THE “PAINFUL” TRUTH

New_Years_ResolutionsThree quarters of the year has gone by and our original “resolutions” for the year have likely gone unresolved. Why do we continue to make promises to ourselves year after year that fall far short of the mark? Simple. They lack accountability? What do we lose; what do we sacrifice by not achieving our goals? Apparently nothing painful or pleasurable enough to alter our course in life. We have a tendency to substitute the word RESOLUTION for the word WANT. Many of us have lots of wants. How often have you heard the phrase, “if I won the lottery…”. The reality of this phrase translated means WANTS” are achievable if others provide (for me) the means to obtain them. If we evaluate this idea, it means we are unlikely to achieve many of our “WANTS” in life.

The definition of RESOLUTION is:

a firm decision to do or not to do something.” “the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter.”

The definition of WANT is:

“have a desire to possess or do (something); wish for”

It is my opinion that we interchange these words without realizing their meanings are not synonymous. A “desire” is NOT a call to action. It is a way of expressing a feeling that’s passive in nature. The phrase, “it would be nice” is more congruent with the meaning of the term WANT.

scrabbleIn a little over two months another new year will be upon us. Rather than following the traditional New Year’s Resolution of the past, why not re-evaluate where you stand in life today and where you might rather be. This re-evaluation will fulfill the “WANT” component. Providing yourself a short time horizon game plan with multiple baby steps that are easily accomplished BEGINS the process of achieving one’s goals. We can call this the “RESOLUTION” component. This approach may require many different resolutions (many short time horizon game plans with multiple baby steps) to accomplishing the eventual “WANT.”

Succeeding at these short term goals provides motivation to keep oneself on this new path. It becomes a “fun” game because each small goal is met with success. The “WANT” becomes attainable because the process is easier to comply with since the goals are continually achieved over a short period of time.

This concept (for example) can easily be applied to weight loss. Losing 1 pound a week (the “WANT”) eating a healthier diet and drinking adequate amounts of water (the action of solving a problem or “RESOLUTION”) is an example of combining the WANT with the RESOLUTION. The final component we need to add to this formula for success is ACCOUNTABILITY. This can be accomplished through PAIN or PLEASURE. You can either deny yourself something if you do not follow the “RESOLUTION” or reward yourself something for following it. The “something,” however, must have real emotional value creating a PAINFUL or PLEASURABLE impact on your life.

This approach can be used with almost anything to help achieve real positive changes in one’s life. It satisfies the emotional as well as the tangible components to move forward on a path of success and happiness.

You can follow the past and expect a similar outcome in the future, or you can change the future by following a new approach. I provide this option so that untruths and excuses are no longer needed. As always, I leave it up to the reader to decide.

Lying DogUNTRUTH OR REALITY?

(Just a little humor to add a smile!)

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18 comments

  1. To many simply fall short and give up when they fall off of their horse rather than just dusting off and getting back up to continue the ride.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I admit that is me. I fall off and run the other way. Unfortunately I can blame a lot of things on my Bipolar. Manic – go for it, healthier, depressed – don’t get out of bed and eat junk, but stable isn’t any better because it doesn’t give me those periods of mania I need to think I can do it. Not a cop out, I really can’t do much while not manic. Then I feel on top of the world. Then it gets out of control, but good for a while.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Stay focused on the positive as long as possible. Let it take over your mind as long as you possibly can and try to stretch it out a little bit longer each time. Fight, fight, fight!

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Tessa, it’s possible to view change (even with challenges) the same we we view daily patterns in life. Each day you go to bed. You may not fall asleep, but you do it anyway regardless of how you feel emotionally. It’s a pattern of behavior. The results may be poor. You may have only slept 2 hours. By repeating the PROCESS you eventually have a good nights rest. Repetition leads to better outcomes over time (in most cases.)
        Resolutions can be viewed in a similar fashion. Creating patterns of behavior to accomplish resolutions is the key. Once these patterns are formed, motivation becomes less necessary to achieve the end results. This is a method that can bypass your underlying challenge. View the “baby steps” I discuss as new patterns of behavior. You might be surprised how positively it affects mental health.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I wish it were that easy. Sleep has been an issue my entire life. Even as a baby. I drove my mother nuts. I always hope that after 24 to 36 hours of no sleep I will finally get a decent nights sleep, it doesn’t work that way. I will get 1 maybe 2 hours and be up again, wide awake. Then days later I crash and will sleep straight through 24 to 36 hours. Been through this all my life and I am a night owl to boot. They kept telling me that when I worked a day job and had to be at work by 7 AM that eventually I would sleep nights. No it didn’t work that way. I went to bed at 5 and got up at 6 and drug myself to work. No naps either.

        If you don’t have personal experience with bipolar disorder you are not going to understand where I am coming from. I don’t know what others go through. We are all different, but we can understand each other. Going to school for it doesn’t really help someone know what it feels like, what it does to your thinking and living. My chiro graduated with a psychology degree first. He thinks he understands and now he swears he can cure me of it by adjusting my spine. It just doesn’t work that way.

        Even my therapists really don’t understand. They have never suffered from it. We need doctors and therapists that have their own diagnoses so they can add their schooling to their personal experiences to really help us. They treat us by the book and as if we are all the same. It doesn’t work like that and we all don’t fit in the same boxes.

