As 2010 continues, leaving the hype of the New Year behind, I’m beginning to reflect upon why we as people are so adverse to change. Even with all of these blogs, countless self help books, a plethora of case studies, most of us still find it difficult to really change. Every year we make resolutions, only to break them no more than three months later.
We trust that the spirit of the New Year will guide us towards success, only to find ourselves in the same rut we were last year”¦ and the year before that”¦ and the year before that. It’s this never ending cycle that refuses to let us go. Or in other words, we refuse to let it go.
There’s a name for this cycle. It can be commonly referred to as routine. The actions that we perform day in and day out fall under this cycle, for better or for worse. It helps us get through our daily lives, feed our families, and stay current on mortgage payments. Or it keeps us in a never-ending chain of boredom, forcing us to constantly watch TV, stay safe by living too much within our means, and not bother stick to our weight-loss program.
Why is routine so hard to break?
Simple. First, start by asking yourself how we get into routines in the first place. Most of you will answer that, well, you simply got used to it. The actions in a routine become second nature. It got comfortable. And this, my friends, is the reason.
When we get comfortable, we get lazy. Routines tell your mind and body that there’s no need to change. It is because of this that when we do something different (mostly in the form of a New Year’s resolution) we tend to drift back to our routines.
Can I have some “change”?
There’s no easy way to say this, but the only way to start changing who you are is to practice free will. You have to actively choose to change. That means back it up with perceivable action. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight, you might want to keep a diary and record how many fruits, vegetables, and junk food you’ve been eating. You’ll want to keep the fruit and veggies count high, and the junk food count fairly low. It’s a simple yet effective way to gauge your change in diet.
Change is not easy
Mind you, change is hard, especially when been in a routine for many years. But you have to find ways to make the changing process fun if you want to be successful at it. Be creative. Don’t see “being more outgoing” as a long, sweaty slog through awkward conversation. See it as a learning experience. You’re meeting new people. Get happy! 🙂 There a ton of different ways to start changing yourself, but it doesn’t start with a mere vocal commitment.
It starts with YOU.
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” – Maria Robinson