The year behind us forced us to look at things differently, adapt and challenge ourselves. It forced us to change. The year forced us to find ways to entertain ourselves, rekindle old relationships and finding new ways for connection. The year limited our education in some ways but it also taught us how to innovate and learn new skills such as making a Dalgona coffee or maybe a tik tok or instagram reel!
How often do we stop and take stock of these little things that life also gives us in the midst of some seemingly insurmountable storms? How can we prepare for change?
Prepare for it: Make a note of your inner conflict- Why is there a hesitation towards this change? Awareness can open a horizon to working on these worries and conflicts. Give yourself a preparation time. If the way forward seems hazy, give yourself preparation time to cultivate the skills and strengths that might help you in the process.
Create a list of positive outcomes: However insignificant they may seem to be, make note of it. Make sure you refer back to this list often, it will help remind you why you are doing this even when it is difficult.
Keep on keeping on- Be the voice that says “I’ll try again tomorrow” even in the face of a failure. Change is a journey with bumps and bruises on the way – let’s learn to be compassionate with ourselves when we are not doing as well as we hope for. This helps us stay persistent even in adversity.
Make plans for the bruises- Plan ahead about your coping mechanisms that help you move ahead- reading, physical activity, talking to a loved one, meditation- whatever they are, plan to devote time for your self-care.
Visualize - When you’re wondering how to do something, rather than asking “how can I do this?” imagine that you’ve already succeeded. Picture yourself there, and then ask yourself how you did it. Telling yourself the story of how you succeeded is a great way of opening up a sense of possibility and helps with changing your state of mind in approaching the change. You can also try a practice of mental rehearsal where you run through and visualize the steps leading to the change in the minutest detail helping you be prepared. Mental rehearsal is a technique often used in sports psychology to help athletes.
Activate your resources- Talk to your loved ones. Let them know how the change may affect you and them. Some changes may require more of your time, leaving you unavailable for spending as much time with them as before. Giving them a heads up may help them understand you better during this phase and some may even surprise you by helping you through the process of transition.
Identify your constants- Change may not necessarily mean that everything you ever knew will disappear. Identify the factors that is still the same – your relationships, your hobbies or even your morning routine - and keeping them same will help give you a semblance of familiarity amidst the change.
Celebrate victories, especially the tiny ones. The journey is of many steps and hence there is usually a long wait for celebration. Let’s remember to acknowledge and celebrate every milestone of the journey – however inconsequential it may seem to be. Call up a friend or treat yourself to a dessert or maybe even give yourself a gold star – even adults need gold stars in their life from time to time!
Lets prepare to welcome change, lets commit to staying in the path and lets definitely make sure we celebrate as much as possible along the way!
PS: Let us start today with an activity - If you could tell a loved one some positive news about yourself, particularly about a change you have made, what would you most like that to be?