Be Curious & Re-solve

The new year is still, well, "new." Only 11 days in and you are either happy about your resolutions or happy you didn't make any... or upset that your resolve is crumbling like the topping on the pie you swore off until Easter.

If you feel like you're failing, be kind to yourself. If that seems too easy and non-productive, there's another option.

Be curious. What made you give in or give up or give out? Can you start again? If not, why not? Can you adjust your resolution(s) to match honest, even more modest, results? What's stopping you? What are you waiting for?

Pema Chodron helps us with curiosity when she writes:

Inquisitiveness or curiosity involves being gentle, precise, and open – actually being able to let go and open. Gentleness is a sense of goodheartedness toward ourselves. Precision is being able to see very clearly, not being afraid to see what’s really there, just as a scientist is not afraid to look into the microscope. Openness is being able to let go and to open.

Another bonus to being curious is that you can use this technique on most any situation. Here are some examples:

  • A loved one or perfect stranger is behaving rudely or insensitively. If you're like me, your autopilot is quick to complain inside and judge them. If you get inquisitive, you can ask questions such as: what am I feeling right now (name it)? what precisely is pushing my button at this moment? what must it feel like for them to be behaving this way and what might be going on in their heart?

  • Maybe you are not doing what you need to do (bills, cleaning, update your resume, call that doctor, exercise). Resist the autopilot that is too quick to assign blame and judge yourself. Instead, ask: what am I truly avoiding? what would happen if I begin to do (that task)? what am I afraid of? what would it feel like to start doing what I need to do today?