New Year, New You? The Little-Known Power Of Unchanging [Episode 51]

Have you ever tried New Year Resolutions and found they were ancient history by the end of the first week? It's not your fault!

In today's Ditching Imposter Syndrome episode I'm sharing the little-known secret that explains why New Year's Resolutions don't work for most people, and what you could be doing instead.

What You'll Discover Today About The Power Of Unchanging

  • 3 reasons why New Year Resolutions so often don't work
  • The one missing link that means they could change your life instantly
  • My favourite 'change your life' rule that I've realised I don't talk about anywhere near enough
  • And how the power of 'unchanging' is your BFF when it comes to actually keeping your resolutions!

Listen Here Now:

Resources From Today's Episode: 

Join in the discussion:

And here's where we're talking about today's episode on LinkedIn and Instagram.

Prefer To Read?

Click here to read the transcript

Speaker 1 (00:00)
Hello, and welcome to Episode 51 of The Ditching Imposter Syndrome Podcast. And if you're listening to this when it comes out, Happy New Year. It's the beginning of 2024. And today, I want to talk about the little-known secret that explains why New Year's resolutions don't work for most people and what you can be doing instead. If you are totally mixed up in the whole New Year, New You thing, this is for you, especially if you're the person who's had the experience in the past of hitting, say, the 20th of January and feeling like a failure for the rest of the year because your New Year's resolutions are already in the dim and distant past. We're going to cover in this episode three reasons why New Year's resolutions so often don't work. The one missing link that means they could actually change your life instantly. My favorite change your life rule that I've realized I don't talk about anywhere near enough. The ditching imposter syndrome podcast is brought to you with love from Clare Josa. It is bite-sized inspiration for becoming the real you. Practical, science-based, research-backed with a generous dollop of humor and what we call woo power, engineer-approved, of course, if you already know Clare.

Speaker 1 (01:18)
This is to help you to lead with courage, confidence, and passion, having the impact your ideas and dreams deserve with less effort and definitely without the fear. As a brilliant first step, if you're new to the podcast, make sure you have hit subscribe so you catch every episode and take Clare's free research-backed quiz-style assessment to get your imposter syndrome score and a personalized action plan as her gift so you can start turning things around today. Go to ditchingimpostersyndrome. Com/quiz, and in the next three minutes, you'll get your score, your action plan, and be ready to start waving goodbye to imposter syndrome once and for all. So social media is currently flooded with New Year, New You, because the old you was so old. Yeah, I mean, what is it with all of that? And the problem is there's an awful lot of guilt floating around at this time of year. We raise our hopes. We put our expectations and all our energy into this miraculous first of January, where these news resolutions are going to somehow change our lives. And then within a few days or weeks, they're out the window. We then spend the rest of the year feeling like a failure, beating ourselves up and waiting until first of January next year before we make any changes in our lives.

Speaker 1 (02:43)
Now, there's a lot to be said for the first of January for New Year's resolutions, that collective energy into co-creating change and shifts in our lives and in the world. But there are some things that we're getting wrong about the way we do this that make it so much harder for those New Year's resolutions to succeed. And that's what I want to share with you today. I want to help prime you for success in the changes that you want to make this year. Let's start with those three reasons why New Year's resolutions so often don't work for most people. Number one, is that they're nebulous. They're not specific. They can be overarching things that we want to achieve, which then the unconscious mind sits there and says, Well, how on Earth do I do that? Some great examples of these are things like get in shape. Well, this is really vague because it doesn't specify what get in shape even means. What is that? Through exercise? Is that through diet? Is that through some mindset work? What does in shape even mean? Eat more healthily. This resolution lacks specifics about, well, what does more healthily mean and how will you know when you're doing it?

Speaker 1 (03:55)
What foods you're going to include or remove and avoid? It doesn't give you an action plan. Be more organized. What does more organized even mean? Your unconscious mind is sitting there saying, Be more organized. Well, what is less organized? What is current organized? What is organized? Does that mean that my entire life now needs to go in pretty little boxes or is it about having a to-do list or a diary or what does more organized mean? Reduced stress is another one. So reducing stress is really important. It's a noble goal and outcome, but it's not actually actionable without defining what stress is. And one of the problems you often see with this New Year's resolution is that the sources of stress are often things that are outside of our control. So how do we reduce them? These are all super common examples of New Year's resolutions that are too vague. If your unconscious mind can't immediately sense what that resolution means and how it's going to achieve and deliver it, then it needs more detail. The more specific you can be in your news resolutions, the more likely your unconscious mind is to understand it and to know what to do, what not to do, what to think, what not to think, what to feel, what not to feel to allow you to fulfill that.

