It was December 2020 last year and I distinctly recall the voices of hope expressed collectively across the globe that 2021 would be different from 2020. Let’s face it, 2020 may go down as the worse year of the decade, if not the century!
And in the same breath, we voiced the hope for the new year. How did we think that a day would make a difference? That we’d wake up on January 1, and suddenly things would be different.
That we would eradicate the pandemic and that with Donald Trump gone, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris would make things, right? Much as I recall feeling some degree of renewed faith in a better world with the new leadership, we all know that things don’t change overnight.
December 2021 is almost upon us. Covid 19 is still with us. We have had three different variants of covid. And masks are still required in most public places. We have started to normalize this pandemic and all that came with it — after all, life does go on.
What have you normalized?
On an individual note, why is it so hard to change? What have you normalized? It is not about New Year’s resolutions since we know how ineffective those are.
If you are reading this, you have lived through many New Year’s Eve’s. With great intentions that things will change — we’ll save more, eat healthily, exercise regularly, invest in our dreams, spend quality time with our family, and improve the quality of our lives.
How are you doing? In what ways have you improved the overall quality of your life, your finances, and your relationships? Has anything changed at all?
How much have things changed over the past five years?
And why not? Are you any closer to completing that novel you started to write five years ago? Is your weight where you had hoped it would be three years ago? Are your significant relationships giving you the intimacy you desired two years ago when you both first got together? Are you settling? Have you started saving money towards your goals?
And, what about the promise to yourself to not sweat the small stuff? Or the promise to be more mindful? To be present. To savor life. To be kinder to those around you. And what about the pursuit for more joy?
Do the things that triggered you ten years ago still trigger you today?
So much has changed yet so much remains the same.
When you do a look back on your life, does it look like much has changed yet so much still remains the same? Travel has certainly changed. More sanitization for one. Yet some things remain the same — people are still people — they can get frustrated, impatient, and rude.
How to make long-lasting change.
Nothing changes if nothing changes! Talking about change is not change — but it is one step towards change. So, how do we make long-lasting change?
- Decide what you want to change.
- Know exactly why you want to change.
- See yourself through the identity of someone who has already made the change.
- Create a step-by-step plan on how to get there.
- Take immediate action towards that goal.
- Get support.
- And Accountability.
- If this is an outcome that can be measured, then measure the change.
Speeding towards change
I used to speed whenever I drove. And yes, I racked up a lot of speeding tickets. This did not deter me from speeding.
However, when my daughters started to learn how to drive (no, I did not teach them — I hired a driving instructor), I decided I wanted to be a better example to them. I had to consciously make an effort to drive slower. I got the support and accountability from my family to help me keep to the speed limit.
Five years later, I was pleasantly surprised when during a drive to California, my daughter said to me, “mom, you sure changed your style of driving.” I asked her what she meant and she said, “You stopped speeding and are more considerate to other drivers.”
Make sure it matters to you
For some of you, this may not be a big deal. But for me, my driving represented my life! There is a lot to be said about a person by the way they drive. The tools I used to slow down my driving rippled to other areas of my life. I learned to savor, not speed, reflect and not react, pause and
What are some of your intentions for 2022? How much does it matter to you whether you achieved it or not?
December 31, 2021
What if, you took the first step towards a more compelling life? What if, on December 31 2022 you looked back at how you lived the year and felt it was the best year of your life? What would that look like?
How would you like the next 365 days to look for you?