Everyone wants to change something. Whether it’s improving a relationship, getting into shape, or cleaning out the closets, most people have a series of goals on their to-do lists that point toward a change they want to make.
When you look at them a little more closely, often goals reflect our dissatisfaction with choices we have made in the past. They are prompted by that “I can’t believe I let this go so long” feeling. Sometimes we push ourselves into making a change because we know in our hearts that we can do better. We know it’s possible to make better or different choices than the ones we’ve made before.
Sometimes we’re pulled into making a change by the idea of what is possible. We create in our mind’s eye, or on a vision board, a picture of a loving relationship, a fit and toned body or a beautifully organized home that we will have one day in the future.
Whether it’s a push from the past or a pull toward the future, or a little of both, we go about setting goals and working toward them. And somewhere along the way, we usually get off track.
When that happens we begin to silently beat ourselves up that we are never able to create the changes we want. We think we don’t have enough will power or perseverance.
Here’s the real problem:
Change doesn’t happen in the past or the future.
Change happens in the now.
It’s the result of the cumulative effect of making small choices in the moment.Change happens in the now. It’s the result of the cumulative effect of making small choices in the moment. Click To Tweet
Of course it’s great to have a vision of the change you want to create. Being able to picture how things will look and feel different once you have successfully reached a goal can be a powerful motivator.
So too can be the desire to raise the bar for yourself higher than you might have set it in the past. What’s more important though is being able to anchor yourself in the moment and make conscious choices that will ultimately lead you to the change that you want.
The future and the past all play a role, but if you want to make a change, you have to start in the right place: in the here and now.
How can you create more present moment awareness?
If you are constantly rushing from one thing to the next, it’s hard to be present in the moment. If the thought of slowing your life down seems unattainable, then slow down for a few minutes. Schedule three 5 minute breaks during your day during which you simply stop and breathe.
Pause before you act
Many times we just react to a situation rather than consciously making a choice. Practice pausing and stating your choice to yourself: “I’m choosing to ______ because I ________”. For example: I’m choosing to speed because I am late for a meeting.” It may be enough for you to choose differently. Even when you don’t, you have brought your decision into your conscious thoughts.
Keep your goal foremost in your mind
Frequently pause throughout the day and ask yourself, “Will this choice bring me closer to my goal?” If the answer is no, then ask yourself, “What choice in this moment will get me closer to what I want?”
Just remember, there’s a lot of wisdom in the phrase “now or never.” It contains the key to successfully creating the change you want.