Creating Lasting Change in 2013

Reflect

To make a change, we must gain perspective on our past. Take some time to reflect on the last year, and think about what you have learned. No doubt, there were some hard times, but what did they teach you? Don’t just think about the bad, but reflect on the good. What were the accomplishments you can be proud of? What did you do right?

Let Go

One of the things that can prevent us from moving forward, is that we have a strong hold on the past. It’s hard to let things go, especially because our past tends to shape who we are now. If you want to see your life differently, and move forward, you must release your grip on the past. You don’t have to forget about an event to let it go, but you can stop letting it trigger negative emotional responses. Try journalling about a particularly difficult event you faced in 2012. The more you write about it, the more you will gain perspective and understanding, and most of all, you can start to surrender and let it go.

Set a Goal & Find Support

What do you want to change about your life? This plan could be to eat right, have more fun, stop smoking, lose weight, stop gossiping, etc. So often, we are “closet goal setters,” meaning that we set goals in secret, so that when we fail or stop trying, no one will notice. But we break promises to ourselves all the time. It’s hard to hold yourself accountable, because you will forgive yourself instantly for breaking your promise. I encourage you to find a partner or buddy, and think of this person as your “Empowerment Coach.” This is the person who will hold you to your promises. You can also be their coach in whatever change they want to make.

Maintain Change

Try to talk to your buddy at the end of every week to discuss your progress in whatever goal you have set. Place reminders around your home, on your computer, or in your phone, to encourage yourself and remind you each day of your plan for success. On each step of your journey, look back and notice what you have accomplished so far. This could be that you went to the gym 3 times this week, or that you didn’t gossip at all at the office today.  We often minimize our success. The more you notice and are grateful for your progress, the more fuel you will have to keep going.

Last year, I wrote about how New Year’s Resolutions don’t work. This is usually because whatever you resolve to change about yourself is usually forgotten a few days or weeks into the new year. Most of you have probably already forgotten about your New Year’s resolution. However, I do believe in creating lasting change in your life, when you take the time to reflect on and let go of the past, when you set goals and have someone to hold you to them, and when you are able to continually gain perspective on the changes you are making. Feel proud of yourself in every step you take toward your goals! After all, life is about enjoying the journey and not putting off your happiness until you reach your goal.

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