I started 2016 determined to change some things about my life and I am happy to report that I am on the path I have always wanted. I am realizing that I actually have control over a lot of things in my life. A number of things about change though:
1. Change can be extremely frustrating
Anyone who has tried to quit a bad habit, change an irritating behavior built over a lifetime, will tell you that this is very hard. You wish someone had told you when you were young that one day you would regret starting whatever you now want to change. Unfortunately, habits sneak up on us and become ingrained so subtly that at the time you realize and want to break free, you discover that they are harder to separate from you.
2. Change can be lonely
When you make that resolution it is usually in the privacy of your mind on the eve of the new year or days later. When you struggle to wake up to exercise, eat right, stay off social media, you find that a battle rages on in your mind that only you realize is happening.
You beat yourself up really bad and hate the look of defeat you see every time you look in the mirror and can't tell anyone because of the shame of failure....... again and again and again...and so you give up and walk away with less confidence in your ability to overcome your weaknesses.
3. Change can be confusing
Seeking advice and solutions can be the most confusing thing, since everyone knows a surefire solution to your challenges and will swear by the highest heavens that it will work. After trying it out, for however long, you discover that it is just another solution that does not work.
Some solutions are downright foolish, but in your desperation to change, you will kiss the dog if it will cure you of your habit.
4. Change is a lifetime journey
The movies make it look like once the initial success of change happens, you are done. Sorry sir/madam. That was the easy part. You now have a lifetime ahead of you, waiting for the opportunity to sneak back that habit that disgusts you.
So put on your long distance running shoes and get ready for a lifetime of avoiding the smokers' section, the porn sites, sugar laden cakes and anything else that will get you back into the deep dark pit of despair.
5. Change can be extremely fulfilling
When one day you wake up and find that you don't need a cup of coffee, a smoke, a drink, or find that you no longer need to bite your nails, you'll feel like life has just started.
It's even more fulfilling if the habit or behavior was serious.
I have from childhood used warm water for a bath/shower and find myself now able to stand the rigors of a cold shower in the morning at 4:00 am, and not because I am a night runner, but simply because I wanted to see how strong my will was in regards to changing a lifelong dependency.
(This post was first published on Emmanuel's personal blog, Confessions Of A House Husband).
Emmanuel is the Director in charge of Human Capital Development at Wylde.