As a new year is upon us, many feel inspired to make some form of change in their lives. Whether that be anything from change in diet to improved relationships, change in and of itself can feel daunting. You may feel as though you do not even know where to start. For this reason, many of us put off change, stop short of our goals or spend the rest of the year beating ourselves up about our own perceived failures. I challenge you to let go of that perception.
Let go of the forced resolutions and the half-hearted goals this year and rather take a journey toward change that will be life-giving rather than exhausting. Henry David Thoreau said, “things do not change, we change.” What a powerful concept. We have the power to directly impact our experience of our world. The important thing to remember with change, in order to keep from becoming overwhelmed, is to focus on small, attainable goals toward your path of change rather than expecting overnight, miraculous or instant differences. Choosing to walk away rather than yell at your partner, making a healthier choice from your favorite restaurant or spending one hour less at work this week are all examples of small changes with big impact in your life. Taking your change process one day, one step or one decision at a time can help your goal feel less overwhelming while also allowing you to achieve small successes along the way. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like to feel successful when working to transition or transform something about yourself?
It should be noted, we are imperfect beings. Remember that. Work to give praise for each great choice while allowing yourself grace for the missteps. Missteps will happen, but they don’t have to define you or result in failure. Allowing your journey toward change to be a daily process rather than a sprint toward the finish line allows for several things to happen in the process. It allows for learning, time for reflection, adjustment and achievement of your goals. You can absolutely take power of your life, one day and one decision at a time.
If doing this change journey alone feels additionally stressful, ask a friend to be your accountability partner or teammate in your change process. Having someone to check in with can reduce feelings of isolation or being overwhelmed. This is also a great time for self reflection and even a time to start or reengage in therapy if that can help you overcome barriers to success or increase clarity of goals along your journey. If you do not already have a therapist, feel free to check out northstarcounselingcenter.com to find out how to get started with someone as early as this week. Best of luck on your journey toward change!