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December 29, 2015

Change Comes Slowly: How Small Shifts Make a Big Difference.

'Should I?', EladeManu, Flickr

As a person whose job success relies heavily on social media activity and connection, I spend a good amount of time in front of a screen looking at things.

I notice a lot, particularly things that are new, different and have changed. This gets easier with the new (semi-annoying) feature called “on this day,”  which highlights your posts from that date in all previous years.

Some days, I can’t help myself from cyber-stalking my own timeline, looking at what kinds of comments I made, what kind of mood I was in, what I looked like, what clues there are to the person I was then.

They interest me, because while they tell the story of how I got here, they don’t really represent the person I am now. Time has changed me.

But when that change was happening, it was barely noticeable to me. I didn’t wake up one day and say “I’m going to quit living a small and safe life and completely turn everything I know to be true on its head to see what sticks around after a good long shake!”

It was small and simple changes where, little by little, things shifted. Fitness level, eating habits, waistlines, hairstyles, vocabulary, locations, professions, lifestyles, marital statuses, and my God, my children.

Their sweet little baby faces, their tiny kid voices on video. Their big kid faces and big kid voices watching and commenting on those small humans.

I knew it would go fast. I knew things would change quickly. I didn’t know it would be this fast, and this much change, and with this much love.

As I look forward to this new year, and I start to map out my next months, set intentions for how I want to show up in the world, get clear about what I’m choosing to include in my life, and what I’m not, I’m reflecting on what is still serving me, and what it’s time to let go, what is a priority and what’s just a bonus, and I’m determining exactly what it is that I’m committed to being and doing.

Change. Growth. Expansion. Love.

I can’t quantify those commitments. I won’t contain them, graph them or categorize them into teeny tiny boxes. I’m not committing to losing 20 pounds, to meditating for 30 minutes a day every day, or to mastering a 60 second handstand.

Instead, I’m setting my intentions on quality, of life. Health, joy, balance, grace. I’m listening to and thinking about how I want to feel, and not on what I want to obtain. Those will both lead to change, but one comes softly and slowly and the other with judgment and evaluation. One is enough, while one makes it, and me, feel wrong.

Little changes. I’m committing to little changes that make a big difference in the long game. More greens in my day, drinking just a little more water, creating space in my schedule to take a walk, practice, or go for a 20 minute run.  One minute of mediation, or twenty, getting upside down wherever and whenever I can, and without a wall to trick my brain into letting go of fear.

With one choice, one new habit, one honest intention to treat myself with more love, my whole life will change, all over again.

The time will pass anyway; how it’s spent is up to me.

~

Author: Michelle Sweezey 

Editor: Caroline Beaton

Image: EladeManu/Flickr

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