I Resolve To Be

Here we are on the downhill side of the month of resolutions. How are you doing?  Started the diet? Sticking with it?  Kicked up the exercise routine? More focused at work?  Listening more? 

If you are like most you have either given up in frustration or forgotten entirely about your good intentions for the New Year. How is it that January’s promises are so often history by February? 

Resolutions are invariably stated in action terms. “I will lose 10 pounds. I will go to the gym.  I will not be late.  And then we set out to do it. Or not.  

It is one thing to resolve to change and quite another to follow through. We are, after all, human beings – not human doings.  We live from the inside out. Simply deciding to change behavior just doesn’t (more) cut it. 

It works like this: what I believe about X Y or Z determines what I think about it. What I think affects what I feel. What I believe, think, and feel determines my motivation, which governs what I do.

For example, if I believe exercise is optional, I will do it as long as it’s fun and convenient. If I consider it vital to my well-being, I will give it priority. But if I am convinced my life depends on it, I will find a way to make it happen no matter what. 

Resolutions focus on behavioral change and without sufficient motivation, I will inevitably return to my default.

So what am I to do? 

It depends on who I ask. Cognitive behavior therapy focuses on changing thoughts and beliefs to change behavior. Neuroscience frames it as reprogramming the brain. Religion speaks of conversion. Education sites learning.  All are valid paradigms and can contribute to an internal shift at the core of your being.  

Behavior modification points to changes that begin from the outside, in behavior. This too can be effective but only if it breaks through to the inside where thoughts, feelings, and motives live. 

So this year resolve to be what you want or need to be. Commit yourself to the process of change and growth.  Realize it will take time and ask for help if you need it. Focus on being and you will also find yourself doing.

You've gotten this far, let me know what you think about this post. But please note: in most cases, I don't approve self-promotional or off-topic comments, or those that don't add to the discussion.