I like change. Sometimes change for change sake, because it refreshes and energizes. Sometimes change to achieve some more pointed result or goal.
January and the New Year bring us to questions about the kind of changes we’d like to make to better our lives, health, relationships, and etc. We make resolutions. When we resolve to change, we become more aware of our current activities. If we don’t, then we remain guided by our programmed habits and the change we seek eludes us. But how can we keep the awareness going throughout the year and be successful in our resolution?
It seems our awareness of what we do today, informs us about what we can expect tomorrow. If you are directionless and drifting through the day today, you’ll likely be the same tomorrow. However, resolve to lose weight and you become aware of the types and quantity of food you eat and how much exercise you are getting. Resolve to start a hobby, and you become aware of how you spend your time and when you’ll make time for it. Setting the goal, makes you aware of how your current activity impacts your future. Will doing the activity you are considering lead you to that new place, the change, you are seeking?
For example, perhaps you’re at work and intend to be on vacation the following week. You find yourself saying, “If I try to do all these things this week, I’ll never be done in time.” You want to be responsible enough on the job this week that your necessary work is completed so you’ll be free to take your vacation. With the goal in mind, you find yourself prioritizing the tasks and deciding which will need to be done and those that could wait until you return. You just became aware of which activities will get you to your goal. From here on out, you’ve changed your list of activities for the week to those that will move you towards the goal. Many of you have done this just recently as you prepared to leave town to celebrate the holidays with family and friends. Knowing you would be out of the office during the holiday, you likely prioritized your tasks and accomplished the most critical ones.
All activity is not progress or production. Action that moves you somewhere towards your desired goal is best. Now, the action could simply be to decide to reflect for a while on your next move. That ‘s ok too, if it moves you forward. You’ve no doubt heard the phrase, “Don’t just do something, stand there!” which is a reversal of “Don’t just stand there, do something!” Each may have its place in certain situations. Truth is, we are all a bit different.
So be aware of what your current situation requires. Are you busy with activities so you can be busy? Are you busy yet not productive? Are you doing activities because it “feels” like you are making progress? Are your activities leading you to the change you seek? Pay attention to your day and what you are doing. Maybe a better way is to consider why you are doing the activity. Let’s face it, we tend to become distracted. This year won’t be any different. But If you can pause and ask yourself why you are doing some task, you’ll be aware, and likely to correct your action and bring your why into focus. This focus will help you maintain the energy you had to attempt changes initially. The why is the goal you set; the deadline; the change you want by a certain date.
Resolve to be aware of why you are doing what you are doing. When you find you are involved in activities that are NOT moving you in the direction you want to go, stop doing those activities. This approach will help keep you focused on the important steps to your goal. Your change awaits you!