Well, it’s 2022. Have you stopped writing 2021 on your checks yet? Just kidding: you stopped writing checks altogether, I know. What other changes have you made in the last several years? And in the last two years?
Many of us humans do not love change. Change imposed upon us can result in feelings of stress. It might come in the form of anger or worry or a literal headache. We’ve all been put in this position over the last two years. It’s been hard in many ways, and yet we persevere. We have had opportunities to assess what is working and what isn’t about our society and we have been challenged to understand and take care of our basic needs. For all our reluctance we are, in fact, generally quite good at adapting.
The new year provides an opportunity to make changes that we can plan for. Planning doesn’t take away the discomfort associated with change, but it does allow us to be mindful about the change, how we will adapt, and how we will deal with our own internal push-back (and maybe even that of those around us who may be affected by our choices).
When making a change, think about why you are doing it. What value or need does the change represent or address? When you can remind yourself of your reasons for change and imagine the positive outcomes, you will be much more motivated to persevere.
Think about the obstacles. What habits, people, or beliefs will present obstacles? You’ve heard of the path of least resistance, right? It’s definitely an easier road to follow. Plan your responses to the people who try to pull you back onto that path, even if that person is you! Do you have gaps in your knowledge that may need to be filled? Get help. Learning is fun. In the case of fitness and exercise, often one roadblock is pain. Again, get help from skilled therapists, and cultivate a mindset of experimentation. I often have to try different approaches and techniques to work around pain. There is usually a way—if we adapt and persevere.
Finally, acknowledge progress. Even small incremental changes will eventually result in something significant. Give yourself credit for each step along the way!