* Lois blew her New Year‘s resolution to lose weight three days after she made it.

* Marty got all of his phone calls returned the first week of the new year — then settled back into his old pattern of waiting for the caller to try again.

* Jerri used her new filing system for almost a month. Her desk stayed clean, and she was thrilled. One day she was in a hurry and piled up a few things, and in a week her stack was as big as ever.

One reason why it is so hard to establish new habits is that you usually try to do it by yourself. You get into an argument between your inner child and your inner parent. Your inner child wants the ease and comfort of familiar old patterns, and no matter how sensible the changes may be, she resists doing what she should do.

Your inner parent then enters the argument, scolding you and telling you to get on with it, producing even more resistance from your inner child. You (your inner child) make excuses to yourself (your inner parent). “Just this one cookie, I‘m really busy, I just don‘t have time, nobody else will know, etc.“ Before you know it, the good new habit is history.

If you have children (or a spouse), you know that it often takes frequent reminders to help them learn to do something differently. In fact, if it‘s a change they aren‘t really interested in making, you may be accused of nagging. If it takes support and reminders for others to change, why do you think that you can do it yourself?

Whenever you stretch yourself into a new area, there is a tendency to regress and seek comfort and support. If you allow yourself the same comfort, support and encouragement you willingly offer others, you‘ll find it much easier to sustain your changes.

Make an agreement with a friend, spouse, or coworker for mutual support. Commit to be both tough and caring with each other. It‘s all too easy to fall into the trap of being nice and accepting excuses.

If that kind of agreement is not practical, hire a professional coach to give you the support you need. A professional coach is committed to helping you set and reach your own goals, and has a variety of tools available to help you manage your natural desire to regress.

You deserve the chance to create the life you want to live in 2007. Happy New Year!

[tags]Transactional Analysis,Inner Child,Self Help, Self-Improvement,Personal Growth[/tags]