Sometimes when it comes to change, a first reaction is to turn away, shuddering with fear. Sometimes, we embrace it with open arms, excited with anticipation. It all depends on what type of change it is. With the ending of Summer, and the beginning of yet another Fall, we know that yes, things are about to change. Notice what happens in your body as you read that. Do you get that tummy turning feeling or do your eyes light up? Do your shoulders shoot up towards your ears or do you sigh with relief? Our mindset about what that change can impact whether we skip, run, or crawl towards it (or away from it!).
This Fall is clearly different from all the rest and for various reasons depending on your situation right now. There may be some limiting factors as to why you’re holding back from looking forward to the changes ahead. That’s why this isn’t about a yin and a yang, or a push for you to wake up tomorrow all of a sudden thinking positively. Instead, it’s about taking it slow. Moving forward and pacing yourself while you do.
Change doesn’t always have to be a shock to our system, but instead can be a gradual transition. Like the temperature that slowly decreases, we too can slowly ease into it. Like fad diets or other short-term changes, we often start with a “Day 1,” starting off hot, motivated, and changing a lot all at once. But what happens with that Day 1 is that it rarely gets you to Day 365, or if we’re being honest, even a Day 10 is a stretch.
So, what if what changes happens little by little? Instead of altering your schedule in one fell swoop, you treat it more carefully. What results is you being more intentional and/or mindful about the changes you make. There’s some trial and error as you decide what works well into your schedule and what doesn’t. If you’re someone that’s used to waking up at 8:00am, maybe setting your alarm for 5:00am all of a sudden so that you can “fit it all in” isn’t the best course of action. Think about the weather again- small, incremental changes to mirror the dropping temperatures. Same with the leaves on the trees. They slowly change color before even one of them falls. You can add yoga or running into your routine without becoming a “yogi” or “runner” overnight. In fact, that’s totally unrealistic.
Changing your routine takes practice. If you’re an athlete, then you know, if you take time off from your sport, you can’t get right back into it and pick up exactly where you left off. There’s a limit to what you can do at the start. Coming off of an injury, athletes ease back into the game, progressively getting strength back.
As we approach this new season, think about the change ahead like it’s a big picture. Take a step back so you can see what that looks like, then zoom in so you’re only seeing the pixels. One of those tiny dots is your starting point!
Catherine at Revive