Finish the Year Strong
With the end of the year approaching, many people will make New Year’s resolutions while dealing with what can be called the “eating season,” the nine weeks of celebration beginning with Halloween and ending with New Year’s Eve.
Against that backdrop, it can be difficult to focus on resolutions, let alone lifestyle changes or transformations. Maintaining such motivation and building momentum heading into 2011 need not be difficult, says Howard Falco, author of the new book I Am: The Power of Discovering Who You Really Are. He recently spoke with CorePerformance.com.
CorePerformance.com: How does somebody transition from the habits and routines that may have brought them a degree of success to reach the next level?
Howard Falco: We have to realize that these habits serve a need at some level. Whether consciously or subconsciously, they define us. Even though we say we don’t want to be defined by these behaviors they are serving the real identity that we have of ourselves and hold us back. The way to break through it is from an internal will, which grows with the lack of tolerance for the current behavior. When we cross that threshold and say, ‘This habit isn’t serving me anymore,’ that’s when we take on a new identity and go forward with a new habit or action every day. It may feel strange for a while, but until then we’re going to let that current identity run our lives.
CP: How do we get leverage to make that happen?
HF: The leverage comes from a level of suffering that’s no longer tolerable and not being in the same loop anymore with the same job, relationship or health. You want to take conscious control over the programming of who you are. The idea is to declare a new identity and go out and create that new experience, just as you have your whole life. You’ll automatically take actions that you might have had to force yourself before because it’s now part of who you are. You’ll come to realize how so many others you’ve looked up to have done it. It’s not courage or discipline; it’s a function of who they believe they are and that’s what makes it look so effortless.
CP: But where does the motivation come from?
HF: It comes from a level of tolerance that’s it’s no longer worth it to not make the change. You can live in fear of not having enough money or not finding another job and that will chain you to your current situation. If you believe you’re capable of getting another job and going into that unknown zone of not having a job until the right one shows up, you will be rewarded. You can’t expect it immediately but you have to believe that you can step into that process to manifest it. The same is true with money. If you say, ‘I created money before and I can do it again,’ then it might be a situation where you take a step back. But if you’re willing to take that step back, you will be rewarded with two, three or 10 steps forward.
CP: Sounds easy enough, but how do you overcome procrastination—or even the hurdles of everyday life?
HF: As soon as the procrastination hits, you have to realize you haven’t taken on the new mindset. The purpose of procrastination is to keep you living and feeding your fears so that you don’t take a step. Once you have changed the mindset, you will make that phone call. You will be in the gym every day. You will send out 10 resumes. You will put down the bad foods and you’ll survive. Procrastination reveals where you are still operating out of the old mindset. If you believe you can’t do it, you’ll procrastinate. You’ll say, ‘I don’t have the time to do it,’ which is not true because we all create time when we need to.
CP: How do you reinforce new habits—i.e. New Year’s resolutions—so you can stick to them?
HF: If you put a lot of force and energy into trying to kick a habit, chances are it will be temporary. The true lasting change comes from the inside out via those ‘I am’ statements that define who you are. ‘I am healthy. I am a marathon runner. I am worthy of a management position in my field.’ Once you take these statements on and replace the old ones in your mind, you’ll become the person who goes from running three miles to marathons or reaches that management position.
CP: In your book you talk a lot about the ‘X factor’ in sports. Can you explain that?
HF: That’s what separates the best from the rest even at the elite level. They have the same ability, work ethic and determination but the X factor is the mindset, the identity of who they are and it has such a magical effect in performance. It puts them in the right spot at the right time. They see the puck faster or a serve a step and a half earlier. They say Arnold Palmer used to will the ball into the hole. Putting on the same line, the ball turned for others but for Arnold it dropped. There’s a subtle energy that affects everything when we work on a mindset of strong belief.
About The Author
Pete Williams – Pete Williams is a contributing writer for CorePerformance.com and the co-author of the Core Performance book series.