Each year, come January, it’s no surprise our thoughts turn to self-improvement. Whether you want to lose weight, rethink your career or sign up for a sportive, the collective energy of ‘new beginning’ that surrounds the first day of the year is pretty hard to resist. But before you leap headlong into your list of healthy to-dos for 2019, it’s worth noting 80 per cent of new year resolutions don’t last beyond February. This year, it you want to make some changes in your lite, why not look at how you make decisions? Once you understand that, you can adapt your decision-making style to increase your chances of success. Here’s how.
You’d be forgiven tor assuming logic is the best way to make a decision – in theory, if you eat fewer calories than you expend in energy, you’ll lose weight. But, of course, lite is more complicated than that.
Pros: Your logical mind is great at making plans and deciding the best ways to make them happen. It will research prospective goals, weigh up pros and cons and come up with optimal timetables for success. Cons: There’s scant room tor passion or dreams in your logical brain. It will tell you, ‘The yoga-teacher market is saturated in your area, you’ll never earn a living from it.’ Balance it out: Decisions that include feelings as well as logic are more fulfilling in the long term. Allow yourself to dream, and uncover what you most want tor yourself. Give your creativity tree reign to consider all the permutations of your dream. Once you’ve got to that place, your logical mind is the best tool you can use to make it realistic and set the process in motion.
Use The Power Of Your Mind To Create The Life You Want Photo Gallery
Strong emotions often lead to spur-of-the-moment decisions – going on a diet after being tagged in a photo with your modellike friends, for example. While you’ll feel a sense of relief from taking action, when the going gets tough, that photo may not be enough to see you through your intentions. Pros: Emotions are a strong motivator tor action. Anxiety about abnormal blood test results quickly makes us take our health more seriously; faced with an impending exam, we’ll prioritise study over Netflix. Cons: Emotionally based decisions are often made more from a desire to dampen a feeling than to achieve a specific outcome, such as sustaining a healthy lifestyle. When the emotion passes, so too can your enthusiasm tor change.
Balance it out: Take some time out to revisit your decision when you’re not in the grip of emotion, and ask yourself if it’s still the same. If not, adjust it from this more centred place, then use your rational mind to strategise a plan of action, including what might sabotage your plans and what resources you can draw on to support you.
A monkey mind is one that constantly succumbs to distraction. Following your whims may bring instant gratification, but you can end up walking down a lot of paths that don’t take you where you want to be. Pros: Being open to possibility can lead you to opportunities you wouldn’t otherwise consider, and introduce you to people who can help you meet your goals. Cons: Following a monkey mind is time consuming, and you may lose sight of your original goal. Focusing on one thing isn’t its strong point, and it can be quite rational about distracting you: ‘You should explore every option, just in case, or it you look at YouTube for a bit you’ll feel more refreshed and better able to focus,’ it might say. Balance it out: Connect to stillness by following your breath. When you feel quiet, take your attention to the area just below your navel and ask yourself what your real goal is. Take a pen and paper and give your monkey mind tree-reign to be as creative as possible in ways to achieve it. Finally, return to stillness (using your breath) and chose the path you most resonate with.
WORDS: Eve Boggenpoel PHOTOGRAPHY: iStock
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