Murrell's Inlet; SC
“Change itself is easy, its resistance to change that causes pain.” - Seneca
“Any change, even a change for the better, is accompanied by setbacks and discomforts.” - Arnold Bennett
We have all been motivated to make major changes, say at New Years or perhaps after some pain made it clear that we needed some adjustment and launched on a rigorous course of action. So often though in short order we are back right where we started – doing or not doing what has been ingrained from years of use or disuse.
How do we make lasting changes? The mental illustration of a large ship reversing direction at sea can help. There is vast momentum moving in a particular direction, and capsizing will happen if a turn-about is attempted too quickly. It must be turned bit by bit, a degree at a time. A complete turn-around is 180 degrees, and not one of them can be skipped. But soon, without being obvious and without losing momentum, the ship is heading in a completely different direction.
If we make small adjustments towards goals over a period of time each has a chance to become ingrained as we attempt further adjustments. Instead of saying we are going on a diet, how about cutting out one fatty food and not replacing it with something else? Instead of saying I am going to spend more time with my family, how about planning just one regular activity for right now that we will not miss? Making vast sweeping statements about changes that I am going to make has never served me well in life. The lasting changes have been made bit by bit, adjustment by adjustment, just today, one day at a time. Otherwise, I am soon discouraged and fully back into the behavior I am comfortable with from years of reinforcement.
Today, may I find the courage to continue changing the things I can.
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