We are delighted today to give you a guest post from Sean Orford. Sean is a psychotherapist, coach, advisor, author and motivational speaker. He runs ‘Live in the Present’, an educational organisation built for the 21st century, and Mindful Managers, equipping managers with insightful skills to meet the challenges of an ever changing economy. He has run several companies providing support and development in the public and private sector. He is an author of several books and has run countless courses and training programmes in a variety of settings, all of which have the aim of promoting personal and organisational growth. Enter Sean…
Making a New Years resolution is about commitment to change.
As a business coach and psychotherapist I find that many of us, at this time of New Year, are making plans and resolutions about things and ideas that, strangely, we will never allow to happen. How many of us will join and gym or commit to start investing in property? How many will make deep and complex plans to change our life, yet never carry them through? The big question is why? Well, these are the problems that I see:
For most of us change is something that is seen as happening in the future. That is that we put off changing – ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ rather than actually doing it today. Even the idea that I will change in the New Year is simply another way of putting off doing something. The reality is that if I need to lose weight I need to do so now not as a resolution.
2) The Power of Now
Change can only ever take place in the present. The magic of the present, of the now, is that it is all that ever really exists. And, if we going to make changes we have to do them now, we cannot change in the past and we cannot change in the future, we can only change NOW! We avoid living in our present by focusing on the past or the future.
Secondly, many of us are stuck in the past rumination on unresolved events and reliving them in the present just as though they were still taking place. This habitual way of thinking is the basis of depression. People that live in the past cannot move forward because the past holds them back like an anchor.
The third is that many of us will be worrying about the future and things that may never happen, but will be feeling all the worry as though those things are happening right now. This is the basis of anxiety. People that are anxious can never move forward because they are scared of what will happen next. Those of us that have learned to worry about both the past and the future at the same time are suffering from anxious depression.
Ninety Days to Change
The good news is that we can all change and achieve what we want if we go about in a certain way. The second bit of good news is that most people, in most situations, can achieve lasting change in just ninety days, and that include both depression and anxiety.
The Thirty Day Rule
We know from research that everything that we think, feel and do is encoded in our brains as circuits in the neurons and dendrite cells. When we learn a new habit a new circuit is created. This might be from learning to tie a shoe lace to learning how to moan all the time, or learning to be happy. A New Years resolution is nothing more that a new habit that we wish to create. But here is the rub…
Persistence and Consistence
We now know that the new circuit will only become established is we practise the new habit consistently and persistently for thirty days. This is crucial. It is like snakes and ladders. If during these first thirty days we missed a day we can slide right back down the snake to step one and need to begin all over again. Most New Years resolutions will fail because people will give up on their intent within the thirty day rule and the new habit will never become established in their brain cells and, inevitably they will revert to their previous habits and behaviors.
The Ninety Day Rule
Research also shows us that if we can remain consistent and persistent with our new habit it will become embedded in the higher cortex of the brain as long term memory. If you learned to ride a bike when you were a kid but have not ridden since, once you get on a bike now you may wobble down the road and then the magic happens as it all comes back to you.
A Learned Habit Lasts Forever
Whatever your New Year resolution property investment or otherwise if you apply the ninety day rule change is inevitable and that includes overcoming depression and anxiety. In the work I do with my good friend Ed Lamb and my wonderful wife Rie, we have created liveinthepresent.co.uk (LITP) as focal point for those seeking create and maintain real change in their lives. At the end of last year we also produced the book ‘Live In The Present’ as a manual for those attempting lasting change. Come and visit us at LITP, sign up for regular updates and together we will make 2013 the year that it all changed.