This week we ring in the New Year, and declare, “Out with the old!” and, “In with the new!” The New Year makes people welcome change. We make resolutions defining what will better about our lives in the coming year. We vow to improve. Those resolutions are supposed to help us stick with the changes we want to make because change is hard.
In truth, many of us won’t follow through on the changes we resolve to make. Our new will simply be a repeat of the old, not a beginning for anything truly new. People get uncomfortable when things change, especially if we venture into unfamiliar territory. Change is a common trigger for fear, worry, anxiety, and ultimately distress. We imagine, like a horror movie in our minds, the terror that awaits us in the unknown. But change doesn’t have to be scary.
5 Ways to Welcome the Change You Want in 2015
Stop Focusing on the Fear
Rather than keeping your attention on how scared you’re feeling, refocus your mind on what you want to be different in 2015 and why. Planning to start a new business, but afraid it could create too much stress? Ask yourself why the new business is inspiring. Do you want to change an unhealthy relationship in the coming year? Focus on why the change is important instead of how hard it’s going to be.
Write It Down
Writing down your plan for change can help you organize your thoughts and gain courage. Spell out in detail what changes you’re planning to make. Problem solve what’s unrealistic. Were you planning to wake up early every day to start a workout program, but can’t coax yourself out of bed at the regular time now? Maybe your goal will be achieved more effectively if your workout schedule reflects your lifestyle.
Tell Friends and Family
If you keep your change-plan a secret, no one will know if you let fear sink your ship before it sets sail. Talk up your dreams and goals. Let people know if you plan to save more money in 2015, or if you want to take a cooking class, or if you want to write poetry and submit it to a magazine contest. Your loved ones will support you and help you move forward.
Create an Accountability Plan
If you’re serious about making a big change, you’ll probably need to answer to someone. Maybe you have a friend who shares your goal for 2015. Or, maybe your spouse has a goal of his or her own. Pair up and decide how you’ll monitor your progress and keep each other accountable. If you don’t have a change-buddy, consider making a schedule and try to keep yourself on track as you move toward your goals.
Take Baby Steps
Deciding to change is the first step, but have you broken your change down into manageable steps? Big, overarching goals can feel too daunting. Planning to become an expert tennis player this year? First, perhaps, schedule some time with a pro. Fitness goal? Maybe find a personal trainer. Whatever your goal, you’ll be more likely to achieve it if you start with a simple tasks and work through a series of baby steps.