A New Year: An Inner Life Makeover
January 6, 2015 · Posted in Parenting, Relationships, Work/Family Balance · Permalink

By Lisa Merlo Booth

Every year at this time millions of people make countless New Year’s resolutions regarding appearance, work, family and relationships.  One person’s going to lose weight, another’s going to work harder and yet another is going to spend more time with their family.  All of these can be great ideas, yet somehow few actually get followed through with.

What if this year people focused on making changes on the inside of themselves rather than the outside?  What if we decided to look at why we emotionally eat rather than go on a diet that will lead to more weight gain in the future anyway?  What if we looked at our propensity to hide in our careers rather than enjoy our families?  How about exploring the relationship squashing patterns that have haunted us for a lifetime?  Hmmm, what if…?

For those of you who are courageous enough to take a look at yourself with a loving and critical eye, here are some ideas of what to look at.  Change some of your internal patterns and watch your life change on a whole new level.

1.    Look at your past several romantic relationships and write down what each partner’s main complaint was about you.  Don’t defend against the complaint—just take it in and look at it.  Imagine the complaint is true.  How has this quality hurt your relationships/life?  What step can you take to change it?

2.    Pay attention to the messages your children say to you when they’re angry, hurt or upset at you.  Do they say you’re always working, never listen, mean or…?  Take in their feedback and examine it for truth.  Don’t defend—just own your piece and decide if and how you need to change it.

3.    If you struggle with eating, pay attention to the times you eat and track what you were feeling right before you ate and immediately after you eat.  Look for emotional eating and understand what’s underneath your poor self-care.  Stop focusing on dieting and start focusing on your internal struggles regarding self-worth, appearance etc.

4.    Pay attention to how you respond to upset, poor treatment or discontent.  Do you get intense and over-react or do you shut down and silence?  Imagine what it would be like if you stepped in with a new kind of strength and were centered, grounded and strong in your responses.  What would you say or do differently? Do it.
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5.    Pay attention to how you are at work, at home, with friends and with your children.  Are you the same person everywhere or have you lost yourself in one area of your life?  Get conscious of why you’re not yourself in one of these areas and dare to step up in a whole new way.

Having the courage to look at the areas where we aren’t doing well is the only way we can play bigger in our lives.  Our mistakes make us human; pretending we don’t make them keeps us blind.   Look at your edges (those areas where we are relationally off) and dare to work them not ignore them.  You will be thankful you did, as will those around you.

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