How to Make Changes That Last

The new year offers a new outlook and a new beginning; there only needs to be a choice to make a change. What is the motivation to make resolutions and modifications in the new year? Maybe there is some weight that needs losing before summer vacation, or there is a new style of workout you would like to give a try. The reasons for the change are many, and the motivations are just as varied. People often make changes in their lives when there is too much pain or stress by continuing in the current path.
Change can cause fear, insecurity, and anxiety. Fear of the unknown is a primary reason people stay in relationships that need to end, at jobs that cause misery, or not wanting to delve into past pains to bring about the personal growth to have a more fulfilling and balanced life. My challenge to others is to allow yourself to feel the fear and then ask yourself honest questions and then give honest answers. Ironically, the human condition is to stay the same no matter how painful the situation. Honestly, change can be overwhelming, but the payoff is worth the sacrifices that you will make.
As a new routine is made new habits and outlooks will be formed. When making improvements to life, there must be new ideas introduced and put into action. There is a saying I often read, and I paraphrase: “Old keys will not open new doors.” This idea applies to all areas of life and offers needed advice when making new adjustments. Lifestyle changes must always evolve to be able to move forward consistently. When a runner trains for a marathon they start off with a certain number of miles and then increase that amount over time, this training prepares their bodies for the length and challenge of the run. For most people making slight adjustments and then continually adding small changes will bring about the needed outcomes that create permanent change. Using the model of one step at a time will allow for new habits and routines to be integrated slowly and smoothly without added worry or the stress of uncertain outcomes. Building new habits and routines one step at a time will guarantee success and can promise little pressure and creates a lifelong commitment to change.
Even if you are an all of nothing personality, you can still make significant changes one step at a time. When ending relationships, the challenge is painful because the thought of never seeing a person you spent some of the happiest moments of your life with is crippling. When you have a fear of change, let the pain guide you to change, the only person who can choose to improve your life is you. Accepting the truth is the hardest pill to swallow and once you accept that responsibility the choice to make changes happen automatically. Eckhart Tolley teaches: “Accept it. Leave it. Change it.” The essence of his philosophy is that if you cannot accept your situation, then you need to leave it. If you cannot leave your situation, then change it and if you cannot leave or change then accept it as you take steps to make the changes needed. This way of thinking becomes empowering because you take responsibility for your thoughts and actions in a situation that you have little control over at the time. Knowing what you cannot control allows you to accept that truth and then take steps to make the needed changes to improve your life further.
The best actions in life are usually the most challenging and painful to implement. People prefer to stay in situations because the responsibility of change is harder than staying in dysfunction and facing the cause of why life is miserable, lonely, or unauthentic. People are good at filling the empty spots in life with material items, addictions, overloading schedules, or just denial. Avoiding life’s challenges is easier in the interim, but the long run it is bleak. Making hard and painful changes will allow freedom and happiness that one could never imagine. Life will change, people around you will change, and you might not understand why other people refuse to change for the better. Positive change is a journey, not a sprint, and if you take those little steps forward, you are still ahead of everyone else who is sitting on the sideline judging your speed. Just remember the tortoise beat the hare with consistency and you too will win by being consistent and honest as you seek to make positive steps in life. Before you know it you will be miles ahead of those who mock your growth because they are still at the starting line trying to decide if they want to have happiness or monotony. Blessings on your journey and find people who want to grow and stretch their experiences. You can do it! I believe in you and if you would like to leave a message and maybe a group of us can get together online and support one another!

2 thoughts on “How to Make Changes That Last”

  1. I am always afraid, terrified even of life’s changes. But in an odd way, I actually like the fear of not knowing. It makes life real and it gives you a sense of urgency. When all you do in life is work, home, sleep; your life becomes stale. Then you stop growing because you say to yourself, “This is it.” “This is life.” Too much compromise can stunt your growth.

    • Yeah, it is true life becomes a cycle that seems more like a hamster wheel than a path to something better. Fear is a normal feeling, and usually, fear is because of past experiences that have been traumatizing in the past. Change might cause stress and fear if it creates an unbalanced environment and the change feels more like chaos. As time goes by change becomes easier once you realize that you are in total control of how you allow that change or chaos to control you and your emotions. Life also always gives life lessons as long as one is open to the fact that there is a lesson to be learned and a new skill to acquire.
      Getting stuck in a rut stinks for sure. Slowly I have learned that if I care about what other people think I will never get to were I am going, so now I focus on the changes and how they will effect my life and those around me. Life can only be as happy as I choose to make it, some days are easier than others. I hope you can get out of the work, home, sleep thing it is frustrating for sure – the good thing is that it is a start to your goals. Good luck!


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