Stay the Course

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We’re one month into the new year. Did you start it off with good intentions to FINALLY make a change in some area of your life and make it stick? How’s it going so far? It’s easy to begin a year with lofty intentions but not always easy to put into practice the discipline needed to make it a reality.

Many times we sabotage ourselves right out of the gate, because we make a big goal out of something that may be a lifestyle change that needs baby steps rather than cold-turkey tactics. Or we don’t allow time to reconnect with ourselves to see how we’re doing, admit any struggles and celebrate all the little wins, even if no one else knows about them.

If you’re beginning to stagger off course (or you’ve already derailed) it may be helpful to write your goal down. Before you start writing steps to take to get there, write down your whys. Just jot down 3-4 reasons you (and/or your loved ones) will be better off once this change is made. They don’t need to make sense to anyone else, only you. Once you’ve given voice to your whys, now write a few steps you think will help you get there. Is it a daily habit or two? A bigger weekly step? In the beginning it’s probably important not to let your actions get too far apart. When you’re trying to establish new habits, small and consistent is a great way to build confidence in yourself and a stairway to your goal.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a big change can be made by following a straight and narrow path toward the new you. More often, the path is curvy, includes hills and valleys, and you’ll find a few hidden U-turns. Big change, lasting change is not easy, and if you’re one of the few even attempting it, be kind to yourself. Loosen your grip, ease into the curves, and trust the process.

There is no guarantee that the road will be smooth, or even that the finish line will look exactly like what you imagined when you started out. The course will become your companion, your mentor, and your mirror. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish and who you become when you stay the course.

Blessings on your journey!

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