Goals, and the Assumptions that Unravel Them

“Don’t fear mistakes.There are none.” (Miles Davis) What We Tell Ourselves Does this sound familiar?   “I really want to ____>fill in the blank with the change point of your choice.< I’m sick and tired of _____ >the opposite behavior and choice< This time I’m really determined! I’ve even _______ >place preparatory tools, services, etc. of your choosing here.< I know I’ll succeed this time!” … And then you don’t.   Too Many Experts You google “change” or “How to make a lasting change,” or, “How to create a habit in 4 steps.” You choose one out of the mind-numbing plethora of just right programs or answers and march forward, prepared for your victory!   Chances are, you will reach your goal, or some part of your goal if you don’t quit the program. Bravo! But then you turn around some time in the future and find you have slipped off of your victorious change. You may even restart that program several times. Now you feel even more defeated; Even more hopeless.   Headtrip to Hopelessness  You may turn to the old behavior you didn’t want and find yourself even deeper in it. It can be downright devastating.   Sometimes people feel somehow defective when this happens. It can seem that the lifestyle you want is available to everyone except you. Trust me, fellow human, you didn’t fail the program. The program failed you.   Good Stuff I’m not saying these programs are necessarily ineffective. Many have proven results. I’ve trained in several of them and learned quite a lot. I’m very grateful for all the goodies I’ve acquired along the way.   I’m working on putting all of the good stuff together in one place. I’m culling from SMART Goals, Motivational Interviewing, Ericksonian Hypnotherapy, MBraining, interoception, Biolocation, Neuropsychology, 25+ years of working professionally with people who want to change and 50+ years of being a person struggling with change.   I can’t promise that my plan isn’t missing key features too, but it’s definitely more pieces in one place than I’ve ever seen before.   Those Assumptions I’ve learned a few things about how we get in our own way and I will be addressing each challenge constructively. Our goals are most typically unraveled by our assumptions.   Here are a few culprits:  
  • We assume we can manage on our own, recognize when our thinking starts to drift and pull ourselves out of a tailspin all within the confines of our own heads. (No, reader. No we cannot.)
  • We assume that we have only one brain, and that our conscious intentions are the whole truth of what we want and don’t want. (No, reader. No it is not.)
  • We assume there aren’t stages of change with different needs at each stage. (Yes, there really are!)
  • We assume that our ultimate goal is the place to start. (No, it’s really not.)
  • We assume that failure is a real thing, and let it throw us off of our positive path. (Failure is an insidious myth. As Ron Klein frequently said in our Ericksonian Hypnotherapy training sessions, “There is no such thing as failure; There are only outcomes. There’s the outcome you anticipated, and the outcome you didn’t anticipate that taught you something. You literally cannot fail if you use the information to learn forward.”)
  Coming Soon I’m working with my Marketing Magician on how to best make the material available. Right now I’m thinking I’ll do quick reels on each stage of change, and a more detailed series on each module in extended video with a fillable and printable PDF workbook.   I want anyone who wants this program to have it. The course will be free for current and past clients, and available for a small fee to everyone else.   In the meantime, please be patient with me as this will require time and energy away from producing weekly new content. I’ll keep you updated along the way.   Let’s make some sense out of change!