My last training workout for 2010 was a steady long run (approx. 1:32 time) through our streets into Bidwell Park, at the same time my husband was engaging in his New Years tradition of swimming 100 x 100 @1:30 with the masters swim team. Impressive, I know! Okay so I have to admit it took me longer than usual to get myself out the door…maybe it was the 30-degree weather? NYE holiday? feeling tired? wanting to veg out on this extra day off? house chores to do? None-the-less I made it out and thought to myself, “there are so many more reasons/excuses to not do something. There is always going to be a reason to talk your self out of doing something that is physically and mentally challenging (unless it’s injury or health problems, that’s a topic for another blog).” As I got into the groove of my run the familiar feeling of exhilaration, energy, and swiftness over came me…ahhh this is my reason. While running in the park I saw two friends from our triathlon club and many others doing their thing. This was yet another one of my reasons (being in communion with the people that are up early in the morning enjoying nature and the brisk Northern California air) to get myself out in the morning.
As I reflect on the significance of setting New Years Resolutions I could not help feel resistant to the idea of setting “resolutions” because it’s what we are “supposed” to do. Only to re-evaluate at the end of the year and say, “this time I will do it different” or “maybe this year I will try to…” I often think about my experience working with people in therapy whom desire to make a lasting change in their lives but “desire” is only one piece of the work. I believe the other part that makes change difficult therefore lacking in manifestation is the fact that it will always get harder before it gets easier. For example, if you haven’t run for a long time ,or at all, you will be sore and actually for many more runs you will probably be sore. But after some time the soreness will decrease and your runs will begin feel different. I believe this simplistic illustration of the principle can apply to many areas of our lives, not just sports or fitness. The key or “trick” is “framing” the goal/resolution in a way that mentally connects to your personal beliefs, values, and hopefully purpose.
“Framing refers to the way a conflict is described or a proposal is worded; reframing is the process of changing the way a thought is presented so that it maintains its fundamental meaning but is more likely to support resolution efforts…Much of the reframing process is “about changing the verbal presentation of an idea, concern, proposal, or question so that the party’s essential interest is still expressed but unproductive language, emotion, position taking, and accusations are removed.”
I believe that we only truly execute those tasks/goals that most connect to our core beliefs and values. If not, then we may find ourselves chasing superficial means of purpose or validation. So as we set our goals for 2011 lets make them meaningful and purposeful. Let’s take some time to “dig deep” and really evaluate how we want to feel about ourselves at the end of the year. Maybe ask ourselves, “at the end of 2011 how do I want to feel about what I have done with my year?” and then scale back and say to your self tomorrow and the day after “at the end of the day how do I want to feel about what I have done today?” This I believe will reframe how it is we choose to live purposely on a daily basis.
Happy New Year!…Keep reaching for your peak in 2011.