“They always say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” – Andy Warhol
It is a new year. The messages we see and hear in the media are all about change. Our televisions bombard us with commercials selling weight loss plans and workout devices of every shape and size promising fast and dramatic weight loss with little effort.
This commercialism plays on our society’s pattern of setting New Year resolutions. Eating a healthy diet and being more active are often the top two resolutions Americans set at the start of the year. Unfortunately, they often fail for a variety of reasons.
Why do we set these resolutions year after year only to fail within one or two months? The answer is that the success of resolutions is dependent on change. Change is difficult. Change is uncomfortable. Change is frightening. Change is change. We set out with good intentions only to come to the realization that change is difficult to face.
The task we face is about making change. That applies to all resolutions. Here are some thoughts to ponder about making dramatic changes that have staying power and positive impact on our lives.
- Adopt new attitude of helping others. Your change is not solely about you. Look outward to help others change. The struggles of others may be similar to your struggles. By helping them, you benefit.
- Adopt a partner in change. Change is difficult when you go at it alone. A workout or weight loss pal lends a friendly ear. Shared experiences raises commitment and the success of change. Accountability moves you along with the laughter of good times and the tears of bad times.
- Make a list. It is difficult to own the successes and failures of change. Take an honest look at what is working and what is not working in your life. Make a list of behaviors to change and make a commitment to tackle at least one of them.
- Set good resolutions. Failure is almost exclusively about setting poor resolutions. A good resolution meets the following tests. Is it specific? Is it measurable? Is it achievable? Is it realistic? Is there it timely?
- Commit. Throw away what you know about your history of change. Too often, we commit to change for a day, a week, a month, and occasionally for several months. From this point on, committing yourself to achieving change is a top priority.
- Revisit and recommit. Change needs to be nurtured. This means that you have to revisit your progress or lack of progress on a frequent basis.
- Make it visible. Post your resolutions on your office wall, your refrigerator, or anywhere you are forced to read it daily. Out of sight is out of mind when it comes to change.
Andy Warhol was right. Change does not happen unless you make the change yourself. Others cannot change us. In 2013, you have a chance to change; change in a way that is radical and long lasting. You can do that if you reach deep enough and make change the #1 priority in your life.