How To Make Your New Years Resolution StickPeople are talking about New Year’s resolutions.

We search for a renewed energy. A determination to lick what it is that keeps us unhappy.

We try for a couple of weeks.  Make efforts to modify our behavior.  Read a self-help book. Search on-line experts for advice.

Maybe you are successful. Maybe this is the time that you will find that resolve.

But maybe not.

Then you have another reason (or at least you tell yourself so…) to beat yourself up. Feel as if you failed once again.

Those thoughts are simply not helpful.

There is something that has to happen before a change can be maintained. Something that is key to providing a positive context for that change to occur.

Acceptance of the problem. Acceptance of yourself.

This may seem contradictory. Consider these thoughts.

If I deny I have a problem, nothing happens.  If I resign myself to the problem, I will be paralyzed by it and give up. If I can accept that I have a problem, I can look at it squarely in the eye. And begin to do something about it.

This seems simple.

But folks get acceptance confused with resignation. “No! I can’t accept it.  I want to change it.  I HAVE to change it. I want it gone!”.

Many of the things we want to change about ourselves – are things we hate. We actually give the problem more power through that hatred.  We feel shame that we have created the problem. Or are part of the problem still existing. We have been too weak. We have procrastinated. Denied. Justified. Been afraid.

Taking your share of the responsibility? That’s a good thing. Carrying around shame about it?
AcceptThat shame will keep you stuck.

“I can’t help but look at pornography.”   “I don’t want to think about the way I yell at my children.” “Why do I get up and eat in the middle of the night?” “I get hit and yelled at all the time but it scares me to think of leaving.”

Sound familiar?

It’s hard to accept what we hate.  Move past those feelings so they don’t paralyze us.

To admit and accept it? To stop condemning yourself for it?  To realize that it is your own self-loathing that convinces you that you are not worth fighting for in the first place? 

This is vital to find your courage. To look at yourself honestly. But kindly. With compassion for yourself. The same compassion that you might offer others.

You are worth it.

You can begin to find the triggers that lead you to automatically repeat behaviors or thoughts that keep you stuck. It is through acceptance that you can find the freedom to find answers.  To begin shifting your choices.  Changing your behavior and thoughts.

We are all just human after all.

Accept.  And grow into more of the person you want to be.

I hope this New Year brings you that courage. And belief in yourself.

 

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Please send this on to others who might be struggling with their own lack of acceptance or who have tried to make changes – and are just stuck.  And as always, thank you for taking time out of your day to read! Comments and ideas are welcome at askdrmargaret@146.66.99.73.