As a coach, I get a lot of emails and newsletters from other coaches telling me how to improve my life. This time of year is the worst. I have deleted a dozen “How to Have a Great Year” articles without reading more than the first line. Honestly, I already know most of it and I hate to be pushed. For me, its rarely been about not knowing what to do, its about am I willing to do it. And the answer is often “No!”
Yes, I recognize that I am in resistance. But honestly I’m a little tired of self-improvement and conscious living after decades in recovery. Then New Year’s Day comes along and yes I want a better year in 2010. I would at least like to have a different set of complaints at the end of the year. And of course, if I don’t do anything differently I will likely drift into the same patterns as I presently have, which means I will have the same complaints. It’s the old “if nothing changes, nothing changes” problem.
So now I have my resistance to routine, my resistance to discipline and to being pushed, and my dislike of being talked into something all on the one hand—and my desire for change on the other. At this point it looks like the resistance will win unless I can somehow honor my resistance as I consider change. Shouldn’t I be trying to squelch my resistance not honor it?
Well, for me resistance just multiplies if I try to bully it. It simply doesn’t work. So what would it look like to honor my resistance? If I ask “What does my resistance care about?” or “What does my resistance stand for?” then I may get some useful answers. Here is what I learn when I consult my resistance: it cares deeply about freedom; it cares deeply about fun; it likes spontaneity, it likes it when I feel good.
So now I ask myself: “What is the smallest change I could make that would make the biggest difference to my happiness in the coming year?”
Here is the answer I get: “Dance.” Golly, I have no resistance at all to dancing!
What answer(s) did you get? Sort through your answers and pick one that is most attractive or most meaningful. Now, how will we manage to remember this tomorrow or next week or next month rather than drift along in our workaday habits?
Here is what has helped me. I choose a “Single Daily Action” that I am willing to do every day. Since it is everyday I am looking for small easy change that I can do easily. I really am willing to dance every day. For about five minutes. That’s all I am willing to commit to. Actually it sounds like fun. I think I’ll start now. Good luck with finding your own “Single Daily Action.” I’m outta here!