World Change Wednesdays: Hope

photo-1429032021766-c6a53949594f.jpgI thought I'd do a little 3 part series for the holidays on 3 small words that get a lot of use this time of year: Joy, Peace, and Hope. Here are some thoughts on how hope can change the world.

I saved hope for last since the New Year is a great time to be hopeful for what's to come.

Some have been known to call hope foolish and naive. I's especially easier to think of false hope or foolish hope when discussing so-called "New Year's Resolutions."

I recently ran across a Theory of Hope put forward by C.R. Snyder. The Theory of Hope has been developed from studying people with true hope. It boils down to defining true hope as practical in that it contains 3 elements: (1) goals, (2) pathways to reach those goals, and (3) a sense of agency that it is in one's power to reach those goals. In this regard, any sort of goals for the New Year are much more hopeful if they seem within your capacity to accomplish them and if they are broken down into smaller steps or action items.

Take the typical goal of getting into shape or losing weight. According to the theory, this goal is a lot more hopeful if you develop pathways you know you can do. If chocolate is your weakness (like it is mine), don't try to give that up. Instead maybe make that your only dessert. That's a lot more doable, right? Or maybe your goals becomes start by going to the gym 1 day a week and build up from there. That would build your sense of agency and self-esteem rather than trying to go 7 days a week and failing.

I'm still developing my goals for 2016 but I'm definitely planning on making pathways and increasing my motivational sense of agency. I'll comment when mine are done. Comment and share yours too. Sometimes sharing is enough to build up some motivation.


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