Happy New Year! Have you set your intentions for the year? What changes are you looking to make? Whether you call them goals, resolutions, or intentions, the New Year objectives most people make are about self-improvement. But creating a goal and following through on it are two different things, and many of us struggle to make the change we want to see. A great way to kickstart your self-improvement changes for the year is with Susan’s Magic Duo.
In Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, Susan explains that to live fully and powerfully, in every part of our life, we must commit 100%. She said, “Commitment, as I am using the term, means consciously giving 100%—everything you’ve got. For example, when you are at work, work full out, holding nothing back; when you are with your family, consciously be with them, 100%; when you are with friends, be there 100% . . . and so on.”
Going hand-in-hand with commitment is to “act as if you really count.” When you know that your actions are important, that you count, then you have the power to change things around you. You feel more confident and empowered. When we “Act-as-if,” we learn that what we think and do really matters and thereby help us make changes to our daily lives. Susan said, “This, of course, makes us feel more powerful in a world where so many people feel helpless.”
When we commit 100% and remember that “I Count” in all aspects of our life, we are using the Magic Duo to make ourselves fully present and full of confidence. So how does this apply to our New Year’s goals? After you make your resolution and before you start making changes to your daily life, you need to make sure you fully commit to it and you need to “Act-as-if I Count.”
Susan said, “It is important to keep in mind that, as with everything else associated with change, it takes a great deal of awareness, patience, and perseverance to break strong emotion-backed patterns. This should not worry you. While it may sound like an unpleasant task, it really isn’t, if you take it in small and manageable steps and allow yourself time to really enjoy the process.”
How do you start implementing the Magic Duo? Ask yourself these two questions: What would it look like if you were committing 100% to your goal? What would you do if really counted? When you have an idea of what it would look like, then you act-as-if and do those things. It’s a great way to set yourself on a new path. Just like pretending to laugh can elevate your mood, or dressing for the job you want, pretending to be something you want to be can help you take strides towards making it true.
You have to do something to make your real life match your visualization.
So your actions are critical.
When we ask and then answer those Magic Duo questions, it can look something like this:
Goal: Cook more homemade meals.
What would that look like? You would “act-as-if” you were the type of person who always cooks at home.
Steps: You would need to have recipes you want to cook, so you research a dozen recipes that you know you can make. You would need to replenish the ingredients in your refrigerator and pantry more often, so you make a commitment of going to the store every week or more if necessary. You would need to set aside time to do the cooking. This means adjusting your current schedule to include time everyday to cook. And so on.
Goal: Save more money.
What would that look like? You would “act-as-if” you are the kind of person that is good at saving.
Steps: You would create a budget to allow you to put more money into savings. You would open a savings account that you set up to automatically withdraw money from your checking account each month. You would focus on improving your spending habits, such as no more impulse buying. And so on.
Goal: Exercise more often.
What would that look like? You would “act-as-if” you were a person who regularly works out.
Steps: You would decide what kind of exercise suits you best. This might mean trying out different work-outs—like jogging, yoga, or spin classes—to find the one you like. You would set aside time in your schedule to exercise and keep your workout gear with you so you are less likely to skip your work out. You would sign up for a gym membership or classes. And so on.
In each of these examples there are even more steps we could take. By breaking down our New Years’ goal into smaller steps, we can take baby steps towards reaching our goal. While baby steps are by definition small, they definitely add up. Each step puts you on your path to achieving your goal.
So what are you hoping to change in 2023? Whatever it is, make sure to start off the New Year right by really giving it your all.
The Magic Duo—100% commitment and I count—will help you focus and achieve a sense of fulfillment.