As the new year begins, we all get a chance to begin again. Begin what? The usual-diet, quit smoking, exercise more. What I don't like is the success for a few days or maybe weeks and then the failure part of it. Why set ourselves up for the up and down and self recrimination that comes with goal setting and eventually not being successful enough.
What about process, why have we forgotten about the journey versus the destination. I am voting for a new phrase to substitute for “New Years Resolution”. How about “New Years Journey”, doesn't that sound like more fun and a kinder gentler approach to change.
What exactly is going to happen on this journey? Maybe part of it is the unknown. Why not set off on a destination or pick a direction and really experience the process of learning about oneself and others. When you begin a journey whether it involves travel, or learning a skill, or wanting to have children, getting married, dating, changing careers or locations, or going to college, you usually have an idea about what it will be like. Inevitably things change and challenges arise.
We all go on a journey with positive expectation, hopes and dreams otherwise why would be plan that trip or get married. Then reality hits, luggage gets lost, a couple realizes that dealing with in-laws is not as simple as they imagined, getting up for class and studying isn't as much fun as partying with friends and parents are asking about your grades.
Before heading out on whatever journey you choose or ones that choose you, why not consider the journey an adventure. An adventure that will have ups and down, and twists and turns along the way. Who will you need to go with you on your journey? Someone big and strong to carry the bags, or someone who is flexible and can roll with the punches.
The relationships you have and develop are the most important part of the process. Going it alone is fine on occasion but having good meaningful constructive relationships makes life worth living. That is what my life’s work has been about, helping people develop good meaningful constructive relationships. It is about expectations, learning constructive communication skills, being realistic and not assuming one person is going to meet your needs whenever you want them to. It is about taking responsibility for your feelings, behaviours and words. Observing oneself and understanding the impact you have on others while remembering that you can deal with conflict constructively, handle stress, and do things to make yourself feel better.
So as you make your New Years Journey plans this week, know that it is all about the process not the destination. Happy and healthy travels, from Cindy Goodman Stulberg.