12 Months of Change

The concept of building change through implementing one new habit a month seemed simple indexwhen it first occurred. I thought about how much I could improve by layering twelve new habits over a twelve month period. I decided to commit to the twelve habits in twelve months; it was a commitment that I was enthusiastic about. The next step was to make a list of the twelve things I was willing to commit to changing or improving. All of this sounded like a simple idea until I actually started writing my list. I couldn’t write fast enough to get the first three down on paper and then the pen slowed as I struggled to come up with the next four. Everyone has heard of writer’s block, but, I was experiencing “idea block.” Throughout my internal struggle I learned a valuable lesson; I am the only one who thinks that I, myself, am perfect. I struggled to come up with more things that I was interested in changing. Then the realization hit, it takes real commitment to provide the powerful force to overcome inertia.

The inherent resistance to change is aided by three factors.

  1. The innate sense that change takes effort.
  2. It exposes us to failure.
  3. The tendency to think big, meaning that I have to make big changes to be meaningful and worthwhile.

Once you recognize the factors of resistance above it becomes easier to add items to your list.

Here are three things not to do to improve the outcomes of your 12 Months of Change.

  1. Don’t stop your list at twelve. Keep adding to the list as new ideas come to you. You are creating a mini LEAP list and the principle of having more than you will do applies. This allows you to pick the changes that are more important and interesting as you make progress through the year.
  2. Don’t feel pressured to choose the order or commit to all twelve. You will find that your focus changes as the year passes. Work on your list and see what you come up with. In the next post I will share the list of twenty I created.
  3. Don’t be surprised at how hard it is to initiate and complete the change you select.

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