Well, here we are on the threshold of a spanking New Year. Did you utter a few resolutions as the clock struck “12” six days ago? Write down the ones you can still remember. What are the odds that by this time next month, you will still be working on them? Why is it so dang hard to make lasting change?
We definitely are creatures of habit. We find comfort in a predictable routine where most things unfold when, where and how we expect them to. Habits free our mind for other pursuits and concerns and save precious time because they are more or less automatic. Habits can be tremendously helpful. Jot down some habits that help make your day run more smoothly. Habits can also be detrimental. Can you identify any habits that actually get in the way of what you want to achieve? If so, jot them down as well. Now compare the lists and look at any resolutions you may have made. Do you see any that may need modification (a less-threatening word for “change”)?
Change is not necessarily good or bad, but it is inevitable. The aging process is definitely proof of this. Earnie Larsen coined the phrase, “If nothing changes, nothing changes.” On the surface, that appears true but underneath, that is not the case. If you have diabetes and do nothing, you still have diabetes. BUT if you don’t adapt your eating and take medication as indicated (if prescribed), the condition will get worse. Luckily, we have the choice to choose the direction of the change by taking the opportunity to act in our own best interest and embrace positive, helpful actions.
When embarking on change, the two primary disadvantages we face are the unknown and the fear or unease that comes with not knowing. Likewise, the two primary benefits are trying something new and liking it, and stepping outside your box to broaden your horizon. You can teach an old dog new tricks!
When was the last time you did something for the first time? Some changes are easier than others. For me, changing the color and style of my hair is quite easy. I think it bothers my friends and family much more than me because I don’t look like how they have come to expect. Some changes are much more of a challenge. So, if a major change is being contemplated, break it down. Don’t think in absolutes. Mark off small steps and record your progress traveled year-to-date. Identify what is in this change for you and head toward it. Convince yourself this is the year to expand your comfort zone and maybe go beyond. Make a list of the positives as they happen along the way. Review each one often to encourage you to continue. Share these results with friends and family, thank those who are helping and invite them to celebrate with you.
You are worthy the energy and focus necessary to change. Be patient and always remember that you are a work in progress and you are creating your own masterpiece. You are the Michelangelo of your own life.
I Care, Barb