New Year’s resolutions come and go and for the cynics and skeptics they are a waste of time. According to Aristotle “the unexamined life is not worth living”. If Aristotle is right the time we spend on contemplating, strategizing and taking action to improve ourselves and our lives may be what makes it worth living altogether. Then why do so many of our resolutions go unresolved? Simple answer maybe that we spent so much time thinking about what we want or how we want to be and not enough time thinking about our real why. What is your real motivation? For you and me it may be several layers deeper than what we really think. Let’ take for example the all too common weight loss goal. Do you truly want to lose weight? Maybe, Maybe not. If so, why? What does the number on the scale represent to you? Failure? Loss? Scorn? Judgment? Or perhaps as far back as you can remember you weren’t good enough to someone for some reason.
A second reason why this resolution may not be realized is that you are likely trying to fit a new goal into an old dysfunctional way of living. Often without letting go of what already occupied that space. Sort of like trying to put the square peg in the round hole. Looking at it another way it is our way of attempting to put more stuff into a bag that is already full or overfilling our bathtub. Use whichever analogy you like. So if you really want this what else needs to change? You won’t change your reality until you change your way of thinking about it.
Whatever your goal is, it’s important for us to connect with your real reason for why you want it. Get down to the real truth. Peel back the layers of the onion. What really strikes that nerve for you to want this change? And what is going to strike that nerve for you to place this at the highest priority in your life? If you can’t reach that nerve perhaps this goal isn’t ready yet. In which case it is either destined to fail or it should be responsibly put to the side until we are ready to get to its roots and deal with it.
Please chime in on this blog. Is your goal already been abandoned this year? Are you willing to look deeper at it? What is your goal? What is your why? Be brave. Let’s engage in this conversation.
By Garrett Stangel, MA, HFS, CPT