Change is Hard. Do it Anyway.

Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. Whether it’s getting a degree, starting a business, growing a marriage, or losing ten pounds, change takes effort. One thing is for sure, the easiest thing we can do is to do nothing. It takes absolutely no effort whatsoever to remain just where we are. We have that situation down pat. Here’s the interesting thing. We often WANT things to be different, but we are resistant to implementing change needed to ensure things ARE different.

Most of us are afraid of change. It’s not that we wouldn’t like for some things to be different. We’d just like for them to be different without any effort on our part, and with every assurance that we will be safe and suffer no ill effects from said change. Sadly, that’s not the way we get to different. Getting to different involves a lot of venture. We have to venture out of our comfort zones and try. Every venture won’t lead us to the change we hope for, but no venture at all will lead us nowhere at all.

I’d like to lose about five pounds. Okay. Ten. As I type this, I have just sucked down a twenty ounce bottle of Mountain Dew. I had a donut from Dunkin Donuts for breakfast. And I just ate three mini Reese’s cups. Chances are, if I don’t make some changes to my diet, I’m not going to lose the weight I want to lose. In fact, I’m going to gain more. I have told myself I am going to make the change in January. I literally plan on eating my way into the New Year. But at least I have a plan for change. Who wants to start a diet in the midst of the holiday season?

Seriously, though, I know that unless I stop eating and drinking unhealthy things and start adding exercise back into my routine, I am likely not going to see the change to my waistline I hope to see. Today, sweet sugary goodness matters more to me than my waistline, and that is nothing more than a head game. But as I said, I have a plan.

Sometimes having a plan is the best first step toward making a needed change. First wrapping our minds around change helps a lot. We can imagine what it might look like for our situation to be different. Currently, I am imagining what it would be like for my pants to fit.

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My husband wishes that I would get out of bed as soon as my alarm goes off every morning… but my body and (mostly) my mind need a minute or fifteen to get used to the idea. I PLAN to get up… soon. After I’ve thought about it a little while. In time, and with a moan, my will pushes my feet to the floor, and I sit up. Change can be like this. It can be painful. It often requires a fair amount of convincing. The initial resistance can be tough, but change can start with just the idea of it. Sadly though, that’s where many of us get stuck. We like the idea of change, but our feet never quite hit the floor.

For real change to happen, we have to let go of old thought patterns. This is harder than we might think. Scientists know that thought patterns are actually hardwired into our brains. But here’s the good news, we can fix those. Just because we have always thought one way, doesn’t mean we can’t learn to think or act in another way. We just have to begin to think different-ly.

I can remember being terrified of the monkey bars on the playground at my elementary school. (I realize there have been precious few segues in this piece, but try to stay with me.) There were two ways of getting across. You either had to climb up on the very top and climb over, or you reached for the first rung and swung across, bar after terrifying bar. I was scared either way. Both options meant I had to let go of what I had so that I could grab hold of what came next. That’s kind of how change is. We can’t hold on too tightly to what we have and be able to grab hold of what’s next. We have to let go. What we have is familiar, comfortable in our grasp. But what if the next rung will bring us better or amazing?

I think you know the change you need to make. I know the change I need to make, and there’s no time like the present to start.

Change is hard.

Do it anyway.

So what do you think?

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