        I don’t know your experiences with mental health, but while I respect what you say and if I was a normal functioning human being they would probably work for me, that isn’t the case. If I have to go off my meds, there is going to be a big problem. Depression causes suicidal thoughts and mania causing bad behaviors I will have to ask for forgiveness again. I am not looking forward to it and hope they get their act together and find someone who can write scripts or 2 weeks from now all hell is going to break loose in this house.

        Sorry I wrote a book. I do respect your comments and appreciate them and will do with them what I can. Thank you for taking the time to try and help me.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Tessa, I learn as much from people and real life (if not more) than I ever learned from schooling. Education provides a foundation. Clinical experience, LISTENING and making sure people realize how important they truly are has proven more effective to improving health issues over my career. My intentions are NEVER to tell you what to do; my intentions are to offer options to see if some combination improves a situation. I recognize how difficult a health imbalance is and empathize with the frustration that accompanies it. Just realize, my intentions are ALWAYS well meant.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I know that and appreciate it the advice. Who knows something might actually happen and it will work. Even though my medications help my bipolar and other mental health disorders does not mean that I am “healed”. It will never go away and the meds just make it a little bit better. The medicines stop the mood swings, but do they give me a satisfying life? No that is up to me to work on and try to overcome my bad feelings. Don’t ever give up hope on me. I am trying to be better than my illnesses and not let them rule my life.

            Liked by 2 people

    2. As a person always searching for the ROOT CAUSE of issues, I believe many people have difficulty following through with their resolutions because they fail to create a PROCESS to achieve their goals. Sometimes we can follow someone’s successful approach; sometimes we need to “create the wheel.” Just “wanting” change commonly falls short of the mark. It’s not so much about success and failure, but rather the ability to learn how to productively change one’s habits to allow forward progress. Gaining this skill places everyone on a successful path.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I made a self-discipline on here for everyone to read and to make myself accountable. Had a couple of polls for a class. I lasted maybe 3 days and then it went right out of my head. No self-discipline.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Self discipline is a term that can intimidate some people. Viewing a new action as establishing a new pattern of behavior can accomplish the same task without the fear that the term “discipline” conjures up. It is a gentler approach.

          Liked by 2 people

      2. To create a process one first needs the self inspiration to get started and continue to learn the process. I agree with you whole heartedly.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. I think part of my problem is that I can’t always stay in reality. Part of my illness. No focus for long. I am doing pretty good with the blogs, but I had a problem for a few days where I really wanted no part of it. I missed 2 days of meds and it popped me back into the rapid mood swings. I couldn’t concentrate and felt like hell. About to happen again in 2 weeks if they don’t figure out who can write me my new scripts. I run out in about 2 weeks time. Serious withdrawal with those meds.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I have learned this year how effective it can be to set teeny, tiny, easily achievable goals and then advertise them to others. If you have to account for your actions at the end of the week, you’re more motivated to stay the course. Also, goals are built in reminders, so that not as much self-discipline is needed. The goals is on your mind, because it is a goal you set for yourself. You don’t have to be constantly reminded of it. Or, at least that is my experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll bet you find success in this approach with less stress and less frustration than approaching life without an action plan. Wanting (in most cases) is not enough. Accountability to oneself is a much better motivator. Excited to see your approach is working well for you. I know others will benefit from following suit.

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  3. For me, the goals have to be meaningful and I have to be ready to change. I believe around this time last year, I was wishing I was skinny and thinking about how nice that would be while drinking lattes and eating pumpkin spiced junk.

    This year, I decided I wanted to be healthy. I don’t remember what day I decided, but mentally I was ready for the change. It wasn’t because of a new year and feeling a strange obligation to the tradition. It was because I was truly ready to change my life. My goal is now my health, not wearing bikinis again.

    Losing weight is my measure that there is less pressure on my organs and that I’m being good to myself. When the scale doesn’t move, it’s hard for me but not because of the “skinny” factor anymore. I’m trying to focus on smaller goals now rather than I want to lose x to get to a healthy body weight. A big goal can overwhelm even the most dedicated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The nice part about modifying a goal from skinny to healthy is knowing that following a healthy path ultimately affects weight concerns. The reverse is NOT necessarily true; a skinny person does not have to be healthy.
      Anyone can become overwhelmed. Finding a suitable approach that is less stressful while clearly attainable is a key to successful change. If you find your patience running short, feel free to drop me a message. Sometimes a sounding board can be a great asset. People can help each other refocus while simultaneously decompressing frustration. It sounds like you are beginning to understand that the journey can and should be part of the experience of happiness. As you stated, you don’t have to wait until the goal is reached to begin feeling this way. It’s not how big a step you take, it’s what direction the step is taken. A step forward (in any size) is a step toward progress.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Great post….I stopped make New Years promises to myself along time ago….why set myself up for failure….If want or desire, or need to get something done….I should just get on with it and do it….no promises to myself, the one person I can easily let down all the time….yep been over 20 years since I engaged in that little sin…..if you know it needs to be done….don’t think just do it…no matter….kathy

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think your attitude is wonderful. Sometimes in life there are things that need to be done that don’t bring much pleasure. Avoiding these tasks doesn’t magically get them accomplished. My philosophy approaching unwanted or unliked tasks, activities, healthy foods, etc… is DO IT FIRST. You then get to look forward to the rest of the list!!

    Liked by 1 person

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