Not New Years Day

I got up this morning, made The Sweetheart’s coffee and lunch, and sent him out the door, just like every other morning. I didn’t even glance at the whiteboard I had meticulously crosshatched with goals and days of the week.

Somewhere around 1:15 this afternoon, I was standing in the kitchen, juicing carrots, ginger, and turmeric as my lunch of beans and rice heated on the stove. I was a little in awe of myself. I had already written more words today than I have all week, posted on my blog, made connections in social media, and had a massage/acupuncture treatment. I had even done a 30-minute yoga class without pausing or finding something else to do.

I’m having a stellar self-care day and it’s not even January 1.

There’s something about New Years that brings out the resolutions in people. There’s something about the middle-to-end of January that carries amnesia like a virus. Except, it’s not amnesia. Amnesia doesn’t come with a whole slew of self-judgment.

One of the things that I have learned as a Life Coach is, “Judgment is the glue that binds our limitations to us.” (Credit: Coach for Life) When I engage in the practice of judging myself, I mire myself deeper into the mud of motionlessness. It happens with my clients, too. Just today, one of my clients was talking about how parents can’t see that they’re making it harder for their kids when they harp on how disorganized they are. Not five minutes later, my client started to harp on how she wasn’t good at… I stopped her right there, and pointed her lens back through her own words on parenting. “If it doesn’t help kids when their parents focus on disorganization, is it going to help you…?” She stopped me. She already knew where I was going, and ran down that path ahead of me, dropping her harsh words toward herself and focusing on what she really is good at.

That’s the thing with resolutions. They are so often used as just another excuse to beat somebody up, and in that they lose all effectiveness.

What if… (I LOVE the possibility of that!)

  • Instead of focusing on what boxes aren’t ticked off on my goals, I focus on the boxes that are?
  • I spend time celebrating what I appreciate about my partner instead of telling him what he could do better?
  • I apply the principles of coaching to my own life?

What “What if’s” would you list for yourself?

In the ICF coaching competencies, it says a coach“positively confronts the client with the fact that s/he did not take agreed-upon actions.” (Source: ICF Core Competencies) The key word is POSITIVELY. That means it is the coach’s responsibility to find the good in the fact that a commitment was not kept.

A coaching client never loses when a resolution is not fulfilled. The client, by way of coaching, will naturally take away greater awareness, insight, and self-acceptance. This is how resolutions become powerful.

In finding the win in all resolutions, both complete and incomplete, all resolutions have a positive outcome. As I initially found it quite challenging to grasp the value of something not done, I offer an example.

‘Mary’ resolved to lose 10 pounds before her birthday (3 months.) After six weeks, she had not lost any weight, and had gained two pounds. My favorite coaching question came up, “What’s that about?” As the question was vague, Mary answered in her own terms; “I’ve been dieting and exercising, but I can’t seem to stay away from the sweets. They’re just so comforting.” With her voice lowered, she added, “And, besides, I think people should see me for my heart, not my weight.”

The first thing I celebrated was that she was honoring her need for comfort. She had chastised herself so strongly for eating sweets that she didn’t want to tell me. Being celebrated for it really threw her off. On an emotional level, it threw her right off her defensive stance. Once defensiveness was gone, she easily found and embraced other ways of comforting herself that were more in keeping with her goals. Eating sweets became a conscious choice instead of a compulsion.

Her final sentence opened a huge door of opportunity to celebrate the value of her heart. As she became more aware of appreciating her own value in the following weeks, others began to appreciate her more, too. Not surprisingly, with two areas of need being appropriately addressed (comfort and being valued), her weight began to align with her resolution.

Today is not New Years Day. It’s a much better day than that. Today is the day to celebrate yourself through all of your resolutions, complete and incomplete.

I look forward to reading your comments about  how you put this in practice in your own life!

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