Pulling for Values in the New Year

“Should I make a New Year’s Resolution or not?”

That common phrase we hear at the beginning of the year that most of us dread. Change is uncomfortable so we procrastinate and ultimately end up in a cycle of ambivalence – wanting and not wanting incompatible things at the same time.

So, WHAT does one do?

Do we abandon the change or force ourselves to comply with the resolution only to abandon it a few weeks later and then feel even worse?

Here’s a few of my own ambivalences:

• Do I go to yoga once or twice a week and feel better or can I afford the 3 hours to do so?
• How I do devote the time learning Spanish since I live in Los Angeles when I’m so busy with other things?

I’m sure you have many of your own that come to mind. I’m not here to offer solutions but a way to think about it. What are your values? We say in Motivational Interviewing, the language I teach to professionals, that values trump ambivalence.

For example: “On the one hand, I don’t like the extra time to go to yoga but on the other hand I love the way it makes me feel physically.”

“On the one hand, I don’t want to spend the time learning Spanish but on the other hand I’m missing out on people’s lives that I cannot communicate with.”

I’m ending the sentence on the value of what the resolution would provide for me to get my brain on board with change. Sometimes breaking it down to small manageable bites is easier to swallow. Today I put on a YouTube video that was 30 minutes of yoga stretching and felt a lot better. I found a way around the 1.5-hour class and got similar results. I still haven’t figured out how to learn Spanish in a small amount of time (Duolingo did not work for me) but the solution is for the future.

What are the values you have and how do you live within those in 2018? I’m thankful for my readers and am sorry I’ve been away but hopefully this year will be one of renewed writing.