“If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.” ~Jack Dixon
I'm not sure about any of the rest of you but every new year for as long as I can recall I set about making out a list of things I would like to change. Usually at the top of my annual list are things like eat better, lose weight, be more organized etc. It seems that each year the same things hit my list and for the first 30 days or so I make changes. Sometimes they even stick long term. Often what really happens is that I fall back into old patterns, and the things that I had all of this resolve and determination to change, well.... don't.
I came across the quote above awhile back while reading some things on change. It really hit home for me. If you focus on the end game, nothing changes. If you focus on change, on being present in the moment, in actually "making" change occur, then you will see results. Results aren't what happens when you focus on the end, results are what happen when you focus on the process, on being present with whatever it is you wish to alter.
In addition to that, I have found that I do much better when I focus on the positive rather than on the negative. So for me, if i resolve to donate more time to those who need the time, I can accomplish this by focusing on streamlining other areas of my life to free up my available time. I can achieve this result if I don't focus on the result itself but focus on what behaviors I need to alter NOW in the moment. Doing this brings about the desired result.
I have also found that change is not something that happens just once, its something that is on going, its a process, it's effort, it's being present and committed. It also isn't something we list just once at the start of a new year. It's something we resolve to do, it's something we focus on doing, it's something we commit to doing, and then with all of these efforts we will achieve what we have set our mind to achieving.
MIT's McGovern Institute did a study that showed that it takes 21 to 28 days to form a new and lasting habit. So it takes both short term and long term commitment to create new habits. In the short term we need to commit to spending the necessary month to form the habit. In the long term we need to commit to reinforcing the habit so that it brings us the desired results.
Also, a good rule of thumb is to be kind to yourselves. Don't give up and throw in the towel on whatever it is you resolve to change if you fall "off the wagon". Just get back up and continue on, push forward, and work harder to achieve your goals.
That's what I plan to continue working on this year. Creating new and lasting habits to replace some habits that I wish to change or remove from my daily living. I resolve to be the best me I can be. That to me is a fluid thing. it isn't a one time change, it is a constant work in progress that requires effort and dedication. Out of that, however, good things come my way.
So in closing what was a wonderful 2012 for my family, I wish you and yours a very happy, healthy, and prosperous 2013. May whatever changes you choose to make stick, may you find peace and happiness with your world and the world of others around you.