I’m not a fan of ‘all or nothing’. January creates an opportunity to start new and exciting things, or to give up old ways that no longer serve us. Some of us speed into that change with no thought or plan and so it becomes a very ‘all or nothing’ mentality. Binary rules and extremes. If that works for you, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, however, does it really create the type of change you want, you maintain and enjoy putting into practice?
I prefer to ease into the year. Channelling ease and calm is my preferred way of life generally and therefore an approach for anything I do. We know that change and forming new habits takes time. And if you’re in it for the long term, what is the rush? Wouldn’t you rather give yourself time and a decent chance to succeed rather than providing pressure, urgency and (often) pain?
Creating real change and live a better life sadly doesn’t happen overnight. If you want to start / change / stop something, you need to accept that it won't be easy. There may be times when you stumble and fall, but try not to set yourself up for that fall from day one. Start your change by giving yourself as much chance to succeed as possible. If you know that you want to work towards something - make a plan and set small steps towards progression. This way you’re more likely to be able to change, but importantly, sustain that change for the long term.
If you wanted to take up running, for example, you wouldn’t start with training for a marathon. You’d research, get prepared, start with a few minutes running / walking, and build from there. And the same goes for achieving other goals too! If you want to give up drinking - is it realistic to commit to giving up all alcohol now and forever? It may be, but it also may be more realistic to start with reducing the amount you drink or saying no to mid-week drinking.
If you want to work on personal development goals or career transitions, the same applies. Give yourself a chance, and work out what it is you want to achieve, make a plan and break it down. You don't have to go to extremes to make a change or to move forward. You can achieve real change when you have a solid plan and stick to it.
You can start small and still make great progress which will stick for the long term!
Gemma Brown is a certified coach working with people to navigate successfully through transitions - be it career, relationships or life in general. Her belief is that when we confidently bring our whole selves to all areas of life, anything is possible. Transitions exist in both our personal and business life, and so often, the two fiercely overlap. Coaching with Gemma focuses on you as a whole, enabling you to identify your strengths, build confidence and to live a life with increased purpose and direction. Gemma is based in Cambridgeshire and carries out face to face coaching in the area as well as 1-2-1 coaching via Skype and Zoom. For more about Gemma, visit her 'About' page or contact her directly.