Speaker 1 (05:16)
A second reason why news resolutions so often don't work is something that I call shoulditis. They come with that sense of, I have to, I should, I must, I ought. Now, we might not state that in the resolution, but if that is the energy that's underlying and supporting it, then it often means it's not actually your choice of new resolution, like I should lose weight. Where does that should come from? Whose decision is that really? When we're operating from should, must, have to, and ought, this brings guilt. This brings a heavy weight to those resolutions. It means the energy with which you're taking action to fulfill that is heavy energy. It's not going to bring us joy. It's not going to bring us excitement. You're not going to get that dopamine hit from actually taking steps towards achieving that resolution. Instead, it's going to remind you of that guilt the whole time. And this is something that's really common with New Year's resolutions. They come from guilt, they come from obligation. We're doing them because somebody told us we have to, or social media told us that's the only way that we'll be happy.

Speaker 1 (06:30)
If your New Year's resolutions are full of shoulditis, then there are two really useful sections that you need to read in ditching imposter syndrome. If you've got the print or PDF or Kindle version, search for shoulditis on the Kindle version, on the e-book. Look at pages 141 or pages 252. If you've got the print version and if you've got the print version. And if you've got the audio book version, I'm going to put a link in the show notes to let you know which chapters you need to listen to really get a handle on shoulditis, because chances are if shoulditis is hanging out there in your New Year's resolutions, it's also hanging out there day to day, making imposter syndrome worse. There are some fantastic strategies you can use to set yourself free from that once and for all. Actually, that would be a brilliant New Year's resolution to choose, setting yourself free from shoulditis. Then on to the third reason why New Year's resolutions so often fall apart. This is that the unconscious mind cannot process a negative. Just for a moment, humor me here. I invite you not to imagine a blue donkey sitting in a pink tree playing a purple saxophone.

Speaker 1 (07:47)
What was it playing? Did you even notice the don't, the not to? The unconscious mind can't process a negative. It first has to imagine the thing and then the don't, the stop, the quit, the give up, the let go of gets lost. You see this in playgrounds at schools. If a child is running and they're doing something dangerous and the teacher screams don't run, the child first has to imagine running, then don't get lost, and by that point they've already fallen over. If you yelled at the child, Walk, slow down, then they're going to imagine that and you're much more likely to get that response. Now, the unconscious mind is very like a child in the playground. We need to give it clear instructions. New Year's resolutions are instructions to change the operating system within, for example, and that operating system does not process instructions that come with a knot. So any New Year's resolution like, I'm going to give up drinking or I'm going to lose weight, or I'm going to quit smoking, anything that's about stopping and not, your brain first has to imagine doing that thing. So what you're accidentally doing with that New Year's resolution is creating mental rehearsal to maintain the very habit or actions that you want to release.

Speaker 1 (09:08)
There's a question that you can use, a self-mentoring question — I call it my magic question — that you can use to turn this around. What do I want instead? So if your New Year's resolution is I want to lose weight, what do I want instead? I want to be a slimmer, healthier version of me. Okay, slimmer, healthier version. That falls foul of that nebulous, vague, not specific. What specifically would that look like? If you're talking about weight and you actually want to have a goal, I want to weigh X kilos or X pounds. If you're talking about healthy eating, then you could try something measurable, like I want to make sure I eat the fiber target of 30 grams of fiber a day. By making these things something that's within your control, that is specific, that is your choice, not about guilt, and that is phrased positively, not negatively, you already skyrocket your chances of your New Year's resolutions being successful. But there is a really big secret that is the little-known reason why most New Year's resolutions don't work, and that is they're about doing. They're about actions, whereas they actually need to be about being.

Speaker 1 (10:29)
Now, this ties in with the work I teach on imposter syndrome. My talk you've probably heard on previous episodes about me saying things like imposter syndrome is an identity-level issue. It's not a mindset-level issue. It's not about what we can and can't do. It's about who we think we are. And a lot of the work that I do that I teach in my coaching certification programs with my one-to-one clients, with my corporate work, is about helping people to create that shift in who they see themselves as being. This is mirrored in New Year's resolutions. If your New Year's resolutions are all about actions you want to take, but you haven't yet lined up with being the version of you that takes those actions, you're going to find there's an internal conflict where you don't see yourself as being the person that does the things to allow you to achieve the New Year's resolution. Actually, New Year's resolutions need to be about becoming not doing. And when you shift your focus on a New Year's resolution for who do I want to become this year? Which version of me do I want to become? Which elements of maybe the masks and armor and habits I've been carrying that no longer fit do I want to let go of and release?

