We are now 2 weeks into the New Year, which is around the time that resolutions typically start to fall by the wayside. Now, to be clear, I am not against the idea of creating New Year’s resolutions. I think there is a powerful potential to any decisions that we ritualize or celebrate. Think of a wedding.
A decision to radically change our lives, wrapped up in ritual and celebration.
The advantage that a wedding has, however, is that – when done correctly – it is a change that we enter into with a great deal of thought, communication, and usually some form of negotiation. Comparatively, resolutions are created by imagining a future that we think will make us happier and then, somewhat haphazardly, committing ourselves to change our behavior in order to gain that future. There is some thought, but not a great deal of communication or negotiation, even with ourselves, about our reality.
Which is to say, that it would be easy for me to resolve to become more fit and join a gym – but the reality of my life is that to logistically make use of the gym membership, I would have to go breathtakingly early in the morning. Long before the sun arose. And as the parent of a toddler, my rest is too precious! So, if my hope is to become more fit in 2015, I’m going to have to put more thought into the endeavor. I’m going to have to communicate my wishes to my family. I’m going to have to negotiate my time very carefully. Because I am not willing to wake up at 4:00 am (bless all of you who do – you are in inspiration)!
As a therapist, one of my roles is to help my clients bring about change in their lives. Towards that end, I’ve found some helpful questions that can shift thinking and start us off in the direction of change – and the lives we desire most. Take a look, and let me know what you think – and if it help spark some change for you.
How will you know when it is time to change?
What are the good things about what you are thinking of changing? What are the no so good things?
What would be a positive result of changing? Could there be negative results? What might they be?
What are the barriers to change? What could help you overcome it?
What will it take to maintain change?
On a not unrelated – but more personal – note; yesterday I had my oncological work up and have reached the wonderful milestone of 6 months remission! The further away I get from my lymphoma, the more I find I have learned through the experience. I took the end of 2014 off, in large part to meditate on all that had occurred in what was a very hard year, and put to rest what I needed to. I decided to give myself until after this oncology appointment to enter back in to active work on this website and my writing – not because I feared a relapse, but because I wanted a clear moment to mark my commitment to change.
Back in the beginning of 2014, I had made very clear and detailed plans for each week of the first 6 months and broader stroke goals for the entire year. Deadlines and everything! I have made some amendments and renegotiated my time in ways that reflect my cancer experience – but I am looking forward to picking up on my goals. I do hope you’ll join me!