The other day my daughter, Kelly, was involved in a power struggle with her two-year old, Grace. Kelly was trying to tie Grace’s shoes, so she could go outside and play. Grace was uninterested in having her shoes tied. Grace’s focus was on what she wanted to do. Kelly related to her, “You can’t go out and play until your shoes are tied.” This comment only seemed to enhance the struggle, as Grace seemed to hear only the first portion of the statement. Following her original statement with, “You can go out as soon as your shoes are tied.” settled the controversy. Again, it was, as if she only heard the first part of what Kelly said.
Lifestyle changes can have a lasting effect on us, and change is one of the things we seem to encounter the most. The initial change we experience is our birth into this universe and from there we go through various cycles. As children, we seem to flourish on change as we investigate our world. As we age and become settled down emotionally, we tend to desire details to remain the same. We discover a comfort zone that is loaded with voids, and we set out to determine what is missing in our lives. With each change, we learn and grow, discovering who we are and what we need. We bring about some changes, and some seem to come our way without our agreement. The latter changes we conceive are the most discouraging, but the lifestyle change itself is what affects us.
I have done a lot of thinking lately on the difference between goals and intentions. Intentions are something that we share with other people, often involving them, through our thoughts. Goals are something that we plan and execute to carry out our intentions. When we intend to visit someone, and we make plans with the person, it sets expectations in play. The trouble with goals with no intention (without a real desire) is that procrastination grabs us, until we feel like taking action. Frequently, we delay making plans to follow through until we feel forced by outside circumstances. On the other hand, we may simply change our mind and let ourselves and other people down, causing guilt or conflict.
The brain adapts to change, and although it resists, our mind finally gets the message. One reason that we fight change is because it takes some time for our mind to accept the idea. We do things automatic once our mind is in-tune with what we want. With some conscious effort on our part, we can carry out many things without much thought. This is what I call behavioral acting – when we are in the habit of performing certain tasks. While learning a new task or bringing about a change, we must pay close attention to our reasoning. Doing something that is unfamiliar to us requires acting behavior.