Could 2015 be your year of AMAZING?
The end of one year and the entry and welcoming of another, and as the years change hands, I thought and an idea that is perhaps declaring 2015 The Year of Amazing would set the year off to a great start. A better year than the previous. One with more success, more happiness, more peace.
We look forward to seeing the end of one year and the beginning of another. It’s a recalibration of sorts. A chance to reboot. To renew our hopes for the future.
But there is this little niggling thought that goes with all this positive renewal. We’ve been here before. Habits we were determined to ditch last year still seem to linger. Revelations of a fresh start are mixed with thoughts of how hard it is to commit to lasting change.
Can the start of a new year really bring change?
I’ve always thought change like happiness is something remembered. Looked back on through the romantic rear vision of our lives. Thoughts of the passing years leave us to ponder…
Well, I was really happy then. poor, but happy. Or, I didn’t know it then, but they were the happiest times of my life…
One day you look back and realise you actually did change. Sometimes it’s a happy relief when we acknowledge those changes were brought about by a committed effort or, not-so-much when circumstances occurring in your life leave a blemish or worse a wound that refuses to heal or a scar you are barely able to hide. If you are resilient, then you’ve found a way to make lemonade out of those lemons more than once in your life. This is indeed a healthy way to view difficult changes in life.
But what about when you want to instigate change for a better life? Trade-in what is no longer working for something so much better. Putting yourself right there in the driver’s seat. Mastering your own destiny. This is when our best work is required.
Falling back into our comfort zone.
Even if you wish for change unless you have found a way to commit to positive changes, then falling back into the sameness of the past feels all too comfortable. Why is this? If change is what we want, why do we fail so often to go after it? Why do we let the past or feeling uncomfortable for a time, dictate the changes we want in our lives?
Tiny little lies.
While we are slowly falling back into that lovely comfort zone, we happily tell ourselves a few tidy little lies, making it easier to stay in a place of sameness. But perhaps these little lies are actually the biggest lies of all. Knowingly deluding ourselves into believing we didn’t really want the changes we earlier committed to as much as we said we did. This surely is the ultimate dupe. And we do it to ourselves.
Getting change under your skin.
To change, we need to get change under our skin. Swim around in it, get a little mucky… It’s not enough to ‘think’ you want to change, it’s not even enough to have a strong desire, (although that does help). Nope, you’re going to have to get dirty, really roll around in the mud. Daily. Until one day, what seemed like a big old quagmire of a muddy pond is something a little clearer.
At first, it feels horrible; it’s messy; you really want to back out. But then one day, you find this newfound change feels just like a big beautiful, clear blue lake of smooth sailing. Mission accomplished. What’s even better, next time you jump in the mud, you know what you’re in for. You know the transitional pain of change won’t last. You know there is a blue lake and blue skies just ahead.
What happened? Well, while you were thinking about change, you started to immerse yourself in the change and before you knew it, the change you’d been hoping for began to take shape.
You’d made a habit of it. Like that 30 minute walk, you’ve been procrastinating on if you immerse yourself before you have time to think before you have time to talk yourself out of it; after all, it’s cold, it’s late, it’s hot, it’s whatever excuse, you’re back from your walk, it wasn’t so bad, in fact, you enjoyed it, tomorrow you may even walk for 45 minutes.
Now is not the time to overthink it, let’s allow this new ‘thing’ to take shape. To become a habit.
Apply this thinking to any or every aspect of your life, and before you and I know it, we’ve made a change. It’s a lovely, liberating feeling. Not only will you have changed. But, you’re going to be feeling a whole lot better about yourself and the accomplishments you’ve planned for this year. Momentum will begin to gather, and before long, there are a whole lot of things you know you can change if you start with the power of forming a new habit. Don’t think about it. Start.
In his award-winning book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg brings to life a new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation. Along the way, you’ll learn why some people and companies struggle to change, despite years of trying, while others seem to remake themselves overnight. This is a great read and highly recommended if positive change is what you seek in your life.
What habits are you going to form this year?
When I gave up sugar nearly 3 years ago, I didn’t give it too much thought. I just stopped eating sugar. I removed it from my world. Not eating sugar became a habit. Have I ever fallen off the wagon? Sure, sometimes when in the company of sugar fans, it’s just easier to succumb. But, these times do not break my habit.
If you want this change to be your new norm, then consistency will be your ally like walking every day. Same time, the same place. Everyday. Like brushing your teeth, your new habit (walking) has now become part of your routine.
But okay, what about changing aspects of your personality?
Some say you cannot change someone else. Going into any relationship with the hope of changing another? You either accept those things you’d like to change, or you move on. It’s really that simple.
But what about if you want to change something about yourself? Everything you do now, every little personality foible, or idiosyncrasy was developed over time by you, either through the environment, you grew up in, or it’s just one of those family traits you’ve accepted as being ‘in your genes’.
It’s a decision to change. Like giving up sugar or walking every day for 30 minutes, changing personality traits can be done. They are, after all, just habits. You made them; you can break them. There is a quote that I rather like.
Actually, I just woke up one day and decided I didn’t want to feel that way anymore. So I changed. Just like that.
Of course, easier said than done, but the idea that every change you want to make is a simple-decision-acted-upon-daily is an empowering and motivating place to start. Don’t you think?
See you next time,