by Ros Kitson
It's that time of year when everyone is talking about new plans to get fit, healthy, lose weight and a whole host of other plans. Some will succeed but sadly, statistics show, most will fail. I was thinking about this today and in particular how we treat resolutions differently from goals. Goals tend to be longer term. Resolutions tend to be everything right away. So I decided to compare the two to a running race.
Well, this is the time of year when everyone talks about making new year resolutions. The changing of the calendar tends to focus the mind and brings the idea of fresh starts. This is all very well, even though the beginning of the year might not be the best date for everyone, but resolutions tend to assume we're going to make one big change and then stick to it for ... ever, whereas goals tend to be more of a process with a purposeful end. I'd like to challenge the idea that we are suddenly going to make sweeping changes just because it's January 1st. I find that making changes is often a bit more complex than that. We can find that it takes us a while to start a new plan. It can definitely take us a while to stick to a new plan. And often we have to revise the plan along the way so it suits us better. For example, if our 2014 resolution was to join a gym, we would go along, sign up, pay the money and then try and make ourselves go on a regular basis. The success rate would be dependent on many things: our time available, our energy available and how much we really wanted to be going to a gym in the first place. If we stop going, then we can feel we've failed. If, however, we set a goal to be fitter by the summer (how you determine that is up to you), then we might start off by joining a gym, but quickly realise it's not for us. We might try out a taster day instead of actually signing up. Maybe we then hear about different types of exercise and try them out until we find something that suits us. If, along the way, other things come up, we can choose how we manage them with our fitness, knowing we can pick up again when they calm down. But the main difference with goals is that until we get to the summer, we have no way of telling whether we've succeeded or failed as the process is ongoing. But with the resolutions, we can often feel failure as soon as our plans slip. So be kinder to yourselves and set goals rather then resolutions this year.
We've all probably been told at some point in our lives to try harder. Maybe by our parents or school teachers, or seen it written on a school report. Nowadays it's very common to hear people say "I'll try" in response to a request to do something. But what is actually going on energetically with this? To start with, the confirmation that you'll "try" suggests that you may succeed or you may fail. It therefore prepares the person you're talking to for either outcome. It also lets you off the hook if you don't achieve whatever you were setting out to do as you pre-warned that it might not happen. Now that's fine if you're referring to something that isn't very important, but not so good if it's a priority. "I'll try and get to the gym this week." If I were to hear those words from someone, I wouldn't be very sure they'd actually make it. The word "try" also suggests a lot of effort. "I'm going to try and push that car along the road." Well, I'll heave and heave and I may shift it a bit, but it's going to take all my strength to do it. Similarly, "I'll try to clean the kitchen today" suggests that this will be a mammoth job that may well take ages and leave us drained to exhaustion. That's not really likely to inspire us to get started. In fact, it creates resistance. I would suggest that firstly, we just make a decision whether or not we truly want to take action. For that, we need to dig down and find out our underlying motivations. What are our reasons for doing it? Are we just trying to placate another person when we have no intention of doing it? Is there buried fear around doing it, even if we're not sure exactly what that fear is? Then if we decide to do it, affirm that we are going to do it. "I'm going to the gym this week" has much more certainty to it. I'd be more likely to believe this. Also, if we affirm an intention to someone else, we often feel more accountable to take the action, which can help us find motivation when it's not forthcoming. By affirming rather than trying, we're going with the flow rather than fighting against the current. Affirmations help create a new reality. If we affirm that we are becoming fitter, then we are likely to attract things to help us create that, including the motivation to go to the gym. If we decide not to do something, be honest. Let the other person know why and be accountable for your choice. They may not like it, but in the long run, they'll probably respect you more for your honesty and for setting clear boundaries. So next time you hear yourself say the word "try", check out whether it is really serving you.
I use the word "aligned" a lot these days, but when I had to spend an evening explaining what I actually meant by it recently, I figured there may well be lots of other people out there who have no idea what I'm on about too. The dictionary defines the verb to align as to bring into line or agreement. I work with energy, so I'm referring to the act of bringing our energy into line or agreement with our goals. Now, although this might sound a strange thing to try and do, we are actually doing it every day of our lives. In order to wake up, we move our energy from subconscious to conscious. In order to go to sleep, we wind our energy down from active to relaxed. When we go to work, we become the person who is an expert at our job. When we are out with friends our energy may change to a slightly different version of ourselves. People who reach their goals easily can align themselves to their goals. However many of us find this difficult. The most important thing to know about this is that we can tell how aligned we are by the results we are producing in the world. If we are aligned with what we are wanting to do, we physically produce results. If we wish to go on holiday, we'll be aligned when we actually make the booking and go. If we wish to set up a business,we'll be aligned when the clients come. If we wish to change a habit, we'll be aligned when we actually make the change. As regular readers will probably have guessed by now, the reason we are not able to align with our goals is that our blocks get in the way. Maybe we want to go on holiday, but we're fearful that taking time off work will cause more stress. Maybe we wish to be self-employed, but relying on such an uncertain income leaves us feeling insecure. Maybe we wish to give up smoking but it's very ingrained in our social culture. But what's more likely, is that we think we're aligned but the results aren't coming because these blocks are hidden from us. What we may experience is resistance to taking action, or we may feel that our heart isn't quite in it, or we may just have no idea why the results aren't coming. The good news is that if we remove all the blocks, we naturally come into alignment with our intentions and therefore our goals. That's the law of attraction: we attract things that match the energy we give out. So as long as we are giving out the energy of being in alignment with our goals, we will attract the physical results of these goals. The even better news is that kinesiology can help even if we aren't aware of our blocks. It has a rather uncanny and brilliant way of bringing them to awareness before clearing the stress they bring. So, now you understand this, I ask the question again, Are you aligned to your goals?