Updated: Feb 1, 2019
I have had a hard time with this blog lately which goes hand in hand with this post on resolutions. When I first decided I wanted to keep up a website for people looking to make the jump off of suboxone, the idea was new and fresh. There is always that new energy around a new goal. I started working at it, and then life happened. I have a full-time job and am a mother of two boys. After the initial pink cloud of it all, I let a mild depression get in the way, and then I started with the excuses.
After my intuitive business coach asked me why I had resistance around keeping up a blog; we decided that a free write would be the best way to tease out what was going on. I have had this current blog post about resolutions and the freebie created to go along with it finished for over a week now, all I've needed to do is edit it and write a title. But I was resistant and not sure why. After some contemplation, I can see how I feel like, though I have accomplished a fuck ton of goals in my lifetime, I still feel inadequate. I feel inadequate because I wasn’t keeping up with one of my huge goals (keeping up this blog), and because I wasn’t giving myself the time to reflect on why I was sideways about it. I reflect on most aspects of my life, but for this one, I had my blinders on.
There is something exciting about creating a big goal (and a (new year’s) resolution is usually a big goal). There is that “pink cloud” feeling that you are riding a unicorn through the pink clouds while wearing a rainbow as a cloak. Nothing can stop you! This is much like the chemicals produced when we fall in love, only more short-lived. When the "pink cloud" feeling leaves and we still aren’t used to showing up for ourselves in the way we need to, that’s when we crack, that is when we say fuck it and give up, binge-watching Stranger Things instead of doing what we need to do to get the results we want.
It is in this moment, when you reach it, to have compassion for yourself. Rewrite (or write for the first time) your big ass goal, the tiny fetal steps it is going to take to get there, and then do it. Maybe even share your goal with someone else and check in them regularly about your progress. It isn’t extravagant and shiny, it isn’t exciting, and some days it is definitely a drudgery. No one I have ever known has said, “I wish I hadn’t gone and worked out,” or “ I wish I had slept in instead of getting up to meditate,” or "God, I wish I had left my house a cluttered mess.” Showing up for ourselves when the rainbow cloak has been lifted is when the real work begins.
And now for the original post...
The New Year is an exciting time. It is an idea of a fresh start for a lot of people. However, for many of us, this idea of a New Year, New You is cliché. Every year millions of people create resolutions that they never stick to, so much so that it has become a joke. The people that do actually stick to their resolutions are looked at like they are some sort of enigma hailing from a magical realm.
I met a woman whose resolution was to run one mile every day for 100 days. She did that and then kept going on to do it for the whole of 2018. We all looked at her in awe as she told us her story. One mile is not very far to run, especially not for a fit hockey player, but having the consistency of doing it every day no matter what for 365 days in a row is a feat no short of a miracle.
People often either make ridiculous resolutions, like my dentist, whose resolution is to turn the toilet paper around when he puts the roll on, or more grandiose ones like quitting drinking, quitting suboxone, losing 50 pounds, starting to eat healthier, and the list goes on. It would appear that only a small fraction of people that make resolutions actually keep them.
I like to say that I don’t make resolutions, I make goals, but that is a lie, I am continually resolving to do this or do that. Is there a difference between a goal and resolution? For me, resolutions are generally just big ass goals. We resolve to do or to stop doing something and then if/when we fail at the resolution we beat ourselves up. We get discouraged, say fuck it, and then end up back at square one thinking that we are a piece of shit because we didn’t achieve this or that. Then we decide to try again next year instead of tomorrow. I don’t like the cultural tradition that resolutions are only made once a year.
When people make resolutions, and they have never shown up for themselves in the way that they need to in order to succeed, they have no clue where to even start with their grandiose resolutions, almost failing before the train leaves the station. We need to set ourselves up for success with the grandiose resolution by having a gazillion baby goals in between. We make the resolution and then break it down into actionable steps to achieve it.
If we haven’t shown up for ourselves in certain ways, we can hardly expect to be successful at going from zero to goal achieved. Habits are one of the most critical aspects to fulfilling our goals. Start of small, changing one little thing and as you gain traction, it will be easier to create new positive habits. Darren Hardy writes about this in The Compound Effect- small changes over time lead to significant changes in the long run.
When I went to the dentist the other day, I took the office manager my old foot massager (it was a nice massager). She was surprised. 6 months ago, I told her I would bring it to her at my next appointment, so I did. She had forgotten completely. I bring this up because it can often be easier to keep our word with people that we barely even know than to keep our word to ourselves. We need to learn to show up for ourselves and trust ourselves.
Jon Acuff, the author of Finish, says to take your goal and then cut it in half. This way, you will be happy to hit your goal and be even more ecstatic if you surpass it, and you will gain trust in yourself in doing so. The example that Acuff used was losing weight. If you're wanting to lose ten pounds by a specific date, make it five pounds. Then, if you lose eight, it will feel like a win instead of a loss.
Some of my biggest goals have taken me years to achieve, like graduating from college and getting my master’s degree or becoming a massage therapist, and some goals have been achieved much more quickly. In 2017 I resolved to quit using Suboxone after 8 years. I had been wanting to taper down and make the jump, but I had created a story around detoxing and developed a sort of OCD around the medication that made it hard for me to follow through with a taper plan.
Once I realized that being on Suboxone was going to block my goals with working with plant medicine, within two weeks, I was off of it. I haven’t looked back. It was hard, painful and grueling at times, but in the end, I am happy to close that chapter of my life. Sometimes we get lucky and a switch flips, but for the most part, goal achieving is a slow burn. Whatever your goal is, just start, no matter what.
If you have to crush a big ass goal, be consistent an be willing to sacrifice. Create habits that will lead you to achieve what you want to achieve and stop with the bullshit excuses. What are your big ass goals for 2019? Download the Goal Setting Roadmap to get started planning and don't forget to comment about your goals or share them @making.the.jump on Instagram