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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Resolutions or Goals?

Which do you make every year for the New Year - goals or resolutions? Do you find if you make resolutions that they work for you or do you find yourself losing the resolve to keep moving forward with whatever resolutions you made before much time has gone by?
I think that resolutions don't work as often as we wish they would because we are frequently trying to change some sort of negative behavior or way of seeing ourselves. For example, a lot of people make resolutions to lose weight, but in reality, they are not really truly committed to the idea. It just sounds like something good to put out there.  I see the same thing with people trying to stop smoking or drinking, or to change some negative aspect of their relationships.
There has to be a genuine commitment to a goal that generally does not happen with a resolution, and that is that you have to not only commit to it, but you have to make a plan for what you are going to do, and then you have to follow through and do it. And if you are resisting some sort aspect of yourself without the commitment, you will also not look toward changing your attitude towards that thing before trying to change it. Sor for example, you might want to lose weight, not necessarily because it is good for your health in reality, but because you don't like the way you look, and just about every other resolution can be looked at the same way. In other words, you are fighting something you don't like. But in order for the change to really happen, you first have to accept yourself just the way you are right now. If you are heavy, you have to embrace yourself as that heavy person.  Once you accept that aspect of yourself, then you can have a goal to the effect that "I want to lose the weight because I really know I will feel better physically and not because I am any less a person because of the weight."
You might also make some visual images by collaging on card stock or colored paper those things that are your goals, and keep them where you might see them regularly. Make affirmation about the goals. For example, you can say, "I am enjoying my new weight loss and feeling really good physically."  And these should be written down as well. Any goal that is written down and affirmations and visualizations of the goal made will almost always be realized unless the goal is not really one of your true priorities. It is easy to fool ourselves that way too, so be aware of that when you set your goals initially.
Bird is a 15-minute collage project using throwaway scraps.