Craig Stanland is a Reinvention Architect, TEDx & Keynote Speaker, and Author of “Blank Canvas, How I Reinvented My Life After Prison.” He specializes in working with clients who’ve chased success, money, and status in their 1st half, only to find a success-sized hole in their lives. He helps them tap into their full potential and connect with their calling to create their extraordinary 2nd half with purpose, meaning, and fulfillment.
This New Year let’s not say “New Year, New Me” because change doesn’t happen like that.
Change happens by moving intentionally and incrementally forward.
It’s building one good habit after another.
It’s becoming self-aware and accepting of ourselves.
It’s giving ourselves space and expanding our worldview.
What might be better to say is, “I’m going to work continually to be disciplined this year in the areas that I’ve uncovered aren’t serving me anymore and lean into better decisions, perspectives and relationships. I won’t always get it right but I’m going to learn and keep improving.”
It’s important to start and let the changes come progressively over time.
This way, when the next year rolls around you can confidently say “New Year, New Me”
We actually don’t need to make monumental big changes. That’s a common misconception.
It’s the small changes that matter. The ones that are incremental and barely even scratch the surface. The ones that almost no one would notice if they looked at us or our work.
The ironic thing is that’s how big moments happen. From very small, microscopic adjustments over a long period of time.
That’s the only way true change can happen. It has to become part of us. We have to rewrite our DNA, in a way.
That takes time. It’s okay that it takes time. We just have to be prepared for the long haul. We may not be able to see the impact early on but we have to trust it’ll have a monumental effect on our life.
We have to believe it to be true and keep progressing one small step at a time.
Why does a Monarch butterfly do the things it does?
Here is a caterpillar, crawling around the earth and living just fine. Then, for reasons we can’t possibly fully know, it decides to create a cocoon and after a short isolation period, boom, it now has wings.
It now can fly somehow. Not only does it fly but it flies over 3000 miles to migrate in Central Mexico each year.
How does it know to do that?
What magic just happened in that cocoon?
I can’t be for certain but it’s a great metaphor for life.
We are always changing. We are always evolving our thinking. We are always moving forward.
Each day. Each minute. Each second.
Our thoughts and actions determine the person we will be tomorrow, and the next week, and the next year.
Unlike the caterpillar, we can choose our path forward.
We can create the life that we want even if today, reading this, we might not feel we can.
Those can be hard things; change, but we are capable.
We have to have the courage to take the risk of changing from a caterpillar to a butterfly.
We have to know we are capable of the hard work to create action and progress.
We all want to be doing something we are not currently doing. From big to small, it doesn’t matter what it is, all of us have things sitting on the “to do” list that for whatever reason are not taking priority.
The first question is why? Should it really be this far down the list and neglected or does it belong there because it’s not an important endeavor?
If it belongs down the list then stop worrying about it. Stop saying we “should” be doing it. It doesn’t matter. It’s not a priority and shouldn’t be bothered with. It’s one less thing we need to be worrying about and causing us additional stress.
But, If we are honest with ourselves and decide it should be given a higher ranking then we have to figure out how we manage to add it to our calendar. Whatever it might be. If it’s important to us to some degree we have to figure out how we start.
Here’s an idea. There’s a good chance whatever we are trying to accomplish won’t take a full day, week, or even months but it will take some amount of time greater than what we might have allotted tomorrow.
But that shouldn’t mean we don’t start.
Start the action of completing it tomorrow. For 10 minutes even. Set a timer for 10 minutes and think and act on that thing. Commit more if you’d like but at worst just 10 minutes. If it’s a larger-scale project it might just be the first ideation phase and for a shorter home project, it might just be searching online and actually buying the tools we need.
Every situation will be different. But we all need to start one way or another.
Forget about the next day and the one after that. Focus on tomorrow. Let’s check that box off first before we get ahead of ourselves.
From there, we can have small wins and mount a path forward.
For now, start with tomorrow. We’ll figure out the rest when we get there.
Nothing Changes If Nothing ChangesBrian Ondrako2022-08-01T19:56:08-04:00
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