Step By Tiny Step: Changing My Life Practices in 2011

I like the idea of New Year′s Resolutions.

But, the dark of winter isn′t a time of year that sits well in my body for changes; change requires energy. When the days are short, my body wants to hunker down in mock hibernation.

And, resolution is an uncomfortably strong word. Resolved is decided, completed, determined. I don′t know exactly what result I′m shooting for. I only know that my life could do with being shaken up a bit.

By nature, I am an idealist and the messiness of real life often disappoints me. I need a goal setting process that encourages me to be gentle with myself if I fail. And yet, I want to push myself. I need a gentle process for making changes.

InterPlay holds powerful tools for playing with change in easy, non-threatening ways. So, I am turning to InterPlay principles for guidance this year: the power of Body Wisdom Practices, Incrementality, Easy Focus and the ever-central ethic of Play.

One of the principles of InterPlay is that we get in and out of trouble in incremental steps. Actually, in my experience, I get into trouble in huge leaps and out of trouble in tiny steps. And, most of the time, when I leap into trouble, it is because I went overboard in a direction that could have been good, if only I hadn′t gone so far. This year, I don′t want to make a sweeping resolution, I want to start taking little steps. And maybe they will move me away from trouble. But, by only making small changes, I will have the opportunity to change course before I have strayed too far into dangerous waters.

If we change our practices, we change our lives. ″Practice″ is a great word, though it is better in American English where the spelling does not change between the noun and the verb. To practise something is to accept that one is going to make mistakes, but that one will continue and will most likely get better. A regular practice can be seen as an opportunity to practise.

In my life now, too much of what I do feels like hard work, my body yearns to move fully, and my writing cries out for more time. And so, my plan for this year is to practise playing, moving, and writing, and to see where those practices takes me. By taking my focus off the goal and holding the process lightly (Easy Focus), I hope to have fun on the journey. How cool would that be?

Here are a few other resources on setting goals that have resonated with me this year:

Goal Setting for Perfectionists

Goal Setting Strategies from Life Coach Martha Beck

One Way to Nudge Ourselves into a Nourishing New Year Together

6 thoughts on “Step By Tiny Step: Changing My Life Practices in 2011

  1. Allysson says:

    This is lovely. Thanks! Wish you could have been with us this weekend at InterPlayce. I thought of you this morning, and how you would love it. We played with “intentions” instead of resolutions. There was lots of noticing around the tension even with intentions. Incrementality came up. I’d like to remind you of the physicality of grace. What does your body need more of this year? There’s a good place to start making resolutions! I love your idea of using easy focus on those things where you have set your goals. Do you play with your writing? I also love what you said about practise and practice. Cynthia says “its all practise” (of course when she says it, its spelled with a “c”, LOL). A lesson I am still practicing!

    Happy New Year friend!

    • Kate Arms-Roberts says:

      I would have loved to have been at InterPlayce. Thanks for the reminder about the physicality of grace. I’ve been musing about a piece on that concept; it is my favorite principle, but I enjoy stretching my muscles by trying to articulate how I relate to some of the other principles.

      The writing is often playful; the editing less so. Which is an important noticing in itself.

      My body needs to dance. Just clear a space and move to music. And, I am craving dancing the InterPlay forms with community. Time to lead some classes of my own. And I am planning on attending the InterPlay Leadership event in June.

      And sleep, always more sleep.

  2. Lisa says:

    Kate, thank you for the kind mention! I love your thoughts on practice going into the new year. Have a terrific start to 2011. 🙂

  3. […] I didn’t make New Year’s Resolutions. I chose to take incremental steps to change my practices. I set out to play more, write more, and move more. In retrospect, I made progress in all three […]

  4. […] check out my related posts: A Creative Space of Your Own, Writing at the Speed of the Unconscious, Step By Tiny Step: Changing my Life Practices, Hang on and Pretend It’s a Plan.) Share […]

  5. […] day, I see no reason not piggyback personal rituals on it. I don’t believe in traditional New Year’s resolutions, but I do believe that a culturally signified date can be a marker to pin a personal shift to, as […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *