This is Cori from Psychobabble4u. Today is about creating resolutions you can actually keep. Make them doable by underestimating what you are capable of doing. I know that is puzzling. Here is an example. I was out to dinner with a couple of friends the other night. And my partner said “Ok everyone let’s go around the table so each of us can make a resolution for the new year…” Everyone kind of groaned but we all agreed. My friend Mary who is a ferocious dog walker, not towards the dogs but towards her own work ethic, groaned the most. Mary never takes a day off. So she piped in and said “perhaps I can take a day off, maybe Sundays’. We all exclaimed at the same time…me with beaucoup skepticism. “Really!!??” ” “Well not really..”, she replied, “I don’t think I can , but maybe I will try.” “Seriously Mary”,I said, “that does not seem very realistic, and it definitely doesn’t sound as if your going to take any time off.” She shrugged and smiled. “OK Mary”, ” How about I get all therapeutic on you and make this actually doable. What if you take one Sunday off a month?” “Ohhh.”, she said and smiled, “I can do that. Or maybe just one day off a month period.” “Ooooh…” everyone excalimed being mucho impressed by my therapeutic skills, considering they never get to see me work, all the confidentiality gets in the way. Mary came up with a doable goal by underestimating what she was expecting herself to do. In terms of Mary do I think that she will actually take off a day a month. Probably not. But will an option that is actually doable for her at least be in her mind. Yes.
You are doing this because you want to. So here are some helpful hints.
1. Make a few goals, 1 is great, 10 at the most, rather than so many that you can’t remember all of them.
2. Make each goal very specific, ie: which gym will you go to, how will you pay for it, how often will you go. The more specific you are, the more you flesh out how you will attain this goal, the easier it will be to complete it.
3. Underestimate rather than overestimate. Ie: Rather than saying I am going to the gym 5 times a week and getting burnt out or not even starting because you are so intimidated by the goal itself. Say instead that you will go 2 times a week or even once a week. This is a goal that is realistically achievable.
4. Pay attention to yourself, set your goal accordingly. There will always be Expert information on whatever subject your goal has to do with: Ending a bad relationship, losing weight. Expert information is important but no one knows you better than you. Talk to that ex of yours once a month if that is what you think will work for you rather than going “cold turkey”. Go walking twice a week rather than the 3times that is purported by the experts. You are the only expert on yourself.
5. Write your goals down in large handwriting and place it where them will be visible to you on a daily basis. Make it your screensaver on your phone, computer.
6. Fake it till you make it. Be consciously positive about your goal. Fight (really hard) the negative tapes and i-tune downloads of the past. Words are important they change the way we feel about ourselves. Think about how much the words, thank you, can affect you. Every time you say, “Oh I don’t think I can do this say..”, instead say, “Yes I can!”
And most of all in this new year, be gentle. Be gentle with yourself about your resolutions and celebrate every teensy, tinsy victory. When you sign up for the gym or decide not to take his call today or even think about taking a Sunday off a month, celebrate, celebrate, celebrate. Be gentle to this world that lovingly supports us. Be gentle to the people you love and especially the ones that you don’t. And then most importantly be gentle with yourself which makes all the other”gentles” possible. We are living in hard times and being hard on ourselves does not make them easier. I was reminded while watching the ball drop last night and listening to Kathy Griffin completely overpower and befuddle Anderson Cooper, how connected our world is. Watching the celebration of the new year in Hong Kong, Germany, Russia, London, how close we are. All of us happy all over the world cheering over the same thing, a new year, a new decade and a new time.
Happy New Year… now that’s a resolution worth keeping.
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Psychobabble4u signing off…
(c) Cori Grachek,: January, 2010
If you have any questions about therapy, are interested in therapy or just have a more private thought or question that you would like to share with me I can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
**This is not and can never be a replacement for therapy