By Scott Forrester | Contributed
Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner
Certified Personal Trainer
2017 is here. A new year and a new start, right?
Around 50 percent of Americans make new year’s resolutions, but by the second week of a new year about 80 percent of those are forgotten, according to USNews.
Really, 80 percent? Yes, and by the end of the year some sources estimate that only 8% of all new year’s resolutions are still in force. This indicates that the process of making new year’s resolutions is not a very effective way to achieve personal goals and to improve life.
Why is this so?
Resolutions are usually made up of two parts. The first part is the idea of doing or accomplishing some tangible thing. The second part of the idea is that thing is usually something that involves change, something new to you, something you have never done or never been able to do before.
If the idea were simply to do something that was very easy to you, it would not be worth a resolution. To be resolute is to decide firmly. To be resolute is to involve a personal challenge.
To do something easy, is easy. To do something hard may involve doing something that you don’t know how to do. And there is the difficulty, for once we introduce learning into the picture we have a non-linear process. A process of experience, of trial and error, a process that cuts more deeply and takes more time than we had in mind.
Being process oriented is different than being “quick fix” oriented. Another name for being quick fix oriented is being goal oriented. Don’t misunderstand me, there is nothing wrong with goals. The problem arises when our attention is focused mostly on things instead of process.
Most New year’s resolutions, especially the ones that fail are focused on things, the results and the process of self-knowing that leads to the results. When you have an external goal, one that is not well connected to your inner self – your inner needs and goals – your chance of success are almost nil.
It is inner change is a change of mind about long established habits – a change that may take persistence, self-discoveries, continual commitment and time to establish itself that makes a difference. Boot camp programs can produce results, but the results can be short lived if you have not really learned anything new about how to live.
Most “quick fix “goals are ill defined. They state something like I want to lose weight. How much weight? How will you do it? How will you keep it off? Do you know yourself? What are your personal obstacles, both physically and psychologically?
A “quick fix” goal is focused on doing something. A processed oriented goal is about investing in yourself in the long term and building the foundation that it actually takes to succeed.
Every day is a new day. Every day is a new for personal awareness to grow. Every day is a chance to commit to new choices. Every day is a chance to create a new you. What a great opportunity. We can get out of the realm of succeed/fail and live. Is it the goal that counts or the process of improvement?
As Moshe Feldenkrais said. “We all have one purpose, which is to die. Therefore, it is not the purpose that matters, but how we get there”.