Theresa: 801-558-8831 | Sharon: 307-690-1877

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know that you can count me out
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right
all right, all right


 –  The Beatles “Revolution Lyrics”


Here we are fourteen days into 2018 and the questions is,”are you experiencing a revolution or impasse with your new year’s resolutions? If you are feeling success in achieving your goals, I applaud you. If your adrenalin is waning here are some thoughts on why you might not be alone.
The custom of setting goals for the coming year in the form of New Year’s resolutions can be traced back to the ancient Romans of 153 B.C. During this year, the Romans placed the head of Janus, a mythical king whose two faces allowed him to look into the past and future, at the top of their calendars. With Janus as a symbol for resolutions, Romans began to look for forgiveness from their enemies at the beginning of each year.

For Americans, resolutions tend to lean more towards self-improvement than seeking the forgiveness of enemies. And in self-improvement, why is it that people struggle to make significant changes in their lives, i.e. losing weight, saving money, getting organized, reducing alcohol intake, quitting smoking? The newest research found that 66 percent of adults usually make resolutions, but only 17 percent keep them. Though more women (74 percent) make resolutions than men (58 percent), a higher percentage of men (22 percent to 14 percent in women) say they keep the resolutions. When asked what the biggest obstacle in keeping resolutions, the most common answer was financial limitations, with the lack of time and motivation being the second biggest reason.

As a marriage family therapist, I am on the front lines witnessing the tedious and exasperating process for change with many of my clients. So is it a question of willpower or readiness to make the change? Just recently a pair of Harvard educators, Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey reported that not being able to change doesn’t mean we are lazy, stubborn or weak. These professionals argue that our best-laid plans often fall through for smart, self-protective reasons. In a book”Immunity to Change,” these authors say that our best efforts to change are routinely overwhelmed by forces within us. They go on to say that our flat-out failure to bring about the change we desire is not for lack of good intentions but that change-resistant behaviors have a very good reason for being.

So what is the ideal formula for change?

In my perspective it’s about both- creating a revolution and continuing with a resolution  that leads you to the ultimate goal. Too many times I see my clients who are eager to make changes in their lives and attempt to reinvent the whole thing. In “Quantum Wellness”, Kathy Freston says “It’s about the tiny little things that we invest our energy in every day, every moment. Making shifts, even tiny, agitates the norm. So, it is more about the momentum we generate through our actions – leading to a tipping point, breakthrough or quantum leap.

So in your life, what goal do you choose to identify as an area that could give you more room for joy, a place to feel more alive?

Sharon T. Walls