If you haven’t made the changes you hoped for, don’t worry. Most of us start off energised with the excitement of New Year possibilities, but after a week or two, the shine can start to wear off. That’s because change doesn’t always happen the way you anticipate. It may throw you off track and sometimes even make you lose some of your confidence.
You can’t control events, but you can control how they affect you. These 5 tips will help you manage change no matter what 2015 brings.
1. Don’t resist the change
I want to make the point here that you might not realise that you are resisting the changes. Sometimes it happens subconsciously; but the signs will be there. You may feel stressed. You might start taking time off work or feeling that you don’t want to be in the job any more.
When you resist change or the impact it has on the things you’re familiar with, it just makes things worse. You suffer more.
I should also add, don’t resist the way the change is happening. Just because it isn’t occurring as you expected, does not mean it’s a bad thing. Change is fluid and unpredictable, but it’s also exciting and filled with possibilities. Change is an adventure.
It’s not easy to do, but take the time to consciously look for the positives and then focus on those.
2. Keep an open mind
It’s important that you are not attached to a specific outcome, because it may not happen. When everything around you suddenly becomes a variable, it’s pretty much impossible to predict the outcome. You can have a goal in mind or a preferred direction, but the final result will be influenced by variables you can’t see.
If the uncertainty bothers you, think about the different possibilities and how you might prepare for them. The confidence of knowing you have a “plan” often helps you accept uncertainty and embrace possibility.
3. Concentrate on what you can control
If stress is starting to take hold of you, stop and take a deep breath. There is nothing you can do to stop change or make it go the way you want, but there are always parts of the change that you can have some control over.
For example, you planned for your business to grow by 20% over the year but it’s only January and you’ve hit the 20% already. Instead of worrying about how you will cope and what might happen over the next 11 months, concentrate on finding and implementing systems to support what you are doing. That will give you some control over the situation now, and in the future. Like a security blanket, you have something to hold onto.
4. Choose the right thoughts.
As Dr Wayne Dyer says, choose the thoughts that make you feel good. Although it often feels as though our heads are invaded by thoughts, what we have actually done is to allow them in. We don’t have to pay attention to every thought in our minds. Choose to overlook those thoughts which make you worry or panic, and focus on the thoughts which are positive and encouraging.
5. Take care of your health.
During times of change it’s easy to let worry or overwork drive us to illness. Part of choosing the right thoughts also involves choosing the right actions. In this case, the best form of action is self-care. Acknowledge your needs – physical, emotional and spiritual – and make sure they are met. Far from being a sign of weakness, this is a strength building exercise which makes you strong enough to cope with change no matter what it looks like.
2015 is still new so don’t give up on your plans yet. Stick with them and see what an exciting year you can build. Enjoy the adventure.