Those dreaded words- New Year’s resolutions– don’t need to be so fear provoking. I recently read a book that profoundly changed my view of making resolutions from hopeless to deeply self-revealing. It’s called “How the Way we Talk can Change the Way we Work” by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey. They describe the mind having it’s own immune system, like the body, that prevents (perceived) chaos from breaking out by strictly enforcing the status quo. The mind might see the change as “threatening” so we act in ways that definitely won’t result in the goals we’ve set. Does this sound familiar? But why such sabotage?Good question. FEAR!
The book suggests that perhaps our minds are actually protecting us from an underlying fear that has a much stronger pull (than our so called resolutions) and that fear leads us to choose to eat more/ exercise less/ smoke/drink too much etc etc and completely contradicts our valiant January 1st vows, all for self-preservation! While I am simplifying a 4 step process that the book obviously handles with much more finesse, expertise and detail, I guess what I’m saying is we are complicated creatures and we often need help making lasting changes, in the form of group support, “accountability partners” and even a little neural rewiring of our brains sometimes.
My intention for doing a 30 Day Challenge came from trying to come up with a way of changing behaviors in clients, whom I felt would excel and find new levels of comfort in their bodies if they would just commit to doing their physiotherapy exercises every day. At first I thought people just needed incentives- like great prizes. I’ve learned that people seem to need a combination of motivation (ie. a challenge), the right tools (the exercises themselves or some resources) and someone peaking over their shoulder once in a while with a nudge or two (or in the form of a daily log or journal).
If there’s something you’d like to manifest in your life then join this Challenge and focus on it for 30 Days. See yourself differently, act differently and maybe next year you won’t cringe when people talk about New Year’s resolutions- you’ll say BRING IT ON!!!
Yours in peace and good health in 2009,