Thursday, October 18, 2012

Resolutions Reflections: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Blogging about my post-cancer resolutions requires me to constantly mediate between acceptance and change. This is why my resolutions often contradict each other. I resolved to Shut Up but Speak Up, Go for a Run but Skip a Workout. Spend time with friends and family and Just Say No. Eat better, but indulge. Travel but save money. Resolve but not resolve. It’s a fairly winding process.

Making changes isn’t as black and white as my blog might make it seem. Change is a process, and doesn't happen as simply as striking through a resolution on your notepad. The Stages of Change model (Prochaska and DiClemente, 1994) acknowledges this and outlines 5 steps in the process:
  1. Precontemplation
  2. Contemplation
  3. Preparation
  4. Action
  5. Maintenance
No action is taken in the ‘precontemplation’ stage; it’s usually when an individual reflects on what’s beneficial about their current behaviour, and why maintaining the status quo is ok. This sounds familiar to me. It’s exactly the state of mind I was in when I resolved toSkip a Workout, Eat French Fries and Blow my Paycheque. But, I omitted something in those resolutions. I felt bad after. I wondered whether I would ever get back on track.

Ironically, 100 Resolutions taught me to be ok with these moments of stasis. Though I started my blog as a way to re-gain control after cancer treatment, I learned a lot about the things I can’t control. The Stages of Change model tells me that accepting this is just a part of the change process.

It may seem hypocritical, or even fickle, to make contradictory resolutions. But, I see it as evidence of the lengthy, circular process of implementing change. Some days I aim for the sky and go for a run. Others, I sit at home and blog about how the couch is a perfectly good place to be.

Guess which night tonight was?


  1. Steph that's a really great post and I'm sure everyone can relate - myself included. I'm guessing last night was a sit on the couch and blog night. It was for me too. And I ate cake...

  2. Sounds like a great description of life. Some of this and some of that.