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It’s A New Year

Now that the Mayans are building a new calendar, it’s time for us to build a new life.

Most people make resolutions about what they will change in 2013.  Everybody says they want to improve in some area.  Some people make grand commitments and begin enthusiastically only to give up by February.

Did you ever wonder why this is?  It is because our actions are governed by our subconscious mind.  We are unaware of many things that happen all around us because our subconscious filters out things that are not “on our radar.”  When something is moved into our subconscious (like when we buy a particular make and model of a car), we become aware of the many similar items that used to be invisible to us.  We have trained our subconscious mind to recognize something new.

Og Mandino, in his book The Greatest Salesman in the World, has his hero resolve to create new habits and become their slave.  Another book I love says that “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he”. Although our lives are governed by our subconscious, we can reprogram it with our conscious mind.  And that takes time and definite thought.

So, it would appear that making any kind of permanent change involves first thinking about it.  Our thoughts form the programming that we place in the subconscious. We have to see ourselves as this new person that we want to be in order to become that person.  Until we do, our new actions will be uncomfortable, unfamiliar, and ultimately abandoned.

Most people have heard of the “comfort zone.” Those are the activities and situations that our subconscious recognizes as “belonging” to us.  They are familiar, and we tend to maintain what is familiar and resist what is unfamiliar.  Think of a rubber band and the tension required to keep it stretched.  The further from “normal” the band is stretched, the greater the pull to resume its original (familiar) state. The larger the change, the more “unfamiliar” it is.  That’s why counselors often speak of “baby steps”.  By making slight changes, the pull back to “normal” is not as difficult to overcome.  We then establish a new normal and are prepared for another step.  The compounded effect of these little steps eventually establishes the change we wanted.

Here’s my wish for you this new year: Become what you truly desire to become by the accumulation of tiny changes.  You’ll have a better chance of success that way.

Happy New Year.

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