The Healthy Family Connections Podcast
Episode 048 · Duration: 00:08:22
Choose The New Year’s Resolution That Won’t Fail
Here we are again, it’s time to make our New Year’s Resolution. But, the stats are against us. We manage to fail to keep our resolutions most of the time. Maybe we should just give up? Why start if we’ll just fail?
Yet, having a time of the year that we take stock and ask ourselves how we’re doing is a very good thing to do.
The Reason We Fail
Why do we fail so often? One reason is that we choose the wrong resolution. For instance, we’ll resolve to lose 20 pounds or exercise and get in shape. While many of us could stand to lose a few pounds and get in better shape, that could be the wrong thing to focus on.
You see, shame-based change is doomed to fail and will only increase our shame. Let me explain. When we take stock and look at ourselves, if we are looking through a critical lens, we’ll see what’s wrong with us and then try to fix it.Shame-based change is doomed to fail and will only increase our shame.Click To Tweet
But let’s ask a deeper question, why am I 20 pounds overweight in the first place and why aren’t I exercising regularly already? Very often, the answer will be: because I don’t take good care of myself. I focus on other’s needs, family needs, friends’ needs, work needs, and I’m not paying attention to my needs.
When we ask the next question; why don’t I prioritize my own needs? The answer will often be: because growing up, my needs were never prioritized. My feelings weren’t validated, and I learned to get my self-esteem by performing well; by some standard like, working hard, being smart, and helping others. Therefore, we internalized that message and that way of being.
Being Too Critical
We internalized the idea that we aren’t important and our needs aren’t important; what we do is what is important. We go on to live our lives hiding the secret belief that we aren’t important, only what we do is important. Then, when we become overweight and get out of shape, it is a manifestation of that false, and what we could call shame-based belief, that we aren’t important, our needs aren’t important, and we should be productive, take care of others and not take care of ourselves.
If we look at ourselves and see what’s wrong through the critical shame-based lens, and try to change what we see, we are only reinforcing the negative message that we aren’t important, our needs aren’t important that there is something wrong with us.
Let’s try a different approach, let’s try an approach that says; what’s wrong is the essential narrative that I’m not okay or important and that my needs aren’t important. Now we’re getting to the root of the problem. Let’s change that message or narrative to; “My needs are important and I can prioritize my own needs. I’m not being selfish when I do, I’m being self-valuing, and that’s important. I can’t teach my children they’re important if I don’t treat myself as important. I can’t role model one thing and say another. I can’t expect my partner to love me if I don’t love me.”My needs are important. I’m not being selfish when I prioritize them. I’m being self-valuing.Click To Tweet
Prioritize Your Needs
So rather than a resolution to lose 20 pounds, how about a resolution to prioritize my own needs, take better care of myself. Rewrite the narrative. Now, sit down and think about what that would look like. It might include requiring/empowering your kids to do more for themselves: make their lunches, handle their evening get ready for bed routine without all the struggle, having your partner commit to primary parenting more often and at certain times, or taking on specific home responsibilities. It might include asking for help from a friend or family member.
It might include free time where you can meet a friend for coffee, browse in the bookstore, or take a yoga class. It might even include paying attention to your food choices and making self-valuing healthy ones, or joining a spin class, or fast walking in a beautiful place several times a week. It could be signing up for the water color class you always wished you had time for.
The specific choice isn’t the place to make your resolution, changing the narrative is and then putting that into action every day.Change the narrative of your resolution and put that into action every day.Click To Tweet
Now remember this is a big shift, so let’s move away from the concept of success and failure. If you want this to be successful, than it will be; it’ll just take time. This is a learning process, so there will be positive steps forward and there will be setbacks. Learn from the setbacks and keep taking steps forward. This is new territory for you so it will feel strange. Stay with it and you’ll get there!
Thanks for tuning in today! Please feel free to come to my website at neildbrown.com and sign up for my weekly newsletter. And while you’re there, don’t forget to check out my new Empowered Teen Parenting Class and feel free to send the link to someone you know who might benefit. That simple act might be a transformative experience for someone you care about.
And please, take care of yourselves; you need it, you deserve it, you’re worth it. Bye for now.
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