Change is an inevitable part of life. Change is such a diverse circumstance. It can be instant or gradual. It can be for better or for worse. It can be a dramatic difference or barely even noticeable. Sometimes we love it; other times, we hate it.
While change may be inevitable and out of our control, there are also times when we choose to change. (hopefully for the better). Many of us want to revolutionise ourselves and become better versions of who we are now.
We might strive to become financially independent, learn new skills or cultivate our talents. Knowing what we need to do to make things possible and create effective change is important. When you think about it, there are only four ways for us to cultivate the change we’re looking for.
Venturing into a new territory is both daunting and exciting. But, doing something new can bring the needed change in your life. Doing something new requires the most creativity or innovation since it is completely unfamiliar. But, you might ask, “What new things should I try?”
It can either be as simple or complicated as you decide to make. But I don’t think there’s any definitive or ‘right’ answer; it’s all situational.
Let’s say our friend Bob wants to be more productive. He wants to get more work done in his day and achieve more with higher efficiency. He could start creating a to-do list in the morning, waking up at 6am. He could even limit how much time he spends on tasks or optimise his working environment.
My favourite part of starting something new is that you can make it yours right from the get-go. You have the space to be creative with it and adapt it for you. Make it fun. Make it special. Make it unique. Get creative with it. Do a bit of a Google search or ask around to try what you haven’t tried before. You might not keep it. It may not remain as part of your everyday life. But at least you tried, explored it, and are better for it.
You need to explore and research to find that something ‘new’. If you don’t start doing something new, not only do you limit your growth. But you deny yourself living life to the fullest. There’s so much more besides what you already know, do or think.
This is the complete opposite of the first one on the list.
There’s likely something you need to drop to obtain the change you want and achieve your goals. This one can be the most difficult thing to do for many of us. We may need to give up something that has become a habit or something we depend on.
The whole idea behind stopping something altogether is that that ‘something’ hinders your growth or attainment of your goal. When you completely put something to an end, it should be because it directly conflicts with your focus and mission.
Bob now wants to focus on being healthier instead of being more productive. He could start working out for the first time or start eating veggie meals once a week. But similarly, Bob can stop smoking or stop drinking more coke than water.
While, in theory, it would make life easier because you have to do less, it can be a lot more challenging. Because, of course, you can’t just snap your fingers, and you don’t smoke anymore.
The idea is that our old habits are replaced by new, healthier ones. Since the new practice has become a new habit, it will become easier and more natural. (So technically, I guess you’re stopping and starting at the same time).
Consider this one as the best friend to the first. Rather than doing something new, we can just do more of something we already do. The name of the game is frequency and consistency.
When wanting to evoke change in your life, often, it may be a matter of balance. (There’s a reason why ‘balance’ finds its way into many of my blog posts). We may be doing something good for ourselves, but we may not be doing it enough to really reap the benefits.
For example, I’d like to believe that you, reading this right now, eat fruit and veg at least occasionally. Once in a while, you might eat an apple, indulge in a pack of grapes or have avocado on toast. If that’s the case, GREAT! What’s the next logical step to being healthier? Just do it more! Easy right?
If we all did a bit of digging and thinking, we’d find some stuff we’re proud of and want to do more of. I, for example, found that I needed to see my friends more often. We were meeting up and going out, but not nearly as much as we wanted to. The solution wasn’t to do anything new, nor was it to stop something altogether. All we had to do was just see each other more.
If there are things that we need to do more of, there are things that we need to do less of. Not everything is inherently good or bad. Some should have a limit on how often we do them. They only become intrinsically bad when you go beyond the ‘allowed amount’ limit.
Let’s be honest. We all have our weaknesses. We all have that secret we love to indulge in. Whether it be a Twix bar, the UberEats takeaway when we can’t be bothered to cook, or just to binge-watch Breaking Bad. As I said, none of those things is bad in and of themselves. It’s only bad when you have Twix for breakfast, Skittles for lunch and Haribos for dinner.
Playing an online game can be a good way to relax the mind. But, it becomes a nuisance when you spend more time playing games than bonding with your family or causing delays in your work.
Remember, it all comes back to balance. There’s a time and place for everything. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:
You can cut down your treats and not completely eliminate them in your life. You don’t have to cut out that indulgence altogether, but why not do it less? Why not implement a rule where you have to earn it, for example?
At least that way, you can make it into a game and develop discipline. The best part is, when you do have that indulgence, I promise it will be 10x better…
Take some time to think about what change you want to make in your life or the goal you want to achieve. It might be revising for exams, learning a new instrument or developing your communication skills. Whatever it is, make sure you care about it and want to achieve it. Next, go back through this list, and figure out which of the 4 you need to implement. It could be one, a couple or maybe a combination of all. But just figure it out.
You need to have the discipline and patience to follow your chosen method without fail. And then, at least, you can help Bob become healthier and more productive…