You Say You've Got a Resolution? Well, You Know…

2016 beckons:  Oprah has invited me to join her in a weight loss journey for FREE.  My January calendar is crammed with appointments and events. 
But my 2016 vision doodle, only a few days old, feels heavy in light of my 2015 to-do leftovers:  a large pile of papers and receipts to be filed, last year’s vision board with images of a beautiful home, successful women, and exotic locales, scraps of old “to-do” lists urging me to schedule appointments with the dentist, doctor, financial planner, accountant, etc., a stack of bills, a pile of photographs…

Worse still, it’s January 3 already and I haven’t been able to get my newsletter/blog off the ground.  This is worrisome, because the topic, “resolve,” was determined several months ago and approved by my newsletter editor—who is asking me to exercise resolve and write something.

How, on Earth, can I cut through this clutter and write anything meaningful or useful?

Resolve, according to Oxford dictionary is an action, to “decide firmly on a course of action.” Antonyms include:  cowardice, fear, weakness, indecision, wavering (Roget 2013). 

What’s the word for somewhere-in-between?

For me, somewhere-in-between is that spot where you’ve already decided, but you haven’t quite done.  You’re in the action, yet you’re nowhere near your destination.  Your decision feels firm, you’ve faced down some fears, yet confidence may be a bit shaky or weak.   

It reminds me of a model I studied in grad school—the Transtheoretical Model (Prochaska et al) —a model for understanding how we think and act in the stages of change, moving from a non-doer in the precontemplation stage (unaware) to doer and advocate in the maintenance stage with a number of steps in between.  Successfully mastering change results in adopting new habits and advocating for others to do the same. 

Relapse can occur at any time.  When we are unable to maintain new habits, we return to an earlier stage in the process.

I can use this model to assess where I have been, and where I am at, and note the knowledge, skills and behaviors I need to be successful.  Let’s try it with my current goal:  the launch of my new newsletter. Here’s the goal, Successfully launch monthly newsletter that informs and inspires others to maximize their potential, create ambitious plans for themselves and for those they lead, and use the powerful tools of coaching and leadership development to take bold steps.  I use the tool below to gauge progress:

Firmly in the “Trying” stage, it’s useful to see that I’ve made some progress and that I have some strategies for how to best move forward.  Not too shabby. 

And that’s about the best we can do, right?  Move forward.  Make progress. Cut through. 
Stay present and committed to the in-between. 

…we’re all doing what we can.

Mary McGuinness