If you are like me, you’ve planned a few ‘do-overs’ for yourself this time of year…
–Did you know that more exercise machines are sold in the week before the new year than at any other time?
Anyway, what I mean is… I’m sure you’ve thought of a few goals for yourself for this brand new baby year.
Sometimes we reach those goals, and sometimes we don’t.
But why don’t we always reach our goals?
LOOKING DEEP WITHIN
I think we don’t always reach our goals because it isn’t the ‘goal’ that we need to reach.
For example, our animals don’t ever set goals like we do. They either decide to do something or they decide not to do something – (or they are forced). But, they never say, “Thursday is my birthday and from then onward I’m going to exercise every day.”
You never hear your dog say, “This New Year’s I’m really going to try to take to heart your request to not bark at the doorbell and stop doing it.”
Your horse doesn’t decide that on January 1st, he is no longer afraid of baggies.
The animals come to their realizations, make a decision and stick with it until it no longer works for them. They learn from what doesn’t serve them.
For some reason, we humans do it differently. Maybe life has become too easy and we’ve become slackers or something… but for Humans, when we come to understand our realities/situations and decide to be different, we get loosey-goosey about it. Instead of changing the thing that is no longer working for us, ee set ‘goals’ or ‘resolutions’ that may or many not be reached.
Why is that?
For me, I think the difference is the term “goal” instead of “my life would be so much better if I quit doing this thing that inevitably makes me unhappy.”
It seems that an animal doesn’t have a ‘goal’ to quit biting his big brother… but when he gets snapped at, the dog then realizes that this behavior doesn’t help him in the long run, so he quits. Done. Fini.
For us, there is too much slack in there. We try to change behaviors that are no longer working for us but then the excuses arise (me, included)… work, tired, kids, money, life gets in the way.
So we set variable ‘goals’ or “New Year’s Resolutions” that no one really expects to survive throughout the new year. “Well, I might get there – since it is my goal after all… – and then again, I’ve used the disclaimer of ‘goal’ so if I miss it, that’s OK…”
It isn’t like that for the animals. They are either in or they are out. They commit. Beecause if they don’t commit, they lose their place in the herd/pack – or they die.
IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDED UPON IT
Whenever I have to do something that I find very difficult, it helps me if I say to myself, “Dawn, if your life depended upon climbing this wall or surviving this very cold chair lift, you’d do it. So, butch up and get the job done.”
That sentence always works for me (if I use it properly). I tend to not use it when it counts…
My exception on using that phrase would be when it probably matters most – on the occasions when I am proclaiming a need to change something about myself to make my self happier.
… like on New Year’s or after my birthday. Instead of saying to myself that my happiness/life depended upon me changing a behavior, I’d call it a mutable/changeable ‘resolution’ or ‘goal’ instead.
That’s the problem.
The happiness of my life does often depend upon revamping or redesigning a truth about my behavior.
Hmmmm. If my life depended upon it, would I change this thing about myself.
Then why don’t I?
Because we don’t perceive our lives as that important in the HERE AND NOW, like animals do. We don’t live in this very moment. This tiny little moment doesn’t count in the long run…
..or does it?
Happiness = Life
So this year for me, the motivation to get into my pool and swim 4 times a week may not be a life or death thing in this moment… but… the self destructive tape that plays in my head about being ‘too sick’ or ‘too old to ever get into shape again’ or ‘ the water is dirty and too cold so I’ll do it tomorrow’ ARE detrimental to my happiness.
Because those old tapes and internal dialogues are what stop us all. Those old tapes stop us from honoring the moment. This gift of life.
It isn’t the pie or the sneaked treats or the exercycle that will make the difference… it is the knowledge that whatever behaviors you wish to adjust – in the long run – ARE actually the blocks on which your happiness, your life force, depend upon for nourishment. This moment. This life.
Do you really want to be different?
If so, play the game of life as if the quality of your life depended upon it.
Because it does.