So have those resolutions worn off yet? Yes? Good. Resolutions may be fun, but they’re also a waste of time. They don’t stick, in my opinion, and they’re only a temporary solution—a band aid that lulls us into a false sense of security.
No, we are bigger than resolutions. We are machines of change. We just seem to forget that most days.
Change is scary. Change is time-consuming. Change is expensive.
Not the change I’m talking about.
You’ve got to exercise that “change” muscle with low weights first, then add more over time. It’s the small changes that matter. And I’m not even talking about changes related to changing your career. This is the real first step, then you can get to the next one. No, I’m starting simple.
Instead of going from zero visits to the gym to five a week, try this on for size. Change your opinion about something. That’s it. A simple change of the mind. Here’s why. You can’t change things outside of your control. You can’t control the world. It’s a simple rule of science and of life. So if you can’t change anything outside of yourself, then why not focus your energies on what you can control—you.
You’re only in charge of yourself. And you exist inside your mind, whether you like it or not. So it’s time to take it back.
So what’s going on in there anyways?
Our thoughts are built up over time, sometimes in a good foundation way, but sometimes in a “gunk in the gears” sort of way. It takes a conscious effort to gain back control and clean house, so to say. Nothing should last forever, including emotions or opinions.
When we complain or perpetuate negative opinions, we get complacent. We’re comfortable when we have opinions, and that can create stagnation.
Maybe you like some of your opinions. Of course you do! But let’s be honest, we could use the audit every now and then.
For example, I’ve been working with a client—let’s call him Rick—who was hesitant to network because he didn’t want to come across as desperate and needy. He’d always been on the other side of the table—the person who others tried to network with because of his high-profile role at a desirable company. Rick hated the thought that they would think of him as a desperate job seeker. He couldn’t ignore his network; he knew, rightly so, that he needed them to land his next role. So what was the small change that worked for him? Approaching his network with the primary focus to find out what was happening with them. He made it about them, not him. It was a change in perspective.
Why small instead of big? Why internal and not external?
While sometimes eating a toad and jumping into a big change is the way to go, it’s not always the best option. Actually, most of the times it’s just not plausible. Change happens at small, gradual levels. Just like you do light stretches before a run or workout, you should “stretch” that change muscle.
There is no quick fix either. Nothing small will immediately impact your life in a big way. It’s a journey full of little steps.
What does this look like?
You can start as silly or serious as you want! Have you always disliked kale since you were a kid? Well, when was the last time you tried it? Say to yourself, “I like kale. I like how healthy and nutritious it is. I like giving my body good nutrients.” Then go find a kale recipe you can get behind (I like garlic, salt, and parmesan) and give it another go. But keep that mindset change in the front of your thoughts.
It’s almost like “fake it til you make it,” but instead of “fake it,” think of it as “changing the story.” Go into the changing room and try on a new opinion, see how it looks and feels. You don’t have to keep it per se, but the act of giving a real try is the important step.
Don’t stop at food. It could be an opinion about a product. A political issue. A certain food. A color. Or a perspective, like Rick. This may not be life-changing, but it strengthens your “change muscle” and lets your subconscious know that you’re serious about change.
And that’s where it gets interesting!