Happy New Year! Is It Really Time for Change?

The ongoing tradition of making a list of positive changes you want to implement in your life in a new year can actually be productive.  A number of people will sign up for fitness classes, perhaps give up drinking, or cut back on unhealthy foods. Others may decide to make changes in their professional careers, make financial commitments to save more, or make a bucket list of places to travel.  


New Years is a time to reflect and see the possibilities of the brand new year ahead.  It’s a time to look forward, not backward.  Unfortunately, most of us that make these potential life changing resolutions don’t stick with them long-term.  Overtime, the motivation for change often weathers away.  


The reality is: change is difficult.  It’s difficult to actually start making changes and it’s even harder to maintain over a long period of time.  As human beings, we like stability– regardless of if we are in a good stable place or bad stable place. Change takes us out of our comfort zone and brings us into the unknown, which can be very scary for most.


Although we may mean well to seek out positive change, we almost always feel obligated to simply because it’s a new year.  But like any change, it doesn’t come easy and we rarely see it through.


What makes uncertainty such a challenge? Perhaps because it means nothing will ever be the same. A new job may not provide greener pastures as you had thought. Starting your own business could quickly go sideways and make your current circumstances a hundred times worse than they were.


Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of the hit HDTV television show “Fixer Upper”, wrote a book called “The Magnolia Story” that explores how Chip is a constant believer in change, while his wife is a constant believer in stability.  Chip believes that once you have reached stability and feel comfortable– change is necessary. Although his wife believes in the opposite, she supports Chip when a decision is made and jumps in to make the next change in their lives work.  Chip feels that growth occurs only through uncertainty. Uncertainty requires you to be creative, open, and willing to deal with uncertainty head on. In turn, this creates growth.


My first grandchild was born in December.  She is entering a world that will see changes like no other period in history.  My granddaughter will probably never drive a car. Most of the products she’ll use will be manufactured through robotics. Commercial space travel and humans living on Mars may be the new norm. All of these items today bring a tremendous amount of uncertainty in our lives.  The thought that we would not have control of our automobiles scares a lot of people. The thought that you would live on another planet and be able to travel to space is beyond uncertainty for most.


Every invention – from the light bulb to the computer, and the world tech giants like Amazon have created has ushered uncertainty into the marketplace and within our lives. Yet, we begin to accept these changes and adapt.


The world does not come to an end for most; rather we evolve. As the New Year begins, if you truly want to grow– jump into the pool of change. It might appear cold at first, but you will begin to swim. And who knows? It might put you in a better place than you are now.