Happy Renew Year! - Grasshopper
3 years ago I chose not to renew my subscription to the newspaper. I wasn’t reading it, I didn’t have dead fish I needed to wrap, and it was causing me to put out more recycling than was necessary on trash day. What will you renew that won’t benefit you in 2012?
I can renew a lot of patterns of behavior that have been piling up for years, or, like the newspaper, I can review what I’d like to renew.
I think this is a new way to view resolutions. It begins with a question: Do I want to renew the way I relate to food, exercise, my health, my relationships, my job, etc.? The next step I’m recommending involves something called, “Future Pacing.”
Future pacing involves you using your imagination to picture what it would be like if this pattern of behavior continued day after day. For example, regarding my newspaper subscription . . . I would envision the papers piling up in the driveway to the point that I couldn’t park my car there anymore. There would be a consequence for allowing my subscription to continue.
Can you envision the consequences of your behavior slowly piling up like newspapers in a driveway to the point that they keep you from doing what you want to do?
The key is to make this future pacing a time-lapse movie in your imagination and watch the consequences of your behavior develop. This way, you can literally see a cause and effect and not just write down some ineffective resolution to try and talk yourself into.
There are plenty of patterns worth holding on to. Those are the ones we want to automatically renew. There are other patterns that are also up for renewal that I invite you to preview before you renew.
There is also a positive version of future pacing. You can envision yourself doing something productive on a regular basis and seeing the desired effect as a result of your actions.
The effective version of future pacing you choose will depend on whether you are a person who moves away from things or toward things, away from pain or towards reward. Either way, it’s a strategy that involves using more of your senses and brings your cause and effect into clearer focus.
As a result of this technique, there is one question I don’t ask at Christmas time any more: “How much should I tip the paperboy?”
Will you be happy with what you renew in 2012? A way to find out, in advance, is to: Preview before you renew.
All the best,
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