I have written before about the fact that I do not make New Year’s resolutions. This year as the calendar turned over, I have been watching my friends on Facebook and Twitter talk about their resolutions, many of which are excellent and laudable, let me say.
But for me, this whole dictated timing for making changes always strikes me as, I don’t know – arbitrary and predictable, and while I am many things – some good and some not so good – the one thing I strive actively NOT to be, is predictable.
That does not mean, though, that I am against making healthy, positive changes in my life! On the contrary, I can totally get behind this concept [heck! the number of times I’ve decided to organize my closets, lose weight, or eat more vegetables could fill a book on making changes, not that anyone would buy THAT book, but you get the point].
The difference for me is that I want to decide when to make a change, rather than having the venerable “they said” tell me that I ought to do so in January [because I live in Canada, and in Canada it is COLD, and DARK in January which is not a conducive environment in which to get all revved up about change, you know?!]. I also want to make a change when I feel really inspired and raring to go with the change, and I just don’t feel like that usually in January.
So, I thought I might share my list of times that have worked for me as catalysts for successful change. They may, at first, seem a bit unorthodox, but hey – we’re talking about change, right?
When I change the bed sheets – the first night’s sleep on freshly changed sheets always feels somehow revelatory to me. It feels SO GOOD to slide between crisp, cool, smooth sheets with no wrinkles and no mussed blankets. I seem to get a terrific night’s sleep on the first night of fresh sheets, so it just seems natural if I’ve been thinking about making a change of some sort to do it on the day after a sleep on fresh sheets.
When I get lost – let me first clarify for those who don’t know me well, I get lost A LOT! I could get lost in my own bathtub because I am the most directionally challenged person on the planet. And when I get lost, rather than getting all bent out of shape about it – because I’d be bent an awful lot if I let it get to me, given the frequency with which it happens – I often use it. I figure getting lost is as good an indication as any that some kind of shift in how I’m doing things might be in order.
When something [or someone] makes me laugh really hard – laughter is cleansing I feel. It takes me out of my own head, and lets me be completely in the moment and unfettered by all the “shoulds” and “ought tos” we let the world impose on us. Right after I laugh fully and without reservation I always feel buoyant and open and as though I could do anything. So, if there’s a change I have been mulling over but haven’t found the right time to dive into sometimes in the laughter aftermath I feel like I can tackle it.
When I’ve spent time with a child – children are the ultimate experts on change! They have no fear of trying something different, and they don’t feel the need to obsess about it, or plan for months before they do it. If it seems like a good idea at the time, they just do it. And surprisingly, whether the changes they make turn out or not, they don’t really stress too much about it, they just keep trying new things until they find something that works. We can all learn a bunch from that approach. So usually, having the good fortune to be around a child boosts my own openness and sense of “anything is possible” that kids inspire. That mind-set is a terrific place from which to jump off the cliff of “new” if you’re considering it.
Spring and Autumn – although any season change *could* work for making a change, for me, spring and autumn are the ones where I can almost taste change in the air, so they work the best for me. Whether it’s seeing little green heads popping up out of the soil everywhere in the spring, or the stunning changing of the leaves in the autumn, these seasonal changes seem to me to be just ideally suited to trying something brand new.
Thursdays – I like Thursdays to make a change because there’s a lot less pressure about the whole thing. I mean, making a change on Monday? Yikes! Like there isn’t already enough going on on Mondays, between “the weekend’s over” and “I have SO MUCH to get done this week” Monday is just not good for me to try something big and new. Tuesday and Wednesday *could* work, but you’re still getting into the week, and doing all the regular stuff you have to do, so they can be complicated for changes. But by Thursday, you’ve got a pretty good handle on the usual stuff, and have probably gotten a fair amount of it already done, so you have the mind-space to think about something new. Plus, the weekend is only another day away, so if the change gets overwhelming right out of the gate, you can put it on pause for the weekend and pick it up again next Thursday!
My list of change opportunities may or may not work for you. But I offer them more as permission to do your own thing than any proscribed dictate of what you *should* do. I’m not much of a fan of “shoulds” or “musts” or “this is the way it’s always been dones”. Instead, I like “Ooooh! This feels like a good idea! Let’s try it!!”
I wish you a happy, successful 2014 filled with changes on your schedule, in your own time, and in ways that work perfectly for you!
If you have other times for change that you’d care to share, I’d love for you to leave a comment and tell me about them!