Welcome to 2020! It’s a new year and a new decade.
There’s a saying: New year, new you. If it’s possible to make a “new” you in one year, imagine what’s possible over the next decade!
In order to make changes, you need to be very clear on 3 things:
- exactly what you want to change
- why it’s important for you to make that change now
- your vision of what things will be like in the future
Most people can clearly articulate what they don’t like in their life — what they want to change. You may dislike your current job, relationship, or something about your body. You can list all the things that are wrong and why those things irk you. This is the easy part because it’s easy to complain. It seems that people can enjoy coming together to commiserate about all that’s wrong with their lives and the world.
Unless you want to remain comfortably uncomfortable by continuing to live with the things you don’t like, you need to make the choice to make a change. But change isn’t easy. It seems to be harder to change than it is to remain comfortably uncomfortable — until you can no longer bear the current level of discomfort. You decide that it’s time for a change — now.
Now what? You know you want to change, but what’s the first step? In what direction will you head? What’s your goal? This is where you get very clear on where you’re headed and what your future will be like. This is the part that most people have a difficult time with. It’s easy to know what you don’t want. It’s harder to get clear about what you do want.
Define Your Vision
Change is easier when you have a clear vision of where you’re going and why you want to be there.
At this point in the year, if you bothered to make New Year’s resolutions, you’ve probably given up on them. Or maybe you’ll keep trying for a few more weeks until you’ve run out of motivation and everything has just become too hard. It’s easy to drift back into old habits.
What does it take to make lasting change? How can you end the frustrating cycle of setting goals and never achieving them?
The big answer is: you have to change, from the inside out. The same old you will continue to practice the same old habits because you have the same thoughts and beliefs that keep telling you to do the same old thing.
When you change, your world changes.
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There’s a saying in the world of mindfulness: “Wherever you go, there you are.” This means that wherever you go — to a new job, relationship, country, whatever — it’s still the same you that’s going there. You can change your environment, but if you don’t change yourself, you’ll reproduce all the same issues in the new place.
In order to change yourself, you need to identify what you want to change. When you want things outside of you to change, it’s easy to point fingers. When it’s you that needs to change, pinpointing the object of change is more difficult.
To help in that area, notice what bothers you. Then think of the kind of person who either wouldn’t be bothered by that thing or would never end up in a situation where they would have to deal with those issues.
Let’s say that you want to avoid dead-end jobs, emotionally abusive relationships, or certain health issues. Ask yourself what kind of person would never end up in those jobs or relationships or would never have those health issues.
What kinds of beliefs does that person hold about themselves? What kinds of thoughts cycle through the head of a person like that? When faced with the possibility of entering into the job, relationship, or health issue that you want to avoid, what would they believe, think and do?
Your Values Hold the Key
In order for you to change yourself, you have to change your beliefs, thoughts, and actions and become that other person. In order to do that, you need to get very clear about your core values. If you’re happy, it’s generally because you’re living in accordance with your values. If you’re not happy, you’re living in discord with your values.
Values are part of your core, something that doesn’t change over time. They are the things that are the most important to you. They aren’t physical things like people. They are qualities like courage, integrity, and creativity. If you’re having a hard time identifying your core values, think of the people, actions and other aspects of your life that are most important to you. Then ask, “What does that person, action, or thing get me? What quality do they bring out in me?” You know you’ve reached your core value when it no longer makes sense to ask, “What does that get me?”
Once you’ve identified your top 3 core values, examine your life. Write out everything you do each day, who you spend time with, how you spend your money, where you live and anything else you can think of. How does it support your values? How does it run counter to those values?
Go through everything you wrote and cross out what doesn’t support your values and what you wouldn’t want in your future life. Drop the guilt and obligations and focus on what makes you happy.
By making intentional choices in alignment with your values, you’ll create one amazing life. This is how you create a new you who builds the life you want with intention, the life where you’re happy.
The Power of Baby Steps
These kinds of core changes don’t happen overnight. It takes time, sometimes years. Big, lasting changes happen in baby steps taken day after day. Some days will be better than others. Some days you’ll take a step or two backward. The important things are to keep moving forward no matter what and to feel grateful for the changes you’ve made along the way. At some point, you’ll look back at how far you’ve come.
If you want 2030 to be very different than 2020, now is the time to begin. Get clear on your values and ensure that every belief, thought, choice, and action you take is in alignment with those values. Your life will never be the same.
Is meeting someone new part of your plan for the next decade? If so, check out our list of the best dating sites and apps and start your dating journey, today!