There are many changes that could benefit us but there are only so many things we can integrate meaningfully at any one time.
Whatever is most important to you or whatever change you feel could make the biggest difference to your life is a good place to start. Ask yourself if anything is preventing you from being who you want to be and doing what you want to do? Look around you. What do you want more of or less of? What change excites you or what would lift you most? Fill in the blanks for what would give you the greatest boost if you could make 2020 your 'xxxx' year.
It is only through looking at your life, and reflecting that you can work out what is best to focus on. Over time, small changes bring big results. Each new journey starts with a first step. A one percent change in any area of your life daily leads to a 3800 percent improvement at the end of the year.
Understanding and dealing with resistance
Even if something seems like a great idea, and would have clear benefits, there is always an opposing force.
The brain is hardwired to resist change and favor the familiar. "When we're born, our brain is completely malleable and experiencing new things all the time," says Santosh Kesari, MD, and neuroscientist. "We're figuring out positive and negative behaviors, what is good for survival and avoiding consequences that would cause even short-term pain. As we age, our brain learns ways to do things that make us do certain things, and behaving accordingly to each context and each stimulus."
This is positive as it means we don't have to keep relearning things like tying our shoe laces or engaging in positive habits. The flip side is that change and new habits are challenging.
'The more you do something the more ingrained it becomes in neural pathways, much like how a computer that stores the sites you visit - when you log onto your browser, they will pop up because you use them a lot. Change is an upheaval of many things and the brain has to work to fit it into an existing framework.' Dr. Sanam Hafeez, clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist.
The brain is hardwired to question and look at dangers any change will bring about. When we encounter change, our brain shifts into protective mode. It takes energy to work out if the change will hurt. As we age, it becomes even more challenging if not addressed. When we incorporate change regularly into our life, our brain becomes more agile and this been show to slow down the aging process.
Moving out of your comfort zone regularly makes further change easier to integrate.
Inwards, onward and upwards
If you are looking to make changes but not quite sure where to start-Look at your life … What is lacking? What would you love to have more of? What is holding you back?
To stick to things there has to be a motivating why. Why am I doing this? It is easier to do and stick to changes that bring results that inspire us or that promise fulfilment in an area of life we value. For change to happen, we have to want it, commit to it and take concrete steps towards it every day or on a regular basis with a consistency that supports transformation in that area.
You can change any area of your life when you implement the above three steps. Best of luck and make the 20s roar for you.
Calodagh McCumiskey designs and delivers bespoke wellbeing at work programmes to grow people and companies. She also offers regular meditation classes, personal development workshops and wellbeing consultations to help people thrive. Ph 053 9140655 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Visit www.spiritualearth.com