And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful
than the risk it took to blossom.
I love this quote by diarist Anais Nin. I love it because it’s so true. There comes a time in each of our lives when we know that we need to make a significant change. The prospect of change may feel risky, even frightening. Yet, we also know that this particular change must happen—now—because it is just too painful to remain as we are.
How can we motivate and inspire ourselves to make a lasting change? We begin by getting in touch with our deepest desire: What it is that we really, really want for ourselves. Any change to which we aspire will be successful only if it is sourced in heartfelt desire. Our passion is the fuel with which we propels this journey into change, no matter what that leg of the journey might be: enhancing our appearance, finding a new job, creating a loving relationship, or saving enough money to buy a house. The principle is the same.
Allow me to suggest three simple strategies to inspire and guide you on the road to personal change.
Give Yourself a Morning Infusion
The activities in which you engage the first thing in the morning will determine the tone of your day. Rise 15-minutes early to infuse your body, mind, and spirit with “good stuff.” Choose activities that enliven you, that create a positive mindset.
If you are a slow starter in the morning, you might prefer to sit quietly, admire the beauty outside your window, take a reflective walk in nature, read something inspirational, or journal. Leave the television off and listen to music, instead. If you are a more active type, engaging in exercise or taking a brisk walk, indoors or out, may be just what is needed to charge your battery. Either way, observe how these activities either energize you or create lethargy, then try to choose the former.
Choose the Company You Keep
The changes we wish to make can be buoyed or dashed by the sentiments of those around us. Simply put, it’s wise to spend time with those who support your desire for change and avoid those who may negate your cause. Don’t allow “Dream Stealers” to deflate your high hopes or dampen your enthusiasm.
Perhaps your buddy might agree to make this change right along with you. There is tremendous power in having someone (or a group) join in your cause. This is why Twelve Step groups are formed and why they work so well. There is success in numbers. They know that inspiration and energy flow when “two or more are gathered.”
Make An Honest Assessment
At the end of your day, take time for reflection. Sit quietly and look back at how things went for you today. Did you stay true to your goal? Did your passion stay high? Did you make positive choices for yourself? Record your successes in a journal. If there weren’t any successes, that’s alright. Jot those down as well. Writing down our observations makes our choices “real,” their results more workable.
This exercise is important because it holds each of us accountable. We must begin to take responsibility for the choices we make. We admit how we may have let ourselves down; we pat ourselves on the back if we kept our spirits high. No matter what happened, we tell the truth about what we did and, if necessary, make a promise to start over tomorrow. This life principle, “one day at a time,” is the motto of many self-help groups. Step-by-step, one moment at a time, is how change happens, especially significant change. Truly, we can start over and begin again. It simply takes permission from our persistent self to do so.
Remember, it takes at least twenty-one days for a new habit to take hold; ninety days for a habit to become an important part of our lifestyle. In the words of the Chinese sage, Confucius, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” The first step is, indeed, the most important. Enhanced with daily infusions of inspiration, the support of loving companions, and a well-honed ability to be honest and true, we will move slowly, but steadily, in the direction of our dreams.
May the New Year bring you all that your heart desires ...
By the way, what does your heart desire this year? I'm eager to hear.
Love and Blessings,