Speaker 1 (11:47)
And which aspects of me that have been hiding inside do I want to let the world see? When you put Good old Pareto's rule of that 80-20, if you put 80% of your focus and your energy if your new year's resolutions into the being and the becoming that version of you and 20% into the actions, you'll find you get better results than if you put 100% into the actions if you haven't yet lined up with becoming that version of you. And then we come to the little known rule that I absolutely love that I really have realized I should talk about a lot more on this podcast. I call it the 1% rule. Now let's just imagine it's January the first. I know this is coming out a couple of days later, but imagine you've got a time machine. You can go back to the beginning of this year. You've got clarity on that becoming. Which version of me am I going to allow myself to become in order to achieve this resolution or goal? The 1% rule says each day I'm going to allow myself to become 1% more that version of me.

Speaker 1 (12:53)
1% each day. That doesn't sound scary at all, does it? Yeah, 1% improvement each day. 1% letting go of a little bit 1% of a mask, 1% of an armor, 1% of an old habit. 1% each day, a tiny, tiny step that allows me to become a little bit more me. And that 1% builds. It removes the inner fear, the reluctance, the resistance. We can all imagine 1% more. It feels so much easier, but there's a brilliant cumulative effect. If you become 1% more you every single day for the whole of the coming year, even if you slip a few days because you'll have a few days where you do more than 1%, by the end of a year, 1% to the power of 365 days is 37 times. Okay, so if I said to you right now, you've got to become twice as you in this situation, you'd probably go, Huh? And if I said, Right, by the end of the year, I want you to be 37 times more you in this particular situation where you want to make change, you would almost definitely freak out.

Speaker 1 (14:01)
But 1% a day leads to 37 times. Focusing on achieving 1%, even if you've lost your mojo, yeah? You're not in the mood. You're like, I don't want to achieve this outcome anymore. It's too much stress and worry and hard work. It doesn't need to be that if you're only aiming for 1% a day. And when we focus on the tiny action we can take today that builds a cumulative difference, by the end of a year, with almost no effort, we've achieved outcomes that would have felt like impossible miracles 365 days before. I really want you to experience this as deep as you can this year, as easy as you can this year. So I want to share with you for the rest of this episode my three Bs model for creating that change. And also, I want to talk to you about the power of unchanging and how most of us are getting it wrong when we say we want to change our lives. Just a quick break in today's episode to let you know that this is your last chance to join us to get certified in helping other people with imposter syndrome, really, for a long time.

Speaker 1 (15:12)
The doors are open for our January 15th intake at both practitioner and Master Coach level. This means you'll already have tools you can use to help other people with imposter syndrome before Easter, 2024. If you don't join us now, you're going to have to wait until the September intake, which means it will be 2025, over a year away before you've got the tools you need to help other people with imposter syndrome. Go to Clarejosa. Com/firstaider now to find out more, to apply, and when you apply, we'll reserve your place for two weeks to give you a chance to complete that application process. There are only 20 places. This is your last chance for the whole of 2024. So my three Bs for creating massive change in your life in really easy ways. Remember, we've talked about that power of 1% gives you a 37 times change by the end of the year, but taking out the fit and the resistance. Therefore, it's really important to be aiming high with what you want to achieve because it's going to be so much easier than it ever would have been before in your life because you're looking at the becoming before you take the action.

Speaker 1 (16:30)
So the three Bs. I invite you to make your New Year's resolution goal, Bolshy. Yes, I just said Bolshy. B-o-l-s-h-y. Or you can spell it B-O-L-S-H-I-E. Bolshy. You often think of maybe a teenager as being Bolshy as being potentially a bit combative, a bit uncooperative. Now, I want that energy in your New Year's resolution because I want to trigger my favorite Italian word. We talked about this in the last episode. Number 50, my favorite Italian word is basta. Pasta with a B. It means enough. I'm part Italian, not just that I'm obsessed with the language. Basta, enough. This is the energy that turns around a habit of being that is no longer serving you. That bolshiness that, no, I'm actually not doing that anymore. Standing up to it saying, Enough, basta. I'm not rejecting that old habit, that old version of me. I am saying it's not coming into play in my life in this year. So B number one is bolshy. B number two though, and this is really important because your unconscious mind needs to be in on this game to support you. B number two is believable. Create a New Year's resolution that is a stretch because at 1% a day you're going to achieve it.

