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Is it time to try harder . . . or just give up?

January 16, 2019

By Aili Kuutan

It’s the time of year where a lot of people start to question their goals.

(I may be a little early here. I feel like it’s usually 3 weeks into January that most people give up on their new year’s resolutions.)

There’s definitely merit in questioning whether we need to try harder. If we’re distracted or we haven’t given it a fair shot, it’s worth considering for sure.

But if we’ve truly been trying, it’s also worth considering that maybe effort isn’t the problem here.

If you find yourself thinking:

Maybe if I try harder, this’ll work.

Maybe if I’m more disciplined, I’ll be successful.

Maybe if I just commit, everything will be ok.

Maybe, maybe, maybe . . .

. . . maybe the problem here isn’t you or the effort you’re putting in.

Maybe it just isn’t meant to be. And I mean that in terms of the path, not the destination.

Meaning that it’s not the outcome that isn’t meant to be; it’s the way that you get there that needs to be reconsidered.

There’s a certain level of resistance inherent in the maybe I need to try harder thinking that ultimately boils down to something like: I don’t really want to do this, but I feel like I have to. There’s no other way.

But that simply isn’t true.

I started the new year off wanting to feel like I’m at my best. I thought the best way to do that would be to give up wheat and sugar. (They really don’t work well for my body.)

But I wasn’t excited about it . . . they make things taste so good!

Instead of forcing that stuff out of my diet, I decided to start drinking more water.

And interestingly, my desire to eat wheat and sugar has started to decrease naturally. On top of that, when I have eaten them, my body has been able to handle it a lot better.

So maybe I don’t need to give them up completely. Maybe what I need to give up is the idea that I need to give them up completely.

Maybe all I really need to do to feel like I’m at my best is something I don’t mind at all: drink more water.

More excitingly, maybe I don’t need to take a pizzaless path.

No matter where we are or where we’re going, the journey doesn’t have to suck. We just often believe that it will . . . and then it does.

But we always have the power to choose our next steps.

So rather than forcing something that doesn’t feel right to get to where you want to go, what can you do differently to enjoy the ride?


Aili Kuutan is a Certified Integrative Health Coach and she serves as a mentor for the Duke Integrative Medicine Integrative Health Coach Professional Training program. If you would like to learn more about Integrative Health Coaching and how you too can become a Certified Integrative Health Coach, visit the Duke Integrative Medicine website and learn more about this training program.

This article was originally published on ailikuutan.com.

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