Maybe you’ve already experienced some slippage with your New Year Resolutions? For me it starts with a wave of enthusiasm. I am connected to the good reasons why I made the resolution and want to keep it. I can envisage the benefits. But after a few weeks another part of me starts to undermine my ‘good intentions”.
Does this sound familiar? You are not alone!
It’s very rare you’ll keep your resolutions for the whole year. According to U.S. News,approximately 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February, so the odds are against you.
Here’s the thing. It’s not that the other part is undermining your good intentions. It just that another part has different strategies for their good intentions for you. For example, maybe you joined the gym. You are going to take control of your health and fitness. But about now you find yourself skipping the Sunday morning class – after all you deserve a lie in one day a week don’t you? So this part, inviting you to skip the class also wants you to be well – to get rest and take care of your need for relaxation. These two parts seem to be at odds with each other.
Or maybe you vowed to give up sugar this year. You have read that sugar creates all kinds of health problems.You know you have a sweet tooth so maybe its best to go cold turkey. Cut sugar out of your life. But as the weeks roll on you find yourself sneaking sugar into your life. Not in cakes, soft drinks, wine or bread which would be too obvious. But in other carbohydrates. Maybe having fruit which is surely healthy! Again you are working against yourself. One part of you has taken the ‘all or nothing’ position because it wants you to feel healthy and get ALL the benefits of no sugar in your diet. And another part wants you to have a little sweetness in your life, a little pleasure and that sweet taste of sugar is both emotionally and physically pleasurable. Maybe a third part is putting their two cents worth in – allying with ‘just a little bit never hurt anyone” telling you you deserve it after your long day at work and there’s no need to be so hardline with yourself. And the New Years Resolution slips away leaving you feeling like you just can’t keep promises to yourself or the whole idea was ridiculous anyway.
You are having a parts war with yourself.
Call it a tug-of-war. Call it being at loggerheads.
Either way you lose because you are not aware of the real purpose behind both strategies.
What the parts need is for you to do is take control of your mind – recognise the good intentions of both – and leverage those good intentions to achieve your goals.
We can befriend our parts and encourage each part to understand the good reasons for each position. You could say we rise above the being at loggerheads or the tug-of-war within and resolve this issue at higher level of consciousness.
Try this now:
Ask one part “What makes this so important?” And when you get an answer ask “And if I get that fully and completely what do I want through having that, that’s even more important?” until you run out of answers. You might find it helpful to write each answer down as you go. Ask the question “what makes that so important”at least 6 times! It may take more.
Now in the middle of this process the other part may jump in with “yeah, but…” or “that’s crazy – that’s just an excuse!” or “you have to be kidding – how can that work?” Just ask that part to step back and let it know you will listen to it in a moment. Ask it to step back and let you finish with the first part you are listening to.
Remember ask at least six times – maybe more until you get to a point where somehow you know you are done. This is the highest reason why this part wants you to do what it wants you to do. It is usually spoken as a value. For example, it wants you to go to the gym to get fit (that’s its strategy) because what it really, really wants is for you to experience a sense of well-being.
Then swap. Ask the same questions. Notice where you end up. What value is expressed? Are they the same or similar?
It could just be that these two parts want the same thing for you but have different strategies for achieving it.
Now you can negotiate and plan to have both strategies working together rather than being at loggerheads with yourself.
You don’t have to do this own you own. I can help you.
If you’d like support in getting to this place of integration so that you can achieve the goals you set this year contact me for a free 20 minute consult. We can keep you on your path towards what you really, really want without all the struggle.