Speaker 1 (17:57)
It needs to be believable for your unconscious mind or it'll just spend the whole time distracting you with dialogs of, Yeah, you're just in cloud cuckoo, landclair. The way to test for it being believable is to stand with your feet about hip width apart, just give yourself a moment to arrive and get grounded. Then just imagine a year from now you've achieved that bolshy level of basta in your news resolution of being. How does that feel? And ask your body how it feels. If your body tenses up, then it means there's a block, there's a barrier, there's some resistance that you might want to go and get some coaching support with to clear out. But if your body feels this sense of relief, then you know you're heading in the right direction. Actually, you might want to make that New Year's resolution a little bit bigger, a little bit more bolshy, a little bit more basta, a little bit more of a stretch. So we've got bolshy and believable. The third B is it's about being, not doing. When you focus your New Year's resolutions on being, on becoming that version of you, the doing, the actions fall into place.

Speaker 1 (19:15)
The old habits that are no longer serving you simply melt away. They disappear. You don't have to sit there and have this checklist every day of things you need to do differently, because when you put 80% of your energy into the being and the becoming, the actions look after themselves. Those are my three Bs: bolshy, believable, being, not doing. Then to wrap up today's episode, I want to talk about the power of unchanging. You're not broken. There is nothing to fix. The vast majority of work I do with people and that my certified coaches do with people isn't about helping them to change their lives. It's about helping them to unchange. The habits, the fears, the limiting beliefs, the blocks, the identity-level armor and masks we put on, because in that moment, over the years and decades, that felt like the right coping strategy. The vast majority of work we do with people is helping them to unchange. Each day, 1% if that's what it takes, to become even more of who they really are. And when you imagine unchanging instead of changing, that actually feels so much safer. Try it on right now, yeah?

Speaker 1 (20:44)
If that feels okay for you. Imagine unchanging 1% each day to become even more of who you really are. This version of you is already there inside you. You don't have to go and make it to find it to change into it. You're unchanging to become even more of you. That deep, courageous alignment inside with who you really are, feeling safe, strong, courageous, confident, and passionate about the difference that you're here to make in the world, having the impact your ideas and dreams deserve. So if you're looking for a New Year's resolution for this year, whenever it is that you're listening to this episode, I invite you to consider for the next few moments what could you do to unchange. Which version of you is already there inside that you'd love to connect with to become even more of that version of you this year by letting go of the stuff you never meant to pick up that's been keeping you separated from that version of you and let me know how you get on. If you'd like to train to support other people in this work, I'll put a link in the show notes.

Speaker 1 (22:06)
Our January cohort for my practitioner and Master Coach program starts very soon. It might already be full if you're listening to this, but if the application form is still open, that means there's still a place for you if your application is successful. The link is in the show notes, and I invite you to go and dream big. One of my books is called Dared to Dream Bigger. It helps you step by step through how to increase your impact. It's all about being and becoming so that you automatically line up with the inspired actions that create breakthroughs where other people had told you it was impossible. I'd love to get to share that with you. It's Dared to Dream Bigger. I'll put the link for that in the show notes too. I'm wishing you the most incredible year ahead. Please come and find me on Instagram or LinkedIn. I'm the only Clare Josa on both. I'll put a link to that in the show notes and let me know which version of you are you going to allow yourself to become this year and how exciting does that feel. Thank you so much for listening to The ditching imposter syndrome podcast.

Speaker 1 (23:16)
I cannot wait to hear what you go and do with this stuff. Make sure you've subscribed to wherever you love to get your podcast. It's absolutely free. My gift to you and your future every Friday. And if you found it useful, please leave us a review. It helps other people to find the podcast too. And remember, one of my other gifts to you is my imposter syndrome scorecard. So if you haven't found out your imposter syndrome score yet and you haven't got your personalized action plan from me for that yet, go to Clarejosa. Com/quiz and take the scorecard now.

Loved This? Want More?

Want to stay in the loop with the latest news and events? Get Clare's free occasional What's On newsletter: