Should I make a New Year’s Resolution or not?
That common phrase we hear at the beginning of the year that most of us dread. Change is uncomfortable so we procrastinate and ultimately end up in a cycle of ambivalence – wanting and not wanting incompatible things at the same time.
So, WHAT does one do?
Do we abandon the change or force ourselves to comply with the resolution only to abandon it a few weeks later and then feel even worse?
Here’s a few of my own ambivalences:
Do I go to yoga once or twice a week and feel better or can I afford the 2 hours to do so?
How I do devote the time learning Spanish since I live in Los Angeles when I’m so busy with other things?
I’m sure you have many of your own that come to mind. I’m not here to offer solutions but a way to think about it. What are your values? We say in Motivational Interviewing, the language I teach to professionals, that values outrival ambivalence.
For example: “On the one hand, I don’t like the extra time to go to yoga but on the other hand I love the way it makes me feel physically.”
“On the one hand, I don’t want to spend the time learning Spanish but on the other hand I’m missing out on people’s lives that I cannot communicate with.”
I’m ending the sentence on the value of what the resolution would provide for me to get my brain on board with change. Sometimes breaking it down to small manageable bites is easier to swallow.
In the pandemic I found a yoga app called Downdog that I can program the part of the body I want to focus on, the time, and music. Doing a 25 minute class is much more manageable for me. This past year I devoted 10 minutes per evening to doing Duolingo. I know it’s not going to give me fluency any tine soon but at least my ear is more attuned to words and phrases.
What are the values you have and how do you live within those in 2022? COVID has helped us reexamine many things and perhaps this is the year to make tiny steps toward doing what you having always wanted to do or accomplish…one small step at a time.