02 Jan When Should You Make A Change?
2018 is now a thing of the past. 2019 is upon us, and like every January, we talk about resolutions, changes, and improvements. It is a time of reflection on the year before, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
What went well? What could I have done differently? What did I like? What did I despise? How can this new year be better?
I think it’s fair to say that most of us experience these type of thoughts, or at least something similar. We set new workout and career goals, drive relationship aspirations, and focus on personal and leisure priorities.
Most of us are usually able to identify what changes we need to make. Maybe it’s a fitness goal because we have gained 15 pounds. Maybe it is a schedule change because we have no down time. Maybe it’s a relationship goal like going out on one date with our significant other each week. Maybe it’s a career change or promotion we want to reach to keep moving forward. You get the point.
I don’t think we struggle as much with what to change.
But I do think we struggle with when to change.
Maybe that’s an “Ah-Ha” moment.
Whether it’s being comfortable where we are, or having fear of a future uncertainty, we struggle with the timing for which to change something. These are realistic fears and circumstances.
But if we want to make a change, we must understand when the proper time is to make it.
So, when is it? How do we know when we should make a change we’re considering?
We need to make the change when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of making the change.
For example, if Sally has been in a relationship with Tom for a year, but the last four months have been concerning and sub par with Tom, Sally needs to choose between moving forward, or cutting it off.
But the question is when?
The best time for Sally to make the change is to do it when the pain of being with Jerry is truthfully greater than when she is not with him. If she enjoys herself more without him, than that is the time to make the move.
That goes for anything in life… jobs, location changes, friendships, habits, health, etc.
But why is it that we often don’t change, even though we know we need to?
It’s because we are unable to recognize when that time is.
Or we trick ourselves to thinking the pain of changing would be worse than staying, when in reality, that may not be true.
We do this out of fear and uncertainty of the future.
I’m sure most of us can remember an opportunity to make a change, but we ended up turning from it out of fear of the unknown.
That’s because we value stability and assurity. As a result, we de-value the option to make a potentially groundbreaking change in our life. What could be an incredibly powerful decision suddenly becomes one we don’t even want to consider.
Instead, we hide, run, and lie to ourselves.
When a change presents itself, we often choose “Exit,” rather than “Enter.”
Because it’s not stable. Change is not stable. We don’t know what will happen if we “enter.”
That’s why it’s called change.
Change itself doesn’t tell us, “Hey man, it will be better on the other side.”
Heck, if it did, we’d all be changing stuff left and right.
And yes, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
I get that. Great point. It really is.
But if we always listen to that, we wouldn’t go anywhere. Our lives would look the same forever.
Yes we’d be stable, yes we’d have assurity, yes we’d have consistency.
But we’d be missing spontaneity, newness, and the potential for groundbreaking opportunities.
We’d be missing change.
So let’s continue to value what is going well in our life. Let’s appreciate and not take what we have for granted.
But let’s make some changes for things that need it, while remembering that timing is key to change.
Let’s make the change when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of making the change.
What change are you going to make this week to start the new year strong?