31 December 2020
Making Change: Don’t Wait For The New Year
For many of us, the close of a calendar year marks an opportunity to make change. The idea of a new beginning and the excitement it affords often leads us to be more motivated, willing and able to take steps towards making change. What is important to remember is that time is nothing more than…
For many of us, the close of a calendar year marks an opportunity to make change. The idea of a new beginning and the excitement it affords often leads us to be more motivated, willing and able to take steps towards making change.
What is important to remember is that time is nothing more than a top-down system designed by humans to help our species navigate and organise our existence. Without the construct of time, life would be chaotic.
There is no doubt about it, time can indeed limit or facilitate what we can or cannot do at any given moment. Things such as going to the supermarket before close or catching a train to a different city are things in life that are heavily influenced by and often restricted by time. Such activities require us to workaround the imposed time limits.
Although much of what we do is predicated upon time availability, the advancement of our species has allowed us to circumvent the constraints of time in many ways – 24/7 convenience stores, gyms, fast food outlets etc.
The constraints of time can absolutely assist our efforts to pursue a better life, however, our perception of concepts such as time can sometimes be flawed and self-limiting – particularly when it comes to our fitness goals.
While change is intricately tied to concepts such as cause, time and motion, it is somewhat distinct from time – change can occur at different rates/magnitudes, whereas time does not. This is a key limitation of our perception of time and change. This is why waiting for the calendar to roll over to January 1st or Monday to make a change or dedicate yourself to a better life is often hugely problematic. When we unnecessarily allow time to constrain our ‘change-making’ abilities, we squander opportunities. As renowned American author Norman Peale once said:
“Begin where you are. Don’t wait for someone to change things for you. Do it yourself.“
To parse this phrase out, where you are now is here, reading this article. This is the beginning of change. In the time that proceeds the present, you will be presented with more opportunities to change. Waiting for someone or something (such as the calendar or time) to change relinquishing control of your life. In my opinion, this quote is not only empowering for the individual but accurately represents the reality of making change. And, the beautiful thing about life and making a change (especially in most of the areas we typically address at the beginning of a new year) is that they are LESS constrained by time than we realise. You don’t need to wait for anything, where you are right now can be the beginning of your journey towards self-development.
We all have some, albeit often rudimentary, understanding that time is one of our most valuable commodities. Time is finite and once a given moment passes, we can never get it back. Thus understanding the value of time is the first necessary step to being able to prioritise your life and make a change.
The second step to respecting the value of your time making better use of it is to (as this article will hopefully highlight) reframe your perception of the relationship between time with making change, which I hope I have made clear – change is somewhat independent of time.
The third and final step in optimising your use of time will is to recognise that life will always consist of trade-offs. We cannot have everything at once and consequently, we must give up some things in order to obtain others. If we invest effort and time (no matter how much or for how long) into certain domains in life, we will impact others. Thus, everything in life is intricately connected to our use of time. Whatever we do has the potential to enhance, diminish or keep stable every aspect of our existence. Use your time wisely!
In closing, I hope this piece has illuminated many important concepts that will allow you to adopt a more accurate and empowering understanding of how change and time operate. I truly hope that what you have read will free you from many of the incorrect and limiting restraints imposed by social norms and our perception of time. If so, you may find yourself more ready and able to elicit and continue making change.
I’ll leave you with a short list of things that you can start before the new year or at any point in time that will in some way help you make positive change:
- Reflect on where you are at in life;
- Aim to identify your core values;
- Set goals that align with your values;
- Focus on the present moment;
- Act in alignment with your goals;
- Eat a little less processed food and a little more unprocessed food;
- Move and exercise a little more;
- Go to bed earlier;
- Practice gratitude; and
- Be kind to yourself and others.
So my friends, let’s depart with the “new year, new me” nonsense and adopt a more accurate and powerful mantra –
“New moment, new opportunity”
Happy new year and I wish you nothing but happiness and prosperity in the future!