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The Thing About Change

Updated: Mar 6, 2021

When it comes to change, I wonder why I wait until "I have to" to take steps towards a better me? I was thinking about how I usually come to some sort of crossroads before the change needs to happen (although, I freely admit that I saw the intersection coming miles back). I don't think that I am the only one who does this though, so my question is when the signs are there, why do we wait?

I am not sure I have the definitive answer to this, but I can speculate on the reasons concerning myself. First, though, I want to talk about change itself. It is not easy, especially if the difference is to correct a lifelong habit, a new way of thinking, or more than not (for me), adding a healthy lifestyle change. I read this book called Atomic Habits by James Clear. It is a fantastic book that talks about making small changes and then "habit stacking" to add to the small changes to change permanently. It sounds so simple, but yet, collectively, it's not. It's not that it's unattainable because I genuinely believe that we can all change, but it takes a lot of intentional work and trial and error to do it. It takes a real commitment to making a permanent change.

This first step towards change is where I get held-up. I know I will need to change; the writing is on the wall (so to speak). I see it coming, but I am afraid that if I take the step, I might not make the perfect transition or a permanent change. Sometimes I even wonder what people will think of me if I fail? I don't want to be judged by others. No one does, though. It seems overwhelming, and I don't want to think about it; I especially don't want to fail, so I procrastinate, knowing my day of confronting it is coming.

The next step, I am at the junction. There is a force behind me, urging me to take action, to make the change. It's do or die time (not really, but it sounds dramatic). I have a choice; I can change or stay the same. It's up to me. What it truly comes down to is, I'm the only one who can make the change. No one can do it for me. It's the same for everyone. It's a hard truth but 100% real. With force behind me and the reality in front of me, I commit to the fact that I am not happy on my current path and prepare to make the change.

Finally, I am in; I make a shift. Sometimes it takes small habits on small habits to make the change, and other times, I jump in with two feet. Either way, the most challenging part of the process is that I am human, and I don't always follow the plan, even though I want to. At this point, I have to remind myself of the responsibility and dedication to achieving my change goal. I have tried, and I have failed. I have failed and failed and failed. Am I a failure for not being perfect? No. Am I a failure for trying? No. Can I continue towards my goal? Yes. Will I reach it? Yes, if I continue. Do I learn each time I fail? Yes. Does it make me stronger to overcome a failure and keep going? Yes. Doesn't this sound like something you would tell a friend? Yea, me too, and it's so true.

Here I am on this journey towards change, learning, reevaluating, recommitting, and overcoming fear and failure to succeed. It's a process, and depending on the difference, it can be quick or lifelong. What I have realized is that it doesn't matter if I wait. What matters is that I begin. What matters is that I am taking the steps one way or another. I am in control of my future, where I want to be, who I want to be and how I want to get there.

What goals am I talking about making? Any that make you feel good about yourself, promote self-love, and remind you that you are worthy of a life you are proud of living. We also need to give ourselves grace throughout the process. We are beautifully human. If you are not happy where you are at, know that you are not stuck. We can restart, begin, begin-again, change course, set new goals, or re-adjust old ones. Take hold of your power; you are so much stronger than you think.

So, like all of us, I am choosing to begin again. For me, I am restarting a health change journey. It's one I have taken before, a road I have been on many times. The road is so familiar yet, so challenging to navigate. I am up for the challenge because I know it leads to me feeling like my best self. My question for you is, what change do you need to make to feel like your best you? Are you at a crossroads? Or are you preparing before you get there? Either way, you deserve to be happy. I believe in you. If you need a sign, this is it.

Sending Positive Vibes,

Lisa @theresilientadvocate

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