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It’s that hilarious time of year that people seem to believe brings a magical moment of change when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve. Spoiler alert! There is no magic – unless you count the enhanced motivation to reflect on who you are and what you want out of life. That is pretty special.
So what’s on your list for 2023? And what is driving that desire for change? What will keep you motivated in working towards that goal?
Transformation can come in a variety of forms. It could be a physical transformation, such as getting braces (new year, new insurance coverage! Ha-ha!) and a change of hairstyle, but it could even be something more personal. Change is a fact of life and should even be welcomed as an aspect of personal growth. Here are some ways to welcome transformative change in 2023.
Change your thoughts and beliefs
Changing your thoughts and beliefs is a powerful process that can change your life. It requires empathy and a desire to understand perspectives that may not be your own. Opening your heart and mind can help you learn more about the world and people around you… and also more about yourself.
I am plagued by negative self-talk. I always have been. I was listening to a speaker this week describe this type of personality trait and was surprised to hear that not everyone has a brain that is hard wired to focus on the negative. She said that once you realize that your negative thoughts are not truly who you are and that you are simply an observer of this internal dialogue, you can begin to embrace the positive traits that make you YOU. This is something that I am going to dig into a little deeper starting now. No reason to wait until the new year.
A little bit of thought can help you to change your mindset and transform yourself into a happier, more successful person.
Focus on short-term wins
Short-term, achievable goals are necessary for the momentum of a change initiative. They keep you from becoming discouraged along the your journey. To be effective, short-term wins must be relevant to your ultimate goal. Using a short-term win strategy can increase motivation and the odds that the change effort will succeed.
For me, this has been 30-day challenges. I can always set a goal and sustain my focus for 30 days. My short-term goals have included closing all of the rings on my Apple Watch for 30 days, practicing yoga daily for a month, and my favorite… Whole 30 (not an affiliate link, just an avid participant). I am definitely motivated by these challenges and they propel me towards an always-evolving, healthier lifestyle.
One thing that often holds people back is fear. Embracing fear when giving yourself a transformation is a vital part of living a healthy and happy life. Why not try being curious about your fears? This will help you understand why they are affecting you and how to change them.
I mentioned the speaker that I listened to earlier this week… she also addressed fear. It is a mechanism designed to protect us. There are certainly times to heed its warning, but not always! Does fear keep you from trying new foods (if you’re worried you won’t like them, the answer is yes)? Does fear keep you from participating in group activities (hello, social anxiety!)? Our brain triggers a fear response – it is up to us to decide to recognize and address it, rather than allowing it to control our experiences.
I traveled a lot by myself in 2022. This came from directly addressing the fear that was keeping me at home. Do you know what happened? I had some downright incredible experiences. And that voice telling me that I couldn’t go alone has become a distant whisper.
What fears will you overcome in 2023?
Create a plan
Creating a plan for how you will achieve your personal goals is an effective way to increase your chances of success. It can help you break a big challenge down into smaller steps (remember short-term goals!), and it can also increase your motivation. It’s important to create a plan that can evolve with your circumstances. A good way to start creating your plan is to identify something you are interested in and want to work towards. Overall, it’s so important to have goals if you want to make a transformation in yourself.
Embrace the wild, raw emotions that live inside you, and you will be rewarded with an unmatched sense of euphoria. If you are willing to listen, your intuition will speak volumes.
When my head tells me that I shouldn’t have a certain emotional response, my husband always reminds me that my feelings are valid. It’s hard to give yourself permission to feel what you feel. It helps to have someone to talk to. When we recognize that our feelings are valid, we gain confidence in who we are as individuals.
Become the person you want to be
It is important to acknowledge that YOU ARE ENOUGH. You are beautifully and wonderfully made. However, there is nothing wrong with wanting to address what we perceive as shortcomings or unhealthy behaviors to become more vibrant and healthier versions of ourselves. Change should come from personal motivation, never pressure from others (unless your doctor has given you other orders, of course).
Personal transformation involves an intentional series of steps requiring you to plan, take action, and prove it with small victories. Do you want to grow your friend group? Do you want to chase that dream of learning a new skill? Do you want to update your style and have a better wardrobe? Do you want increase your physical endurance so you can run a 5K?
Share your goals and plan of action in the comments below. I’d love to hear all about it.