With the New Year, often times come new resolutions, typically commitments we make to do a complete 180 with our lives. Unfortunately, most of us don’t find success in the goals we set for ourselves in the new year and quickly find ourselves discouraged, hopeless, and back to seeking comfort in a cookie jar or sleeping in til the very last minute and then pressing snooze one more time. However, meaningful, lasting change is possible, when we are properly prepared. It is my hope that this series of posts will help you understand the important aspects of change so that you may be able to maintain your commitment to yourself, whether that be with a New Year’s resolution or any pressing issue in your life that you would like to work on.
There are 6 important principles to know about making meaningful change and I’m going to devote an entire post to each one individually over the next few weeks. But first, what do I mean by meaningful change? Sometimes we change inadvertently, or unconsciously, whether we want to or not. We are shaped by learning outside our awareness all day long and anything can act as a change agent, even when we don’t realize it. Also, sometimes life throws us curveballs where we don’t have any choice but to change. The principles of change I’m suggesting to you do not describe this kind of subliminal change that is outside your awareness. On the contrary, if you are dedicated and committed to making a transformation within yourself, you cannot rely on unconscious change. So you know what we’re in for over the next few weeks, here are the principles of change:
Change is actually quite simple…but it is NOT easy.
Change is incremental.
Change is S.L.O.W.
Change doesn’t happen without some discomfort.
Change requires having or adopting certain personality traits.
If you put one foot in front of the other, you can’t help but get to where you want to go.
Why is change only simple but not easy?
The basic formula for creating change is the most simple concept there is to understand: If you want to make changes in your life, you have to do things differently than the way you’ve been doing them. Simple, right? There’s no rocket science to figure out here. If you don’t want anything to change, just keep doing what you’ve been doing. In addition, most of the time the information you need on how to implement the change you’re looking for is readily available. There are countless numbers of books and resources available at our fingertips, most of which contain simple and straightforward language and steps to follow.
However, if meaningful change were easy, we’d all be happy and healthy, and I would be out of a job! The reality is that lasting change is often times very hard. Taking contrary action is very hard. Stepping out of our comfort zone is hard. It’s often times uncomfortable, unfamiliar, and asks us to do things we don’t always want to do.
Please don’t take this information and become so discouraged that you give up on yourself before you even begin. Rather, allow this information to prepare you for challenges you may face. If we’re armed with the expectation and awareness that the process of change will be challenging, at times more so than others, we will be less likely to criticize, judge, and give up when it gets tough.
Stay tuned, up next: What is Incremental Change?
I hope everyone’s new year is off to a good start and welcome any thoughts, feedback, or updates you have.