get into Harvard. This student wouldn’t skip studying, wouldn’t skip group study sessions, wouldn’t put down that text book just because they had to work an 8-hour shift, or to go partying with their friends. Their education and the deep, undying desire for self-improvement would drive them. They would be so focused on learning and stretching their mind, that it would consume their lives. Someone on the verge of landing the school they dream of wouldn’t give all that up for anything.
In setting your Identity as a world-class student in the area that would most benefit your career, you will be better prepared to stick with it, remain faithful to your goals and overcome any obstacle or temptation that jumps in your way.
As a final example, rather than seeing yourself as a cold, uncaring or distant person, what would your Mindset be if you saw yourself as a world-class philanthropist, or world-class friend, or world-class partner? How would that Identity change your Mindset and the Behaviors it produces?
All of these examples are designed to be dramatic, life-altering images of what you could be. They are intentionally outrageous and extreme. It is in these extremes that we can truly see our potential.
Now, to make this real for you, look at what your desired, transformed goals are. What are the Results that you want to achieve in the new year? What matters most? What’s holding you back?
Comparing where you are now with where you want to ultimately be is critical, because it sets forth the pathway to create the steps that will need to be followed. Once you can see that final vision of your future and the pathway, you can create the action plan and begin taking those all-important first steps. But remember that the way you think and feel is driven by who you see yourself as, this is your Identity.
Reflect on your ultimate prize, create the world-class image of what that looks like, and determine the necessary steps needed to achieve it.
This is IMBAR. Identity drives Mindset, Mindset drives Behaviors, Behaviors drive the Action around you, and Action ultimately drives Results. In order to achieve the Results that you want, each of the previous steps must be the ones that can deliver it.
Dream big. Creating a New You in the New Year requires it.
Everyone have a fantastic year. We’ll talk to you soon.