At the beginning of every year, there’s an energy that’s palpable where you feel such huge promise for newness, in every way. Yes, we all get to start again! YAY. Yoga, Pilates, promises to yourself to change your diet, let go of the old habits that messed you up the year before, start a prayer and meditation practice and quit sugar/alcohol/(fill in blank) for real this time, take some interesting classes you’ve always wanted to do. Everyone is raring to go. Success by design is inherent just in the words “new year”. The failures of yesterday can be erased on Jan 1. That is a big fat promise.
But not so fast. These are all worthy intentions but what if your old self, the one you’re trying to change is not willing to do the list in your hand. What if your old self is so invested in your identity of feeling shitty, lonely, hard done by, angry, etc. that it thinks your new ideas are just phooey and is determined to prove it to you?
So you ate a whole tub of ice cream 10 days into the month—of course you did, it was the most intense ever full moon eclipse and you saw too many photos, and read too much of all the pain and suffering and reasons to be fearful in the world. Well? Your Oracle Cards did say Chaos and Conflict. You secretly feel crappier than you did at the end of last year and you don’t want anyone to know.
If this is your experience at all, or if it’s ever happened to you before, and it doesn’t have to be ice cream, it could be anything that you do that gives you a temporary distraction from your life that keeps you where you were, then here are two simple things to remember: “If you do what you did you’ll get what you got,” and “Count your wins, no matter how tiny.”
Here’s a quick story to show how I tricked my old self into making a shift. It’s kind of embarrassing to admit but there was a time in my life where I joined four different gyms/ studios and didn’t ever go to any of them. I wanted to get in shape but I couldn’t pry myself out of my house to go. I could go anywhere else. Just not there! I could go get food but I could not go get exercise. I had all the charts on my walls and images of how I wanted to be but they only motivated me to feel crappier about myself. No love for me. Big failure.
I could not make the leap because I wasn’t staying present in the now. All I saw was the gaping chasm between where I was and where I wanted to be. Then one day I meditated (sitting down was not a problem) and heard “ tiny mustard seed”. So, I decided to give myself some love for teeny wins. So if I just showed up at the door that was awesome. Yup if I got to the door of the gym, stood outside and then went home I was golden. So I did, then my next win was opening the door. Next was going to the restroom in the gym and looking in the mirror, then bringing my stuff and sticking it in a locker, etc. You get the picture? I won so many times and felt so good about myself one day I just went in and walked into a class and that was that! It took me 3 whole months to go to the gym and pick up a 5-pound weight. I had so much pull to the old me who was attached to being sedentary it was quite amazing.
Now your story can be about anything but its ok. The truth is that it’s not the biggest goals that will set you free to become a new version of yourself. Your old self needs to trust it’s possible. You may have been pretty comfy being that person. Give it as much time as you need. It’s being present and celebrating the teeny steps along the way that will create the most profound change. It’s important to remember it’s not the goals that get you there it’s all the actions you take along the way, and to this day this concept has truly benefited me.
So now it’s your turn, what’s is a teenie tiny win that you can celebrate this week?!
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