Why It’s Ok Not to Want to Change

The busiest time for life coaches, as for personal trainers, is right after New Year’s Eve. The hope a turning of the year brings with it is although quite naïve, quite inspirational. The reason I call it naïve is because technically from a scientific stand point there is nothing different about 31.12 and 01.01. Some years ago, some person decided this is how time will be measured and now we actually believe that there is a difference from the sun going down on a specific day and the sun going up on another day compared to all the other times the sun has done it before. Generally speaking, each day, each hour, each moment is an opportunity to start new and set new goals and intentions in life. Nonetheless we choose one day a year. There is nothing magical about December 31st and yet here most of us are drafting New Year’s resolutions.

I like the fact that turn of the New Year marks a moment to take a step back and review your life. It gives us an opportunity to take stock and consider if there is anything we would like to change about our lives. Change is a massive topic. It is currently overwhelming our lives with COVID-19 pandemic. Another major topic that falls under the umbrella of change that is overwhelming our lives is climate change. Neither are positive. Change is wide – from the circumstances of the planet to smaller things like Facebook changing their name to Meta. I divide it into two categories: “Wanted” and “unwanted” change. Now in the examples mentioned before, both fall under the bracket of unwanted. The reason it is unwanted is because a) We didn’t ask for it b) It has little to no positive impact on us. Why would we want a change if there is no benefit for us? On the contrary there is wanted change – a change we would like to see in our lives, preferably just happen to us without any hard work. It’s things like getting richer, having a better job or losing weight. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could just get these things and not have to put the work into it? I sure wouldn’t mind waking up to an improved version of myself without having put in the effort. And even in the cases where I do put in effort, it is usually towards change that I do want to see.

The thing about life is finding this balance between managing unwanted change and having enough energy to pursue wanted change. Sometimes things like the COVID pandemic take away so much effort from us, we don’t have the will to manage losing weight or finding a new job. Or even New Year’s resolutions. That is ok. You can make your resolutions any time of the year. Change is always combined with effort and discomfort, be it wanted to unwanted. There are times where life does not let us have the mental capacity to change. So this year, be gentle with yourself but also, don’t fully give into unwanted change. Give yourself time to figure out how much energy you have and then spend 40% of it towards something you would like to see improve in your life. For example, if you want to stop drinking coffee, switch to decaf to start or switch to black tea. Or if you want to start working out start with 5min walks. Don’t give up on living a better life. But don’t make change hard on yourself. You are going through enough.

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