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New Year Resolutions – contemplation and change

New Year Resolutions – contemplation and change – I think I’ll pass…

Resolution as defined in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary (a personal favorite from college)

  • The act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc.
  • The act of resolving something
  • An answer or solution to something
  • The ability of a device to show an image clearly and with a lot of detail

I knew resolutions were challenging and fleeting and this is validating. Resolutions are just a step to the solution you find to a situation you want changed.  They are not actions they are ideas that you resolve to intend to really somehow do.  They are not behavior.  Behavior gets you the result that you’re looking for in the resolution. In my world I believe the last definition is the strongest and most powerful and you are the device. Resolution closely aligns with clarity and then you can solve the problem.

As I work on my vision for 2015 it occurs to me that I might not be ready to find a solution yet. Pre-contemplation looks like nothing. You might think it’s obvious. I might, in my heart of hearts, know there is a problem but not willing to look at it.  Prochaska’s Transtheoretical Model of Change starts with pre-contemplation.  That’s what happens before you’re willing to get clarity on the problem. Of course nothing can happen before you can resolve to solve. In some areas of my personal life I am most definitely in pre-contemplation stage.  By the way, don’t even talk to me about it cuz I am not listening. There is no amount of cajoling or leverage that will make a person (me) create and act on the resolution to solve the situation. Besides… what business is it of yours if I don’t change.  Okay so I am a little defensive. I write that, not because I am defensive (right) but to illustrate the point that when you run up against defense there is no change management needed. It’s something else entirely.

The opposite of defensiveness isn’t offense.  As I am a big fan of the Green Bay Packers and couldn’t be prouder of both the offense and the defense it does not translate. The opposite of defense is safety. So you may, instead of making resolutions to solve those irritations or imperfections of your life, make a resolution to find a way to make it safe to contemplate change. Safety doesn’t come overnight.

Here are five questions to contemplate while you’re contemplating change:

  1. What’s in it for me?
  2. What’s good about staying the same?
  3. So what if I don’t change?
  4. Why now?
  5. If not now, when?

Sit back with a pen and paper and ask yourself these questions.  If you really want to know and you give yourself some time the answers will come to you. Keep in mind this is about making it safe to change. So give yourself permission to do nothing with the findings.

Here’s to getting to know you better in 2015!

When you want help moving to contemplation, coaching can help.  If you need space to really understand pre-contemplation and how to move through to contemplation contact me, Pat Weiland at Sage Strategies.


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