The Balanced Life

Rebecca Tucker, LCSW

OBSTACLES

My Pastor read us the top 10 New Years resolutions yesterday.  Then he read the top 10 broken resolutions. They were the same, of course.  We just don’t keep resolutions, just like we don’t stick to diets or break bad habits.  Usually our resolutions have a bit of wishful thinking in them  you know what I mean?  They don’t really consider the reality of our daily lives over time, or the thoughts that keep us stuck or the unresolved hurts that result in behaviors we’d rather change.  And unfortunately we are often perfectionistic in our attempts to follow through, which results in our giving up altogether.

As I have thought about goals for the new year it is as always, with balance in mind.  However sometimes in order to achieve balance we need to think about and attend to those things that get in the way–things like grudges, past hurts, unforgiveness, anger, and loss–that we may need to work through or release.  This kind of soul cleansing can be a great place to begin as we seek greater balance in our lives.  Yet these are the very things we’d rather avoid.  It is much easier to make a list of goals that don’t involve these challenges.

For example it is more common for us to think of physical goals such as weight loss or exercise at this time of year, than emotional clutter.  Yet our minds and bodies are bound up together, impacting each other.  These obstacles often relate to relationship–with ourselves, others or God–and really what’s more important?  Sorting through and  attending to the obstacles that impact our soul and our relationships, can free us to focus on other goals.  Emotional clutter that has not been attended to, often results in anxiety, or depression.  Both of these hinder motivation and productivity.

What are the obstacles that are getting in your way?  How might you attend to them?   Do you need some time with your journal, with a good friend, a coun- selor, or God?  Is there someone with whom you need to have a difficult conver-station?  Or do you need to adjust your priorities?  Whatever the case is for you,  remember that obstacles are merely opportunities for growth and determine to give yourself the resources needed for success.

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