Change. In January most of us are full of ambition and high hopes for how this year will be different. This year that hope is especially poignant. None of us want to repeat 2020, that is for sure. The thing about change is that it doesn’t just happen in January. Planning for change needs to take into account all the things throughout the year that will influence your path to change. Here’s some advice on how to plan your year of change using the This Naked Mind approach.
Plan Your Year of Change
The first step to plan your year of change is to just start right where you are. Waiting for the right time to change or the perfect opportunity is usually just an excuse. Even if you can’t pull the trigger on the big change you’re going to make immediately, there’s always work you can do to get there. Whether your change is around career, relationships, your health, your diet, or your drinking, there’s work you can do to prepare for the change.
Go Slow, Be Gentle
The best advice I can give you when you plan your year of change is to go slowly and be gentle. Don’t place enormous expectations on yourself right off the bat. That is setting yourself up for failure. Be realistic instead and most importantly, through the rough starts and stops and the bumps along the way, be gentle with yourself. Compassion led change, especially self-compassion, is more effective than any other kind of change. We can only beat ourselves up into changing for a certain amount of time. Then it just stops working. So instead of using blame, shame, and guilt as motivators, choose grace and compassion.
Another factor when you plan for a year of change is that you need to experience everything while taking on this new life. That means every holiday, every season, every event, etc. All the things that are an important part of your life need to take place while you’re undergoing this transformation so that both your body and brain can adapt and adopt that you’re doing things differently now. You have to rewrite the programming and the only way to do that is to experience everything.
Need Help To Plan Your Year of Change?
If you need help to plan your year of change, especially when it comes to drinking, This Naked Mind can help. The PATH is a year-long program that literally has a framework, community, and guidance for every day of the next 365 days. Learn more!
Don’t Expect Perfection
A sure-fire way to be unsuccessful at change is to settle for nothing less than perfection. Sorry to burst your bubble, but the best way to be successful at anything is by making mistakes and learning from them. So yes, being unsuccessful is the key to success. Fall down, fail spectacularly, and just keep going because you’re learning and paving the path to success with every mistake you make.
Switch Gears if Needed
When you plan your year of change, do not make the mistake of being rigid in your plans. As you change, your plans will need to change with you. The things that were motivating you or working for you at the beginning may stop benefiting you. Or you may find other areas you need to address as emotions and behaviors manifest. Be adaptable to the need to change gears and try something else.
Planning Creates Progress
By planning your year of change you’re laying the very foundation needed to create not just change but sustainable changing. Change isn’t about starting or stopping something, it is about making something part of who you are. Taking on an entirely new lifestyle that becomes an automatic and enjoyable part of your life.