Keep Going the Year Has Just Begun
The New Year is underway which can bring inspiration and a sense of renewal. You may have made some New Year resolutions or goals for the year. However, you may have not been able stick to the goals and you decide to give up altogether. It’s never too late to start again and see the setback as part of the process. Change can be difficult and it takes energy. There has to be level of readiness to change and an understanding that you might have to work through setbacks along the way.
It’s easy to get discouraged when you don’t seem to find evidence that change is happening. You want the goals to come fast, and you want them to be immediate. Sometimes it takes a few setbacks before lasting change can happen. Setbacks can feel like you made progress one day and then the next day you are right back where you started. It can create this feeling of being stuck and not knowing how to break the pattern.
The thing about change is sometimes you have to experience the many uncomfortable feelings, and many habitual patterns. You also might have to deal with the inner dialogue that goes through your mind. Often it is critical and self-sabotaging in nature, and this can get you down. You can convince yourselves that it’s too exhausting to try or things don’t seem to be changing. There is a tendency to give up too soon, especially when things get difficult and you start to doubt that you can accomplish or have what you want. This can be part of the process.
What complicates change is sometimes you try something once or twice, and you think it doesn’t work. This might prevent you from wanting to try again. It can be painful and depleting. However, move through it, until something feels good or feels inspired. Sometimes you may feel like giving up right before you can reap the benefits of change. There might be something that is nudging you inside to change. At the same time, the fear may keep you in your comfort zones. Both can be part of the process, so it’s important to embrace them. When you start to notice and feel the changes, this can feel invigorating and hopeful. It can boost your confidence, and evoke more changes.
Here are some things that might be helpful to consider:
Learning to focus on the progress that you made so far: Progress is recognizing you made the change. The fact that you came to awareness that you want to change or do something different, in itself is an accomplishment.
Seek support: You don’t have to do this on your own. Change can bring up a lot of unresolved feelings and thoughts to the surface and it can helpful to work through this with a therapist, spiritual or religious leader or mentor.
Focus on the reasons you want to change: This might take a bit of self-reflection and self-discovery on the reasons you want to create changes. This is an essential part of the process and often you can give little attention to. This can create inspiration, and it can be a catalyst for positive emotions.
Focus on what is going well. There can be a tendency to focus on problems and give all your energy and attention to what you need to fix. However, shifting on what is going well can help to build confidence and create hope. What would it look like to spend more time focusing on what is going well in your life? It can help you to keep going when things get difficult. It can help you to shift and notice how things are getting better and what is helping to get better.
What is energizing you: Notice what energizes you. This can also help to stimulate positive emotions, this can help to keep going and reinvigorated with the changes.
Looking for inspiration. Is there a mentor or role model that you inspire you? What about them inspires you? In what ways were they able to accomplish what they have? They may have once been where you at some point in life. Sometimes you see the “end product” but you don’t realize there is a lot going on behind the scenes that got them to where they are now. You can find inspiration from a book, article or podcast or another person.
Surround yourself with others that believe in you. When you are surrounded by people that are invested in your mental and physical well-being, they can help to hold that desire with you.
Keep going, the year has just begun.
Crystal Hamill, MC, is experienced in the areas of mindfulness and interpersonal relationships, plus many more. For more information on Crystal and her work, click here to link to her full bio page.