How to Support Your Small Changes and Your Big Changes
This is Part I in a 3 Part series: How to Actually Make the Changes You Want
Change is hard, and can take a long time. We make goals, promises and wishes, then surrender to our routines rather than step onto a new path. Your goals aren’t going to go away; this can be the time that you meet them.
Take stock of how 2017 has gone for you so far. Did you make New Year’s Resolutions in January? If you did, how have they worked out? Evaluating the success and failure of past ideas/goals/ commitments has value for us. If you made a resolution that you soon abandoned, it is helpful to go back and take a closer look. Maybe the resolution didn’t matter enough to you to commit the time and energy to make it happen. If that’s the case, let that resolution go and move your attention somewhere else. If the resolution does still matter to you, take a look at what else you might need to make it to the goal. Resolved to cook at home more and eat out less but you haven’t so far? Sometimes our goals need to be broken down into steps that we can turn into habits. You might reach that goal if you signed up for a regular email recipe, chose two a week to cook on your least-busy nights of the week to start and planned to eat chicken burritos every Wednesday (or whatever meal is most popular and easy to make in your house). Now you’ve turned 7 decisions made daily into 5- Wednesdays are already decided, one day a week you’ll pick 2 recipes to try, and you need to sort out 4 other dinners. Once that pattern becomes a habit, move further into the remaining days until you’re happy with your level of eating out vs eating at home.
For the resolutions that you’ve kept, evaluate the effect on your life. Did the change meet the goal that you thought it would? If you committed to exercising more but the early-morning gym run is leaving dark circles under your eyes, perhaps a change in timing is needed. We can’t always predict the outcome of meeting our goals. We assume that getting what we wanted is good, and it can be. Sometimes it means we have to make other decisions or adjustments to meet our bigger goals. In a situation that took several years to unfold, spouse A was offered a job approximately an hour from Spouse B’s job. It was a good offer, in a location that both wanted to live in. Spouse A took the job, and Spouse B worked on negotiations with his current employer to change his sales territory to include the new home location. He thought the new territory would leave him closer to home 3 days a week, and the commute to the existing territory would be manageable for 2 days a week. After setting this up, he realized that the territory was significantly larger than he thought, meaning he was now travelling an hour from home in 2 directions, instead of one; the new territory wasn’t generating the sales he anticipated, and he liked driving less than he thought. The goal was achieved, but once it was, further evaluation was needed. Don’t shy away from making decisions that may be adjustments of previous decisions.
Questions to ask:
What did I think my life was going to look like this year?
What areas are different from my expectations, what areas line up with my expectations?
If you had trouble answering the first question, spend some time thinking about what your goals and expectations are. We all have them, it can be difficult to pull them out of a busy life into conscious thought.
To discuss your goals, progress and changes and develop your own plan, contact Sara at 519-569-7526 or firstname.lastname@example.org