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I RESOLVE…against Resolutions

mindset personal growth problem solving wellness Dec 31, 2022
Blue Flower by Moshe Harosh of Pixabay

Feeling antsy about crafting a list of *perfect* resolutions? Figuring out how THIS year you will meditate daily, lose 20 pounds, and start making your own kombucha?

Just, no.

Many of us have been this person. And many of us never received formal education in “change management.” But here’s the real deal. What’s problematic about resolutions is that it’s usually asking us to create an outcome that we don’t currently know how to create.

For example, do you know how to be a person with a daily meditation habit?

For some, it may be a yes. You might say, “well, I used to do this every day, and then xyz and I stopped, but yes, I know what to do.” But do you really? The person that you were, with what you had going on, that version of you knew how to do this. But what about this version of you? Kids are a great example here. Maybe you had a habit that you followed religiously as a childless person. But then you had kids. And so it seems like you know what to do, and yet you find yourself not doing the thing. Why? Because this person that you are now, who has tiny (or not-tiny-anymore) humans doesn’t know how to do that same habit. Can you learn? Yes. But do you know now? No.

For some, the answer is flat out no. You might want to be a person with a daily meditation habit, but you have never meditated, don’t know anyone who meditates, and you don’t know where to start. And yet, you may have just set a resolution to meditate daily.

This isn’t a diatribe against goal-setting. But it is a diatribe against ineffectual goal-setting, where we decide on an outcome, rather than building a process.

Consider a goal that you would like to accomplish in the next year. Perhaps being able to do 10 push-ups. In resolution-world, you probably would say “I’m going to do 10 push-ups every day!” Except what if you try and you can’t do 1? Do you just give up? Many people do.

What if instead, the goal is a lighthouse, and you choose to move in that direction. If you know that you want to be able to do 10 push-ups, but right now, you can’t pull off 1, what would you do? You’d start considering what you CAN do now to build muscle to be able to do 1 push-up. Maybe you would do wall push-ups. Or start lifting light weights. You would develop a frequency that you needed to do those activities to build muscle so that you could get to 1 push-up. Some days you would forget and need to reset. But you keep the goal in your mind, the lighthouse that moves you in the right direction towards the goal.

That’s how lasting changes happen. We get curious, we practice, we fail, we correct course. We might seek guidance, mentorship or coaching. We may have to look at other areas of our lives that may keep us from reaching the goal, and consider how we might not stop at the obstacle but figure out a path around.

You’ve done this before. You didn’t know how you would get through college, or medical school or any other similar training. But you did. Maybe there were bumps along the way, unanticipated challenges (failed anatomy!), and delays (a hurricane that disrupted your training when your hospital was in the flood zone). 

So set a goal. Maybe even a big one. And go to work. Just don’t call it a resolution ;)

Hi There!

I'm Megan. I'm a Physician and a Life Coach and a Mom. I created this blog to help other Physicians and Physician-Moms learn more about why they feel exhausted, burned-out and overwhelmed, and how to start to make changes. I hope that you enjoy what you read, and that it helps you along your journey. And hey, if you want to talk about coaching with me, I'm here for that too! I offer a free 1:1 call to see if we are a good fit. Click the button below to register today.

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