Desiri Wilwerding, Regional Director in Council Bluffs. shares thoughts on resolutions -- our own, and those we help others reach...
And just like that, it’s a new year. 2016 sits before us with fresh starts and new beginnings. Many people still follow age old tradition and set, if not only talk about, resolutions for the coming year. Things we are going to do differently. Things we are going to better. Things we are going to try, and of course things we are going to stop.
For many of us, those resolutions have come and gone already in those first few days and weeks of the new year. We forget that there are times that starting a new habit means stopping an old one, and we find ourselves falling short of the goals we set for ourselves. We forget, that while we may think we really need to change our habits, to be most successful in achieving them, we have to identify why we use our current habits in the first place. Just about everything we do is in an effort to meet a need or want that we have. Some are more effective than others; some are more appropriate than others. They all serve a purpose.
If we want to change our behavior, our new behavior must help us meet the need or want we currently are trying to achieve through our non-preferred behavior. Take a common resolution—getting into shape, becoming more physically fit. There are many people that have a strong commitment to this on January 1st, hit the gym hard, and within a few days they’re done. They may have failed to stop and ask themselves what needs or wants does their current behavior meet. One possible alternate behavior, sitting on the couch watching television, meets a Need and a Want for many of us: the want of enjoyment/relaxation/entertainment; and the need of oxygen and to be able to breathe easily—something hitting the gym hard may not meet as well! With this consideration, some of us might approach our New Year’s resolution a little more differently, and work ourselves into an exercise program that meets both needs and wants, walking and building stamina for awhile before running on the treadmill, etc.
This month the staff at Iowa Focus will be discussing how people use behavior to meet their needs and wants. They will be working as a team to identify more effective ways to help people get their needs and wants met, through first identifying what need or want the behavior used is striving for, and helping those individuals see the benefits of a more effective way to achieve them. Hopefully they will have greater success than the average New Year Resolution maker, because in this process, things are improved upon, rather than a focus on eliminating something, which may leave a void.
The year is young! If you have attempted your New Year resolutions with less success than you had hoped, try again! Maybe evaluate why you do what you do now and figure out a way to meet those needs and wants of your ending behaviors within your new ones. You might find greater success, and even learn a little about yourself in the process.