An Invitation to go Deeper than New Years Resolutions
ORIGINAL PUBLISH DATE: March 8, 2009
The desire to change doesn't have to result in another foiled resolution. Applying careful, gentle introspection and taking honest inventory of personal challenges can offer a chance to renew, inside and out.
If you have been trying for years to change- don’t let the accumulation of false starts cause you to give up. Ask an ex-smoker how many times they ‘quit’ before they really quit....and how many different methods they tried to kick the habit. People who want to better themselves often find books on the topic helpful. There is no shame in owning self-help books- most people desire to better themselves in one way or another. Gathering diverse opinions, and employing differing methods for improvement can be considered research- and a foundation for movement towards improvement. Test all of your self-help knowledge using the wisdom of the Bible and you will know your efforts are grounded in truth.
Begin with introspection- It takes courage to admit that we need to change, it takes time and effort to identify the roots of the problem and it can take years to find the right solution. If we are gentle enough to recognize that we are not perfect -and in this life we will not be perfect, we can attempt to become something new. --The person that God wants us to be.
To begin –I propose you name the big picture problem that you want to work on and then break it down into symptoms and outputs and a list of ensuing habits that need a makeover. This may sound like a root canal without anesthesia, however- I’ll wager that if you are gentle with yourself, beginning always prayerfully applying small steps and focus on loving yourself as God does- answers will be revealed. Through journaling and prayer we might consider answering these questions a roadmap:
Why do I want to change?
What do I want to change?
What does this thing do to me?
What does this thing do to those around me?
What will I look like without this thing? -What is the new me?
What habits need to be changed to support this new me?
What is the first habit that I am going to change? (The idea of working on only one habit for a month has been proven to reinforce lasting change. )
Have I historically had success with incentives or charting my progress?
How can my friends or family help me to stay on track in the most effective and loving way?
In what ways do I already have what it takes to become the new me?
As you answer the questions pay attention to any physical responses that may surface. Does a question or answer make you sick to your stomach or give you butterflies? Does one idea keep coming to mind, but you don’t allow it to come to the pen? Be honest with yourself- the most painful thing to explore here, may be the root of the thing that is holding you back.
These questions are a place to begin, to go inward, in search of new perspective on your path in a way that is intentional, honoring the authentic version of yourself awaiting the invitation to surface.