“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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?