Monday, January 9, 2012

Settle or Strive

Why do we wait until the beginning of a new year to make a change in our lives? The gyms are full, diets are started, we try to organize or begin that project we were putting off. Something about the changing of a calendar makes people want to take ownership of things they aren’t happy with or have procrastinated on. But as we all know, the majority of resolutions are left to die yet again within a few months, possibly to be revisited the following New Year.

I don’t make resolutions. I think because throughout the year I try to make decisions or adjustments as needed. I have my flaws that I’d like to change. I’d love to be more organized and whenever I try it lasts about three days. I’d like to be less frenetic in my schedule but to do that I’d have to completely change my lifestyle. I’d like to get my research paper done but damn if there aren’t so many other fun ways to spend time. None of these goals are going to happen if I make a resolution. They’ll only happen if I make it happen.

I guess this is something that I’ve really taken ownership of while getting my coaching certification. If something is really not working only I have the power to change it.

Through my coaching course I have to create a power tool. Without getting into too much detail it is basically looking at a situation in a yin-yang kind of way. My power tool is settling versus striving. I spent so much time in my life settling in a situation. Maybe a change felt too painful, too awkward or too daunting. Maybe I didn’t feel strong enough or in a place emotionally, mentally or possibly physically able to alter whatever was not working.

What I’ve learned is the most important part of any endeavor is having a support system. It could be a spouse, friends, a close family member or (I have to say it) a coach. If we have that person or people we know holding the parachute if we fall it gives us a bit more courage to strive for what we want. If we have no one supporting us, giving gentle motivation or encouragement, celebrating our wins and helping us through our losses, we can lose our momentum.  It’s hard to be our own cheerleader.

So maybe what we need instead of a diet or a treadmill that will become a laundry rack in a month is more positive relationships. Work out with your friends, cook healthy meals for each other and share your goals. Make time to get together with those people that give you the love and support that encourages you to create the life you want.

Bill Gates said, “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” 

You can settle or you can strive. 
Find the people in your life who will empower you and strive. 

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