The New Year is nearly here. You know what that means? Another chance to choose between feeling bad about yourself or making a change that sticks.
For that matter, you know what makes today special? Yep, today is special because today you can choose to make the changes you want to make in your life. Just like yesterday, though, today will be over soon.
You know what is great about tomorrow? Yes! Tomorrow is yet another day to make those changes you want to make. It’s also the day before New Year’s Eve which means if you are going to do any intention setting on New Year’s Eve you better get busy. Time is running out. The clock is ticking.
Setting Goals: First Step
All these days of not making changes though can really add up. Before you know it you might feel hopeless about ever changing. Goals? Screw goals. Who needs them!?!?
Yes, I have been there. Every now and then have to pull myself out of the Pit of Despair too. Here’s what I do that works to get me on a new path.
Make Small Changes
The very first thing I have to do is be honest with myself about the changes I intended which failed. Look at your intentions. What do you notice about them?
Almost always they are too big in some way. Just a few weeks ago I started posting to this blog. Not just once a week either. I was able to post 4 or 5 days in a row. I could have kept that pace up too! What stopped me? Word count. What other people thought about word counts for blog posts.
Yeah, I adopted other people’s beliefs about how long a blog post should be. Mine were too short and I didn’t think I could post 1500-2000 word posts on a daily basis. Blogging screeched to a stop!
When I reflect on my situation I see one of the problems is I shifted my belief pattern to an expectation beyond what I was ready to meet. For now, I can probably write blog posts of about 500 words on a near daily basis. Certainly more than once a month!
The change I was imposing on myself was too big. Take smaller bites!
Also, wrapped in this experience is another idea about making changes.
Start Where You Are Right Now
Know where you are and start there. Where anyone else is at in their journey makes no difference. Starting where you are able to start makes all the difference.
Between my day job and family life I don’t see where I have time to create frequent long blog posts. In saying this understand I am quite aware I may indeed find the time. I am not there yet though and that’s okay. The key is accepting myself in this moment.
Here is a little secret. With that self-acceptance I am no longer spending energy fighting my belief systems. Spending energy fighting myself is sneaky. Not only am I fighting myself directly I am spending energy to prop myself up to feel better. Judging myself or accepting my perceptions of other people’s judgement takes energy too.
Self -acceptance is a bit like magic. All of the sudden I have a new gift in my life. A little bit of energy to make a small change!
What small change do you want to make?
Maybe I can write more frequent smaller blog posts? If I do make that small change guess what will likely happen. I will most likely develop the ability to write longer blog posts!
Maybe you will start going to the gym after work? Or learn to draw? Or read a book a week?
Why Small Changes Are Powerful
In some ways it doesn’t really matter what small change you decide you want. Any small change you are able to make will help you. Learning how to make small positive changes is in itself a small (actually big) positive change.
With each successful little change you make you will find more energy and confidence to make other little changes. Just like compound interest and investing the changes will add up to much more than the sum of their parts. Each changes will multiply the impact of the next one.
Before you know it what used to feel like big changes will feel like no big deal. You will be feel confident because you have proved to yourself you can do it.
More importantly you will have built up a reservoir of energy. You have an energy source to propel yourself into the future you want to create.
Every day is a new opportunity to make a choice. You don’t have to wait until New Year’s Eve to set new intentions and goals for our life. I am right here with you. So far, the changes I have made in the last month that are sticking are going to the gym 3 days a week and writing by hand three pages about anything. Both these goals will be part of a solid foundation for my future.
Change and achieving goals in life can be difficult. Remember, self-acceptance, keeping those changes small, starting where you are at in this moment are key.
What do you find hard about making changes and achieving your goals? What changes do you want to make or goals do you have for your life? Please share with us in the comments!
PS. This post ended up being 932 words. Guess I am closer to my longer blog post goal than I thought!