Change is everywhere, or rather, in everything. Change is the blossoming of shoots and the withering of leaves, it is the rush of the wind past your ears, and the smell of fresh soil after the rain. Change is when you compare yourself to who you were before, be it a day, a week, a month or a year ago, and you realize how far you have come. It is also when you become fully aware of how far you have yet to go. Change ensures that the circle of life is never stagnant.
Many of us make New Year resolutions to improve, to be stronger, fitter; to be more caring, understanding and to hold dear ones a little closer. Essentially, all of us want to change, and although we are not experts, here are some things that we have learned along the way.
1. Step out of your comfort zone.
Change only happens when we push our limits, and most of the time, we are unable to change because we are unable to break our boundaries. We fail to succeed because we tend to fall back into old habits and familiar routines which give us a sense of control and security. Try stretching your limits and continue doing things that you no longer want to do. Resist the urge to stay the same, and when the once uncomfortable becomes comfortable, that is when change has happened.
2. Change requires focused, continuous and disciplined effort.
It is definitely not something that will happen overnight, no matter how many tears you shed or how big your epiphany. It is also not something that will run on its own like clockwork until it reaches its destination. In order to change, we have to put in effort and make conscious decisions to ensure its success. If we have a broken heart, time alone will not heal it. First we have to consciously allow our heart to mend before the healing process can begin, just like merely talking about going to the gym is not going to help us lose weight. We have to actually commit to a workout schedule before we can see the change.
3. Hold yourself accountable.
Ah excuses, one of the main downfalls of mankind. Stop making excuses for things that go wrong. Most of us automatically push the fault onto others when things do not go the way they should, never for once thinking that we ourselves could be the cause of the problem. Instead of blaming others, why not try to fix the problem instead? Admit your mistakes and make it a point to fix them and learn from them. View every hiccup along the way as a change to grow, and with growth naturally comes change.
4. Be open.
It is pretty ironic how most people who want to change are not open to it. Change is both about doing something different and becoming someone different. It is important to stay open to both, but sadly some of us still remain rigidly close-minded towards the later. We want to think that we have changed, yet we want to remain the same because we want to be true to ourselves failing to realize that becoming someone different is not necessarily a bad thing and that becoming a different person is the essence of change.
The process of moving forward can be slow and painful, and we have to be prepared to let many things go in order to change. Change takes time, but when it does, believe me, you will be glad that you held on.