| Posted: Thursday, Jan 02, 2014 02:31 pm
This time of year, like many of you I fall into the trap of self-criticism and longing. I want to be happier, 10 pounds smaller and more successful. I see Facebook posts and tweets about eating better, exercising more and tackling the dirty house. Sometimes this even translates into my office. People come with new vigour about tackling their relationships or managing their anxiety better.
We all know that resolutions are a motivational tool. They can help us focus and move towards better health. This is a good thing, isn't it? Well, sometimes. I believe that resolutions are also part of a bigger problem. They are excellent revenue sources for gyms, weight loss programs and yes, even therapists. It is another cog in our consumerist society. We also know that most resolutions are destined to fail.
The reason is this: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU!! Any book, blog, trainer, therapist or program that tells you otherwise isn't worth the money you are paying for them.
Your overeating, lazy, narcissistic self-loathing is happening for a reason. It isn't a bad thing: it just is what it is. It has likely gotten you this far in life for good reasons. You do it because of your past trauma, hurt, worry, stress and any other number of crappy things that have happened over the course of your life. We all have crap, just varying degrees of it. You have been shaped by your experiences for the good, the bad and the ugly.
What is wrong is our society and how we collectively judge ourselves and each other. The key to any kind of change is accepting yourself, thunder thighs, dust bunnies and all. Only then will you be able to see things clearly and know what you truly need and want changed.
So after years of training, two undergrad degrees, one master's degree and countless hours of listening to people talk about how they want to see their lives change, I can tell you that the best piece of advice I have ever been given came from a Saturday Night Live skit. In the words of Stuart Smalley, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and doggone it, people like me."
Now excuse me, I have some squats to do. I want to get in shape in 2014.