|New Year and a New Life|
Have A Happy New Year and a Happy New Life.
Why is it that “New Year Resolutions” seem to vanish by spring?
I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody who has made a new year resolution that has actually worked. Some years ago I ran a college course that unusually started at the beginning of the calendar year in January rather than the normal academic year starting in September. During the introductions of the first class the whispers of the new years resolutions were still in the air. Goals and dreams where gently included in peoples introductions to each other, for some reason “learning to fly” was a popular one amongst first year Counseling Diploma students; an interesting combination.
I wonder what happened to all of these resolutions. Probably not a lot judging by the number of distinctly earth bound non pilots that graduated at the end of the course. So what goes on? What’s the problem with New Years Resolutions?
I think there are several things that go wrong:
In order to make successful change we have to aim at things that are achievable. Sounds obvious, but often we are tempted to get realistic goals mixed up with whimsical dreams that we simply cannot achieve, we’re aiming in the wrong direction. We end up trying to change things that are unchangeable. Depressive people often and understandably want to be less depressed, anxious people often want to worry less etc...By simply trying to be a person we are not is an impossible task. We can’t get away from our fundamental personality, its our hard drive, its who we are.
The good news is though that we can change enormously by identifying more clearly who we really are and learning how to cope with ourselves better. This does tend to make for less exciting sounding resolutions though, but I promise far more achievable.
Secondly we’re often quite blind to how change actually works. I expect that a lot of my counselling students harbouring dreams of aviation might have got as far as the first or second lesson, came across how much it all costs, how long it all takes and how difficult flying is and thought “bugger that” (or a counselling students equivalent) and so disappears another new years resolution.
When we change, we go backwards and forwards. This is normal. Often though, we misunderstand our feelings of retreat as a sign to give up. If we understand the process of change more clearly we can see things for what they are rather than misinterpreting the natural to and fro of the change process. It’s also quite handy to have strategies to deal with the set backs, so they don’t take us by surprise.
So next year, around "New Year Resolutions" time think to yourself, “is this goal achievable” and “what am I going to do when I feel like giving up.” If this catches on, who knows, we might see a lot more flying counsellors.