Happy New Year, everybody, and welcome to today’s episode of The Work Of Becoming podcast! If you’re anything like me, this week or today you are feeling light and optimism. For me, I feel like there’s always this sense of motivation at the beginning of the year. I’m always deep into the mindset of, like, I can do hard things. Mind you, I’m recording this in December, so that may not be the case when it’s actually airing, but normally in the first week of the year that is how I feel.
And if that is how you feel, I am not here to take any of that away from you. I‘m not here to rain on your parade. But what I am here to do today is to encourage you to actually learn from and capture that sense of optimism.
So, one of the things that happens is that we have this fresh start effect, and it makes what’s called a temporal landmark. So, we’re able to believe, suddenly, that the version of ourselves that existed in 2022 is, somehow, different than the version of ourselves that exists in 2023. And so, we’re able to hold these sorts of new beliefs that we’ve never been able to hold before about our new 2023 selves, but one of the things that we forget to do is capture those beliefs and capture and learn from what’s happening when something is going really well. So, as always, I’m gonna tell you a story.
Last year at the beginning of the year I started working with a personal trainer (I started working with a coach), and for the first three months of the year, I had this amazing motivation when it came to going to the gym. I was going to the gym more frequently than I ever had been before. I was experiencing less resistance, and when I look back on that time now, I can see that the reason I was so successful, the reason that I was able to make it to the gym over and over and over again was because I was actually being more flexible about when I would go workout.
So, I remember telling myself — I remember hitting a point in February where we had a hiring process going on, I think, and things were complicated in the business, and there was a lot happening, and I was so stressed, and I remember having the thought that even when I’m stressed, I’m the type of person that goes to the gym. And how it was 2022 now and 2022 Karin is training for a powerlifting meet, and as a person who’s training, as a powerlifter, I do the bare minimum of the workout even when I don’t want to, and even if I’m not gonna lift my max or even if I’m not gonna train as intensely as I normally would have, I still go to the gym and I do something. I remember that belief existing there.
And then I look at the rest of the year. I look at the remainder of 2022, and if I look at the places where I wasn’t as frequent with my workouts, if I look at the time that I took off the weeks that I struggled, it was because I was struggling with the opposite of that. It was because I was experiencing the rigidity of, “Well, I’m too tired, and if I can’t go to the gym and do the workout exactly as prescribed and do the whole thing, then I shouldn’t go at all.” And so, this is actually called strengths-based awareness, and it’s something that is very evidence-based.
And so, what I want you to do this week is I want you to capture, “What strategies are working for me? What exact sentences are running through my brain that are making me feel empowered and invigorated and inspired and capable of doing hard things? What are the conversations that I’m having with my partner or my friends about these things? What is my environment doing? How is my environment helping me in being successful with whatever it is that I’m attempting this year?” So, I want you to put your scientist goggles on, and I want you to look at your own life very critically, and I want you to figure out the cause behind the effect of which is your success.
So, if, for the first time in your life, you’re meal prepping or if you’ve gone for a run and that was your goal this year is to start running, what made that possible? Learn from that, absorb that, and when you’re looking into the future and you’re starting to anticipate obstacles and you’re starting to think about holding yourself accountable, use that information to hold yourself accountable from an empowering place. That is what I’ve got for you today.
Before I jump off, I did want to let you know that if you are having this amazing week but you’re worried about holding yourself accountable, self-accountability is actually our Change Academy topic for this month (for the month of January) because a lot of us are in that place where it’s almost like the other shoe’s about to drop like, “Oh, I’m doing really good now but I’m worried about holding myself accountable to this behavior or goal the rest of the year.” And so, if that’s you, we’re gonna be talking about what self-accountability really is, exactly how to develop it, and tips and tools and strategies to make it feel empowering and not something that you’re lacking or a skill you’ve never developed. The truth is that self-accountability is a skill a lot of us were never taught, and we can’t expect ourselves to know something that we were never taught. So, I hope you’ll join me in The Academy workshop, and I will see you in the next episode!