Posted by: Suzan | September 1, 2021

Fall for Change

Nothing compares to the beauty of fall leaves changing their colors. From the magnificent hues of red, yellow, orange and dark burgundy of the Maple trees to the shimmering golden leaves on the Aspens. When their grand display is done, the leaves easily let go of the old to make room for the new. They do not cling and say, “I’m not ready for change.” They simply release.

Fall is a great time to contemplate change. Gandhi said it best, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” Essentially all we have within our power to change is ourselves. We may desperately want to see the things around us change, perhaps the pandemic, climate change, world strife, a myriad of things and/or people in our lives, yet we must begin with the person in our mirror. When we take full responsibility for our own lives, we can then impact real change in the world.

It’s funny there seems to be much resistance to change when it’s really the only thing we can count on. Greek Philosopher, Heraclitus stated, “Change is the only constant.”   “No man <woman> ever steps in the same river twice.” Just think about our bodies and how the human body replaces 330 billion cells daily. Within 80 to 100 days, 30 trillion will have replenished—the equivalent of a new you, according to Scientific American’s article, “Our Bodies Replace Billions of Cells Every Day (April 1, 2021).

What would you most like to change? What would your life be like if you were to change this?

What if making changes could be easier?

Psychology Today (January, 2017) offers five powerful ways to make changes that stick:

  1. Focus on the deeper WHY of what you want to change. For example, let’s say you’ve decided to release some of the extra pounds collected during Covid and you’re beginning an exercise program. Instead of focusing on how challenging this change is because you don’t even like going to the gym – try imagining the bigger picture. You will release stress and feel lighter. You will improve your immune system (very important with the pandemic). You will feel better about yourself and your confidence will expand. You may want to also come up with some creative ways to make exercise more appealing (exercise with a friend outdoors e.g. walking or hiking or meet a friend for weight training at the gym).
  2. Don’t label yourself a failure if you slip (it happens to all of us) – just look at it as “data.” So you miss a day at the gym this week – cut yourself some slack and go 3 times next week (put it in your calendar)!
  3. Every step matters. Honor your baby steps too! You may want to start with doing an exercise video at home before going to the gym. Even doing the research and reflecting on what’s right for you count as steps. What will motivate you? All of these are steps taking you in the right direction so honor them.
  4. Schedule the changes you want to make. Put them in your calendar (days to meet a friend for a walk). Let’s say you want to get up from your desk once an hour to stretch and move a bit (set an alarm or whatever works for you as a reminder).
  5. Find someone to help you with accountability. This could be a friend with a similar goal as you so you can exercise together, for example. You can also hire a coach to help you. When there is accountability, you will be more likely to make the change(s) you desire for your life. If I can help you as a life and expressive arts coach or you’d like more information, please let me know!

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