Real change is something we all think about in the new year. Many people set goals and try to make a change in their life. Losing weight is probably the number one goal for most people at the beginning of the new year. However, many of us have many different areas we want to bring change to.
- New perspective and hope for a new year
- Cynicism of failed expectations from the past
I have been on both sides of that track. I much prefer the first. Why not get a new perspective and have hope for real change for the new year? We have to see clearly that real change means doing things differently. Change will never come if we do not change how we are living our day to day lives. Successful change in my life happens when I get real in three areas.
- Too often we do not focus on a specific area to change. Change is just a big blob that we see but we never define. The questions we start with to get our focus are:
- What area do I want to change?
- Why do I want to change?
- Change only comes when we begin to get clarity on what we really want. We have to have a clear picture of the end goal and benefits if we change. Having a clear vision of the benefit will help when change gets hard, which it always does. The time we take to get clarity will help us get clear on what areas of change to focus on. We can’t fix everything at once, so we need to focus on just a few areas at a time.
- Real change always takes real investment. Time, energy and finances are the different things we have to invest to bring about real change. Too often we want to see change, but are never willing to invest our time, energy or finances into the change.
- For example, to seriously lose weight we need to invest in a new eating plan, which may mean buying new food or changing the menu we eat regularly. Growing in a specific area like our marriage will mean buying a book to learn, or paying to attend a seminar. Investing in our change shows that we are serious and moves us closer to achieving our goal.
- Real change always costs us something. Expecting to change without paying anything is a sign that we are only dreaming.
- Partnerships are a big key for real change. We are more likely to change when we have a team helping us. Partners are people who can encourage us, speak truth to us and help us achieve our goals.
- We must look for partners and not enablers. We should look for people who won’t accept our lame excuses. On the flip side, we do not want someone who will nag us about our goals. These reasons are serious and should be considered when choosing a partner for change. Sometimes our spouse is not the best partner for change because of the other relational dynamics involved. Making our spouse our change partner should be done after careful consideration of the overall health of the relationship and how the partnership would affect the relationship.
- Growing up and accepting responsibility for change is hard. Having a partner does not take away our responsibility, it increases our chance of success.