This is the time of the year many publications will offer advice as to how to make or maintain lifestyle choices into the New Year. These include losing weight, quitting smoking and a variety of life-altering quests that begin strong and through sheer ‘power of will’ should work. Then, within a few weeks something may happen that could put you off target. It could be stress, maybe well-intentioned friends, or even alternative callings and distractions. Your resolve waivers and your resolutions change to another time in your future that is not today.

New Year’s resolutions come and are quickly to go. It becomes easy to rationalize as resolution ‘postponements’ are not really like quitting. Within these rationalizations, one has not failed. Perhaps starting again at a more comfortable time, or in a more comfortable place, or when the economy gets better. Start again on Monday. If this sounds and feels familiar, whatever the reasons, it is because this is classic human nature and you are not alone. The reasons that motivate in the beginning have not changed, only the immediacy has. Now it is far easier to rationalize later.

Evoking change may be a difficult time in anyone’s life. Some may call it the “dark night” of the soul, if forced. This is in part because the sheer ‘power of will’ is not usually enough to see the change through. Many of my clients have said with shame and frustration, “There was a time that I would never have behaved in this way…” My clients’ perception of that time somehow eroded. They seem to develop new beliefs or shore up the old beliefs. They find themselves questioning why things are the way they are. How did they allow it to get this way? These additional emotions often make it more difficult as a do-it-yourself project.

I have noticed, almost instinctively, habitual behaviors or behavioral patterns once adopted become major influencers in people’s lives. Constructive behavior such as hygiene tends to help build and maintain high levels of self worth. More destructive behaviors may chip away at individual personalities at their core.

When it comes to weight-loss or smoking there are specific elementals of behavior that this lifestyle affords the individual. For example, each provides a level of comfort to the individual. In this way, they have an immediate escape from whatever of life’s challenges at the moment. Each provides a momentary ‘filled-up’ feeling. The why they do it or the how they began may be interesting, and may provide some insight into what it is they gain by that behavior. Finding what will take the place in an insightful way, is only part of the key.

How may one make a healthy transition smoothly and with less effort? Bring in an appropriate guide or consultant for the changes you want. One who understands your individual blockages will help to bridge a profound transition. Equally important is a coach or a trainer who can identify what is missing. In this way he or she will allow you to overcome, remove or build in what is necessary in order for you to make the perfect decisions without the extras. In this way a qualified practitioner will utilize specific tools in order to make the behavioral adjustments. The artistry is to do it quickly setting up new patterns that will generate into pronounced new and healthy behaviors. By doing it in a way that is powerful and rapid, it appears to my clients that it is automatic. Weight management becomes natural and smoking becomes a thing of the past.

Life brings challenge. Within that challenge is opportunity for growth. Fears, limitations and elements of comfort may allow one’s ego to retard this most natural of occurrences. Learning was never meant to be a chore just as growth was meant to be natural. Within this, comfort is never guaranteed. What I strive to do with each individual is to gently, playfully and quickly move them from a limiting comfort zone into a comfortable place of great possibility with room to grow.

Author's Bio: 

Jeff Schoener, owner of Neuro-Enhancement Strategies is a Licensed Trainer of NLP™ and Personal Enhancement Consultant in New Jersey, USA using Whole-Brain Learning with applied NLP techniques. He teaches these skills for relationships, personal development and change for individuals and groups. He practices in Princeton, NJ and has worked with clients, conducted workshops and sold his self-help products audio programs and books across the USA and Internationally.