Effecting Change

“Listen. Slide the weight from your shoulders and move forward. You are afraid you might forget, but you never will. You will forgive and remember. ” ~ Barbara Kingsolver

 

In most parts of the world, there is visual evidence of changing seasons. In New Mexico, we see subtle shifts in the shades of brown. 🙂 Okay, it’s a little more pronounced than that but I do miss the vibrant colors displayed each Fall by majestic maple, oak and walnut trees. Just as change is visible in nature, it’s also evident in the diet and fitness businesses that most people begin with every New Year. These latter changes often come in the form of resolutions – to make changes that will improve lives, health, or well-being.

I’m not one who makes New Year resolutions, the ones that by March most people will have given up on or fallen back into the very habits they wanted to change. Many people just end up repeating the previous year, including the choices and responses that disappointed them or motivated them to want change. Rather than putting a stake in the ground once annually, I simply choose to effect change whenever I want. There’s rarely any significance to the start date. When I recognize a change opportunity and commit to a plan of action, it’s ‘off to the races,’ then and there.

To each their own. However, if you want to make change easy, enjoyable, and effective, here are three tips:

  1. Make a change for the right reasons. Don’t change for someone else or to avoid something you don’t want. Change is personal and can only be made by you or for you. Also, since change is intended to improve your experience and better your results, it won’t happen if it is done in fear, from guilt, or by self-criticism.
  2. Intend the results now. Intentions are where our thoughts and feelings match the experience or results we want to feel and experience. Feel it now. Experience it now. The truth is you already have some level of what you desire and if you recognize and appreciate it, you can expand the possibilities for more of it.
  3. Choose, choose, and choose again. Repeated choices and actions are fundamental to change. This can take some time, not because you are replacing or changing old habits, but because you are teaching your mind new ones. The old ones remain, so to automatically choose the new ones takes a lot of repetitions. Think how many times you have repeated what you didn’t want; the new choices won’t take as long, but they will take longer than a couple of weeks or even a couple of months.

Whatever you desire to change doesn’t happen overnight, so changing it won’t either. Successful change is a process dependent on increased awareness and repeated actions. You don’t need to wait for a new year to change. You may even find yourself wondering why you waited so long to choose what you did. But at that moment when you do, you will know you have made a permanent change and the new is no longer new!

So why are you waiting?

32 thoughts on “Effecting Change

  1. Change is personal and can only be made by you and for you. For me, Eric, that is at the heart of the matter. So much change has absolutely nothing to do with with real change. As you say, It stems from false external motivations. Also, real change has something of the natural about it. It isn’t forced. I don’t think it’s a grunt and groan thing that’s why I really like what you say about awareness and change. The more aware we become the more naturally we change. Wonderful post – thank you.

  2. The thing about change is that it can also be forced upon you through some unexpected life event (usually unwanted) – so to change in this circumstance it’s most important to realise one’s inability to control the event that sparked the need for change, by acceptance we weigh out the good things over the bad and become owners of the change needed. So yes, Eric, change is personal and it needs to be personalised if it keep one in one’s personal comfort zone.

  3. I completely agree with you…no need to wait for New Years to make a change, just make it when it is right time for us! Oh, and now I just do small changes and am grateful when I can stick with those ..lol

      • My initial reply is “No, I don’t believe I have.” I’ve written around the theme but the emphasis was more aligned with personal values rather than toward finding suited work. If inclined, you may find archived posts from the following dates somewhat helpful, though I’m fairly sure they’re not specific to what you seek. (May 26th, June 15th, June 28th, Aug 8th, Sept 5th, and Oct 3rd.)

  4. I like your analogy of awareness and change. It took me a while but I finally realized the more I became aware change happened naturally. Excellent Blog!

  5. I agree with you, Eric. I don’t ‘do’ New Year Resolutions, but make my changes as and when I need them. However, like the Resolutions, I don’t tend to stick to all of them… I know I must try harder if I really want to change.

  6. Very much liked the Kingsolver quote, and I am working on change . . . need to sell my home and move, but this change has been difficult for me to fully execute. Thank you for writing about this, it helps me to keep moving in a forward direction.

    • I am honored that the post’s message is helpful and possibly contributing to your impending transition. I wish you well with the challenge. As for Kingsolver, she’s one of my favorite authors. 🙂 Thank you for creating time to comment.

  7. Seriously, what makes a New Year resolution more significant than any other? To me the timing of such an act is akin to lemmings running off a cliff at the same time or a ‘commitment du jour.’ Just do it when one has clarity about the need and potential benefit. As a friend is fond of saying, “Sheesh!”

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