Nearly every magazine cover, and many a homepage, I’ve seen the past couple weeks has been concerned with new year’s resolutions. A New You! Start Fresh. Rebooting Your Body. Calm Your Mind.
And what a beautiful thing! Really anytime we step back from our personal status quo and take a new look, awesome; that’s got my vote.
The trick seems to be when it’s not actually about the fresh inspiration for a new look, but about acting from a place of guilt and past disappointments, saying okay, this is really the time I’m going to change … when probably, in our heart of hearts, we know there’s a good chance it’s not.
Does that mean you shouldn’t go for it? Definitely not. But to keep in mind: a momentary focus on a goal can be motivation to change now, and that’s wonderful. Fixation on a goal, especially one that’s the same as it was previous years, can be a setup to take us away from the present and drive us deeper into disappointment. As in, most all of my energy is either focused on how good it’s going to be when I am this way, or how terrible when I fail, or even how bad it felt to fail in the past.
If a desire to lose weight is rooted in hating how I look, statistics point toward weight-loss not happening for me … and just as bad, it does work out and I look a little more societally normal but haven’t really touched the root of this toxic plant.
Another approach is to ask this question, and listen quietly and deeply for an answer (ie don’t worry about thinking about it; the answer might just pop up out of nowhere): What kind of change do I want in my life now? Literally right now?
Or even more fundamentally: Who is it right now that wants, or needs, a change?
Don’t assume anything (harder if you’ve done this kind of inquiry before). You may be surprised at the answer. I certainly often am.