Looking back in order to move forward

new startWell that time of year has rolled around again and it is once again time to celebrate and plan for a fantastic 2015.  With every year many of us make resolutions, or resolutions to not make resolutions, with the hope that we can make the upcoming year everything that we missed out on the year or years before.  Resolutions to lose weight or get a new job or be more positive hit the ground running at the beginning of the New Year but do they somehow look vaguely familiar? How many New Years have those same resolutions been on repeat?  Each new year bring in what we want to be the waves of change but throughout the course of the year feeling more like the same old same dragging us out to sea.

Sometimes to break the repeat cycle we have to take a look back at why our resolutions failed in the first place.  Did our motivation start to fade, or where the old habits too instilled to break?  Whatever the reason for failure a good clue to why they won’t work now is why they didn’t work before.  This process can be especially difficult because we have to be brutally honest with ourselves and stop the blame game.  For me last year I wanted to eat healthier.  At the onset of the year I made sure to come to work with my snacks and be mindful of my portion size to stick with my resolution.  But through the course of working and life I looked up and realized I was back grabbing my first meal at Chick Fil A at 2:00 in the afternoon.  Yes I blamed it on my busy lifestyle but in all honestly I stopped wanting to put in the work to prepare for my healthy meals and found myself at the mercy of what I drove by in the car.  While I liked the idea of being fit and healthy, I only wanted the result, not the lifestyle change that went along with it.  Like most resolutions the goal to change on component of our lives really requires us to change a whole lot more in order to fit it to our lives and when it comes to making the required sacrifice we fall short.

No matter how hard it is to pinpoint the problem, once you done you can work towards a resolution that you have the inspiration and commitment to that you can actually keep.  Perhaps losing 20 pounds starts to feel impossible around March every year but the commitment to walk 10,000 steps on Fitbit is a smaller bite out of the chunk you can actually manage.  Once you start on your way with baby steps it is a lot easier to turn your walk into a stride and your stride into leaps.  Learning the lessons of previous missteps is the best way to ensure your one step forward won’t end with 2 steps back in 2015.   After all Rome wasn’t conquered in a day so why should your lifestyle changes be so easily boiled down to a couple of resolutions?

Getting through the birthing pains of creating a new life with Iyanla Vanzant

When I went into labor I distinctly remember thinking why didn’t anyone tell me about this. While I was in the midst of it, I thought that the feelings were something other mothers would mention first as a dire warning of the real cost it takes to being a mother.  Now, however, as those moments filled with pain and complete discomfort are over 12 years ago I  know the reason…the pain doesn’t seem as bad when you consider what you get from it.  Changes in life are similar, as horrible as they seem when you are in it, when you get a beautiful gift at the end of the road all of the heartache and pain seems to diminish.  At the Life You Want Weekend, the incomparable Iyanla Vanzant gave her unique spin on pushing through the pain to get to your new life.

Iyanla reflection on the birthing pains of a new life is a great tribute to what it takes to get through the process. She gave a simple plan for getting through the process.

Live The Life You Want Weekend, Miami1. Grace and gratitude are there as vehicles to help you get through the pain. Setting up an effective daily spiritual practice helps you tap into that grace and gratitude everyday so it is strong when you really need it.

2. The starting of the process is always jarring because it demands leaving where you are to go where you need to go. Leaving is a difficult decision because dysfunction becomes comfortable and familiar, even when you know you need to leave.  Part of leaving means forgiving yourself for staying in a place you didn’t want to be.

3.  Everything you need to give birth to the new life you already have.  The more you focus on getting through the more you realize that even when you believe you don’t the tools you need to get through have come to you in the form of experiences.  You real life is waiting at the end of the process of birth and once you commit on the journey you can rely on life as the training to endure pain required complete the journey.

At the end Iyanla said something I love about life: “You don’t need an “A” to pass. If you made it through the past then you passed”.