I belong to a local gym and every January it is packed with people who don’t normally work out. They come because they want to improve their lives, but they quit when they see how hard it is to implement this change over time. They haven’t yet realized that, in order to add positive change into their lives, they will have to be willing to give up some other activity that is taking up the space the new activity will occupy.
To keep a New Year’s resolution we must assess our priorities and shift them so that the new behavior is supported long enough for the healthier pattern to emerge. For instance, if you want to start meditating every morning you might first look at what time you get up and then at how much free time you have to meditate. If you see that you are already rushing to get out the door and get to work on time, then a change needs to happen in your sleep pattern. The alarm can be set 30 minutes earlier so that you can have a quiet time to sit and practice. As with dieting, the rewards of meditation may not be apparent in the beginning, but with diligent daily practice, they will gradually emerge over time.
Don’t be discouraged! As the new healthy habits are being formed, you can remind yourself that you are practicing these new behaviors a day at a time rather than for a lifetime. Shifting your perspective this way can make the change less daunting and more manageable. If you have difficulty with getting to the gym one day, you can always start over the next day. All too often people just give up when they feel that they have failed in keeping their promise to themselves. They lose all hope. Instead of this ‘all or nothing’ attitude toward making positive changes, a loving compassionate approach can be taken, and the slight set back can be accepted, and in turn, a renewed sense of optimism can be found.
I believe we are here to manifest our divine potential, and that this lifetime goal is process oriented rather than product oriented. I invite you to be gentle with yourself, while at the same time challenging yourself to reach a new level or height in some area of your life. If you want to be a writer, start with 300 words a day. Break down those large goals (like writing a book) into a more manageable size so that you won’t feel overwhelmed.
Over time, practicing these daily positive changes results in living a more affirming and fulfilling life. In this way, you can manifest your potential merely by rearranging your priorities, and by practicing them a day at a time the changes will become manageable steps towards the new and improved you!