Most of us have had the experience of playing the Why? Game with a young child. The curious kid asks “Why?” to every response we speak, no matter the topic or whether there is a clear reason to explain. This endless curiousity is something that we can tap into throughout our lives, it is not reserved just for little ones with big imaginations. With the new year in full swing, many of us have made resolutions to change something about ourselves or our lives. Personally, I like to refer to my resolutions as intentions or personal goals or aspirations. Yet no matter what we call them, desires for change can be challenging and powerful. How are you doing with keeping your new year’s intentions so far? Successful? Great! Already given up? Perfect. Would you like to play a game that may re-inspire you? It’s fun child’s play, I promise.
It is a known fact that people who think and feel positively about their dreams, goals, aspirations, and intentions have a much higher success rate of completion than those who take a negative perspective. Makes sense, yes? So when it comes to that new year’s resolution that is starting to feel like a new year’s sentence of punishment, what’s your perspective on the resolution itself? If you’re not clear on how to answer this, try playing the Why? Game. It may take a few rounds of questioning to get to the heart of the matter but just keep asking. What we’re looking for here is the point at which you emotionally engage with the resolution, whether it be a positive or negative engagement. That’s what you want to pay attention to because the emotion underneath your motivation is the key to your success. A Life Coach is an excellent partner to play this game with so if you need some help, reach out! I’m happy to play with you and support you in your process of discovery.
To start, state your new year’s resolution. For example, “I want to lose 15 pounds.” It helps if your resolution contains as much detail as possible but for now, let’s keep it simple. So in this example you want to lose 15 pounds. Now ask yourself, “Why?” And then respond with a factual and completely honest statement. “I want to lose 15 pounds because my doctor says I’m overweight.” Okay, why does your doctor say you’re overweight? “Because my exam test results say so.” Why do your exam test results say you’re overweight? “They say I’m overweight because I over-indulged in food and drink during the holidays, and well honestly, throughout the past year too.” Great, so why did you over-indulge in food and drink during the holidays and during the past year? “Well, it was a tough year for me emotionally. I was stressed out and lonely…” ZING! Bingo. There’s the emotion. This is where we start to re-examine our motivation, without judgment and with open curiousity. How successful do you think this person would be at accomplishing their goal of losing 15 pounds when ultimately every time they think about their resolution they are reminded (consciously or unconsciously) of how they feel stressed out and lonely? Yeah, not exactly a go-get-‘em kind of approach, huh?
Examining our motivation behind our desire to achieve a resolution helps us see what is really driving us to continue through to success. Sometimes we aren’t aware of our motivation. Sometimes we’re scared to be completely honest with ourselves. Sometimes we realize later that our initial motivation is not what we wanted at all and we re-focus on a different motivation. This process of examination is absolutely valid and it’s what makes us human. So this year, take a closer look at the motivation behind your new year’s resolutions. Use those child-like qualities of endless curiousity and openness to the real truth. Play the Why? Game until you dig deep enough and connect with your emotions. You may just find a whole new reason to be successful this year and finally achieve your goal!