This is the first in a three-part series about making change in your life. This initial post focuses creating a positive mindset toward undertaking change. Part Two will outline the five stages of change, improving our abilities to make (and break) habits. Lastly, Part Three will concentrate on how to set boundaries and say no for a more joyful life.
Change: to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone; to transform or convert
How do you feel about change?
At certain points in our lives, we all decide we need to change something. We realize that life as we know it is unsatisfying or we want to take advantage of a new opportunity. So, we decide to take action, to make something different from it was before.
In theory, this seems like it would be an easy process. Yet in practice, making a change in our lives is often met with fear, resistance and even self-sabotage.
Why is change so difficult to make?
Often, we become discouraged when we attempt to make changes but don’t get the results we were hoping for. But actually just making the effort is, in fact, progress. Change is not one-time event with a defined beginning and ending; it's a process. Think of change as a journey: Each step we take, even a really, really small step, is a step forward. Each step brings us closer to our ultimate destination.
Part of the journey toward change is realizing that we might take a few steps backwards along the way. Research shows that change rarely occurs in a straightforward, linear sequence. But here’s the good news - when we mess up (and we probably will mess up) we don't fall all the way back to where we started our journey. It’s important to be kind to ourselves. The mistakes we make are often significant learning opportunities, helping us become better prepared for the next leg of the trip.
Think about one small change that you can make to better your life. Would this change bring you closer to realizing one of your dreams? Would this change eliminate stress or anxiety from your life? Would this change create more joy to your life?
Change is scary…but it is also exciting and rewarding. Without change, we can become stuck in repeating patterns that allow no room for growth. I challenge you to take action on making one small change that will improve your life. You deserve it.