With each year, we are growing; maturing; aging. It's not hard to hear the rah-rah tones of a motivational speaker and think to yourself, I really should GO FOR IT!!
New Year's day is the perfect day to tell yourself, I'm really going to go for it this time.
"This time" - as if you've prepared for a journey. It's more likely you haven't.
If you plan a trip abroad, you'll buy tickets, possibly research travel insurance, buy appropriate clothes for easy care and maintenance while giving up some of the comfort of your at-home fibers. You might wear easy-to-wash nylons instead of heavier cottons while traveling. Some of the adventure clothing is even more appropriate for predominantly outdoor activities.
Makes sense. You'll be moving about your destination soaking up the novelty of a new place.
But, in this scenario, before you achieve your goal of a new experience, a lot of planning is involved.
A New You - also requires a degree of planning and preparation.
Your daily habits and routines need to be considered heavily. Results aren't going to happen immediately and maybe you don't have the patience and experience required to endure several months of change while you and your brain adapt to the new idea.
Maybe the envisaged New You simply isn't a good idea.
Maybe you think you're going to jog at least a mile every day - "no matter what." You want to be a runner and runners run. It's that simple. And, you add on the idea that you need to do it every day to make it really stick and show your commitment to the world.
But, you get injured. At first, it's a little pain. You tell yourself you'll just run through it. The physics of it, however, are obvious to anybody with experience. Continuing to apply stress and force to an already weakened or broken structure is not the correct approach.
Your streak ends. Unless you adapt, the New You is quickly vanishing the way steam from your coffee is absorbed into air without comment. You notice it's there, then it's not.
A New You doesn't need to appear on the scene like a snow fall. The landscape of your life doesn't need to transform overnight.
How, then, will you proceed with the New You?
What analogy might you use to describe your process?
Are you planting a seed of new activity and decisions that will be gardened and nurtured until you can harvest results later in the year. Will you be patient through many weeks of work with no visible results to attach your thoughts and requirements of success to?
Or, will you be like Rocky Balboa. You work hard. You fight. You struggle. You fail. You lose. You get injured. You keep coming back; taking punches; getting the change pounded into you like a blacksmith hammers the change into a piece of steel?
Or, might you just fail once, and give up. You'll start running today in your new shoes. You'll work up that first painful, itchy, mind-changing sweat - only to realize a week in that you don't really want to be a runner?
There are lots of ways to change.
Sometimes a good way to change is to stop trying to change.
What if you just meet reality outside and enjoy it. The change you seek isn't in the amount of weight you can heave on your shoulders or the distance you can cover in eight minutes of running. What if you changed the lens through which you judge your life? What if the changes you make are internal - in the mind and body, spirit and soul? What if reframing your relationship to reality gets you most of the way?
I'm not suggesting a "better" approach. I'm bringing it up as a possibility.
Maybe a working solution is found with a proper amount of new activity and the accompanying adaption of your thoughts. Maybe you can add and subtract activities from your day and substances from your diet. Meanwhile, you can put attention and imagination to your thoughts like a potter places her hands on a lump of rotating clay. You'll sense the materials involved and use muscle and patience. The feedback will be slow and persistent and your decisions about how to proceed will work the raw materials of your daily life into submission.
Take the time you need. Rework it when necessary. This is your life. It's up to you to do the work of shaping it until you get something you can live with.