I'm sitting next to a warm stove-heater in my little cottage on Whidbey Island, using these last few days of 2010 to lay some groundwork for 2011. I love the holiday season and especially love the New Year holiday. I'm a fan of new beginnings and hope. I think New Year's is the most hopeful holiday of all.
What do you hope for in the New Year? Do you make resolutions? Do you keep them? Or do you prefer to set goals? Perhaps "none of the above" is more your approach to the new year.
Here's a thought: If you hope for happiness or health, how do you know when you've achieved it?
I'm a massage therapist, as well as a massage instructor, and one of the big concepts I teach my students is that of "measurable outcomes". Let's say your client is experiencing leg pain and they want to "feel better". So you give them the massage, and they feel better. But then they realize their leg is still hurting. So they might think "Gee, that massage didn't really work after all. My leg still hurts." This is where measurable outcomes come in handy. You see, we humans are a forgetful bunch. And left to our own devices, we're apt to continue to focus on what isn't working for us rather than what has improved. With measurable outcomes, we can ask our massage client, for example, "On a scale of 1-to-10, with 10 being the worst pain possible, where are you at today?" Let's say they say "Seven". It's possible that with a few massage sessions they might say they're still hurting, and they might start to get discouraged. This is where you ask them to assess their pain again, and when they say "Four" you can show them the chart of how their pain has continually improved. Got it? So measurable outcomes allow us to have a quantifiable way to show improvement.
Do you see where I'm going with this?
With the New Year I invite you to set goals for yourself. Goals with measurable outcomes. Rather than "I hope I'm happy for 2011", try being more specific: "I will take one day a month devoted to only doing things that I want to do." This way, come the end of the year, you'll be able to measure your progress, and see how you did.
Happy New Year to all of you. 2010 has been a banner year for Peeling Mom Off the Ceiling. I'm hopeful that 2011 will bring even more success to us all. (And now I'm off to ponder precisely what that will look like for me, and how to measure it!)
*My husband informed me this morning that "New Year, New You" is a phrase that is statistically proven to be marketing gold. Figured I'd give it a shot.