New Year, New Beginnings

As we approach the end of the first month in 2019, it can be a good time to stop and take a look at how we’ve been doing with the commitments we made for the new year. How many of us entered 2019 ready for a change? Did we set out with the intention to drink more water, read more books, or practice greater self-compassion? Is the enthusiasm of making resolutions for how 2019 is going to be different starting to wear off?

When it comes to new beginnings, it’s important to make sure we are setting ourselves up for success. Change is rarely, if ever, easy. A sense of readiness and excitement for change can also be coupled with feelings like fear and ambivalence as well as both anticipated and unanticipated challenges and barriers. When it comes to make and maintaining change, here are some important idea to remember:

  1. Be specific, and write it down! When we set goals, the more specific we can be with them, the better change for success we have. It’s not just about doing “more” or “less” or something. It’s about how often, what specific days and times, for how long. Also, something magical can happen when we write things down. Visually seeing our commitments can make us far more likely to keep them.

  2. Tell someone! Much like when we write things down, when we include someone in our journey for change, we get accountability and support. Change can be hard, and we certainly don’t have to do it alone. 

  3. Remember grace for yourself! Change doesn’t necessarily have to be all or nothing. If you miss your goal one day, all progress isn’t lost. Tomorrow is a new day and another opportunity to try. Take any time we miss our goal as a chance to look at what is and isn’t working in our plans. What got in our way? And what can we do about that tomorrow?

  4. Change can start at any time! We don’t have to wait for a new year to set new commitments for ourselves. Each moment we have is a chance to do something different, to try and change something that isn’t working for us anymore. Just because something has been a part of our past or a pattern we’ve felt tied to doesn’t mean it has to be that way forever. Change starts with a single first step in a new direction. That first step can be scary and uncomfortable, but it can also be freeing and exciting.

What new commitments are you making, and what are you doing to keep to those commitments?