Archive for January, 2013

Willpower

Posted: January 8, 2013 in Thoughts
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At the beginning of a new year lots of people set goals. I don’t know about you, but I hate setting goals, mostly because I usually fail. So this year I decided to set a goal I could actually achieve. Lots of self-help books are out there to tell us how to do that. My husband, Chris, likes to read these kinds of books, but I wouldn’t be caught dead with one. Why is that, I wondered? What makes me so against them? Looking at my life, I know I could certainly use some improvement. So I picked up one of his books and quit reading after the first page! Why didn’t I make it past page one? Thinking it through, I realized this was because everything I read did not motivate me to do better…it only made me feel worse. Then I found a great article in Newseek Magazine by Oliver Burkeman. It basically said that many resolutions will fail, mostly because repeating “affirmations” makes people feel worse; visualizing your ambitions can make you less motivated to achieve them; that goal setting can backfire; and that emotions can’t be controlled through sheer force of will. WOW! This was stuff I could relate to! So from now on I will concentrate on “small wins” over the big stuff, and resolve to perform at around 60% of my ability. By doing this I should out perform myself everyday! Maybe it is true that giving up on yourself can let you be who you are at this moment in time, thus allowing you to be enthusiastic about the “little things” you can actually accomplish! So…I’m off to the gym. I may not go the two or three miles on the elliptical that I’d like…buy hey, I’m there, right? Plus, who knows, once I get going, I may even go four miles, just because I don’t have to.