Every New Year is a new opportunity to make positive changes and leave any bad habits in the old year. Changing is not an easy process. We often start motivated with a list of goals and deadlines, declaring to friends and family our new resolutions. However, many of us later find ourselves going back to the old routine. That’s not because we are unworthy of change but because our bodies have a natural resistance to change.
I believe change is a great teacher. According to the cancer survivour and healer, Louise Hay, change ‘scares us and asks us to reach inside ourselves for courage we didn’t even know we had. It asks us every day to prove our commitment to ourselves. It leads us into the dark places and allows us to fill them with light. It shows us things about ourselves we never knew.’ When we positively embrace change, we realise that failure and success are two sides of the same coin. Change doesn’t ask us to go further or faster than we are ready to go – it teaches us to listen to our hearts and take changes that will set us free.
While change can feel hard at first, there is something magical about trying something new. It gives us the opportunity to see how strong we are. Thus, in today’s post I would like to share my top tips on overcoming any fear to change in the New Year.
1. Decide you are important enough – once we try something new and see that it worked out for us, it makes change easier because it gives us permission to do it again. The secret is to give ourselves permission to try it in the first place. We need to realise that we are important enough to give ourselves permission and space to change and prioritise our happiness in 2015. The best way to change is to just do it, just take the first step of knowing that your dreams are important. YOU are important.
2. Take baby steps – change can become difficult when we set goals that are either too big to be achieved within the desired time frame or are too complex to be accomplished without further help. It’s better to start slowly, one step at a time. Pick one small thing to do – it can be as quick and easy as you like, but do pick one thing and start. For example, if you want to start exercising in the New Year, start with 30 minutes 3-4 times a week, just walking or doing home exercises. Reward yourself and once you get into shape, move to the gym and other classes.
3. Keep it simple and gentle – change is not a ‘’no pain, no gain’’ approach. Imagine the feeling of achievement, let that emotion be your motivation and trust the process of life to support you. Remember, you are doing the best you can with the knowledge and understanding you have at this point of time.
4. Be consistent – the more you stick to your daily actions of change, the easier it will get. The more consistent you are, the more results you will experience. Think about any new skill you’ve learnt – you don’t start out as an expert. The more you practice, the better you get.
5. Get helpers – a great way to change is to create a support network. This could be a friend, spouse, coach, family member, or whoever you feel comfortable with. Finding or creating Facebook groups that will hold you accountable is another useful approach to daily report your progress.
6. Have fun – make the change fun. Laugh at yourself, be silly, you are still a kid in this new process. Jump up after you accomplish your baby step, give yourself a hug or a smile in the mirror. Remember, change is joyous.
7. Celebrate even small successes – as you change, you should give yourself credit. You don’t have to wait for major changes to celebrate – highlight the little successes along the way. Make every day a day of celebration by choosing meaningful rewards – even simple gestures can work. Kisses and hugs have great healing power, especially when you give them to yourself. I know that it may feel silly at first, but once you start having fun with it, you will get more comfortable and willing to persist.
8. Think positive – change is easier when it is based on positive thinking, rather than guilt, shame or fear. Affirmations have proven the most effective way for me and my clients in the process of changing negative thinking and health habits. Once you start trusting the process of life to take care of you without letting your mind overwhelm you, you will find a lot of inspiration around. People, movies, books…they are there for you if you are willing to really change.
As I mentioned, affirmations are my favourite way to initiate change. Use the statements below every day when you get up and go to bed. Look yourself in the mirror and say out loud. Persist despite the awkwardness and let the magic works for you.
I am open to change.
I am willing to change.
I am willing to release the pattern in my consciousness that has created this condition (what you’re changing).
I greet the new with open arms.
Each problem has a solution. All experiences are opportunities for me to learn and grow.
I am safe.
In Health & Balance,