We’re not off the hook for those New Year’s resolutions
August 14, 2008
The New Year was, what, seven months ago? Your Jan. 1 resolutions are now, what, established changes in your life? No? You are, what, sure you are off the hook for your monumental change tasks given how late it is in the year and all of those other good reasons, too? Wrong.
First of all, positive change is not a timed event. Secondly, we are all up against this formidable foe of change. And, last but not least, “Are you insane?”
We make New Year’s resolutions in the early days of every year. Whether we declare them out loud or scribble our needs in journals, none of us lacks in thoughts of our self-conceived shortcomings at this time. In fact, we actually speak to ourselves every day of the year, all day long about our perceived faults.
Large proportions of our waking thoughts are focused on negative concepts and another giant slice of those constant mental tapes are about being down on ourselves. The question then is ” Why, with these habitual thoughts of self-examination, do we celebrate only one day of the year as Change Day?
Get out of the rut. Let us choose our own Change Days frequently and in large numbers. Today is a good day to change, as was yesterday and tomorrow will be.
Although, do not use that future fixation as a good excuse to ignore our fear to change now.
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Before you get too bent out of shape with the “F” word, realize that fear is a viable and honored emotion having served man/womankind from day one. Change is often difficult because we are hard-wired and socialized to fear the unknown. “Stay put” has been our survival message (even though recent political messages are urging us otherwise).
The fear of change outweighs the fear of familiar until the discomfort of the same seems more offensive than the challenge of change. Remember that this tipping point could happen at any moment of any day of any year and will only be recognized by us if we have the focus of change in our thoughts.
Since negativity toward self is also in our thoughts, why not use this combination in our favor. Here is a wild life-coaching concept. Let’s trick our fear of change by switching negative gears. For example, if we habitually tell ourselves that we are bad for not going on a diet, why not go on the diet and berate ourselves for being a bad dieter?
This unique negative approach is a giant step in the positive direction. We are now on the action side of change but still in the familiar mode of negative thought. Sneaky ” our thoughts will never know what happened.
Acting on this new modern mantra ” Just Do It Badly ” we will become quite familiar with whatever we would not try at all. We can then say bye-bye to fear. Without fear we create new habits and may discover we are not such bad changers after all. Hey, this is not such insane coaching after all.
A well known definition of insanity by Albert Einstein is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Are you insane? Well, yes, by definition, if it is that we continue time and again to make resolutions and not incorporate any change action in our lives to accommodate different results.
You towns and organizations are not off the hook either. Think how often our community plans are annually connected to strategies and budgets only to be placed on the shelf again. By mid-year most all involved are busy stomping out unforeseen fires and thinking those same old negative problems can be resolved next year.
So stop the insanity. Trick yourself into change now. Know that you can think just as poorly about yourself creating change poorly than not changing at all. We are all on the hook again. Change Day is today.
” Marianne Klancke is a certified professional coach and group development facilitator. What are your coaching questions or communication concerns? She welcomes comments at email@example.com.
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