Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Changing By Starting Small

After the holidays, I find it easy to fall back into old habits and routines that I would rather avoid all together. As we all know “old habits die hard,” and the ruts we get into seem almost impossible to get out of. This year, I have decided to remind myself daily to stay open to new experiences, but I am not calling this a New Year’s resolution. I often break resolutions very early on in the year. Instead, I remind myself on a daily basis to take on new challenges, no matter how insignificant they may seem. So far, this method appears to be working.

I am making small steps towards showing no fear in my daily life. So far, I have started more conversations with people I meet for the first time, and even flirting when the opportunity presents itself! I am definitely not a natural conversation starter, and am no flirt, but I find that like most people around me, I have tunnel vision when it comes to life. Most of it has to do with personal safety and the regional culture in which I live in; there could be disagreement about this, but I find that people in the Northeastern United States are not as open as those in other parts of the country. I am definitely guilty of that. Now that I am making a daily effort to be more outgoing, I have noticed other people observing me, perhaps with a bit of disapproval, envy, or both. In the past I would be discouraged by these nonverbal observations of others, but my daily reminders to change and be open make it easier for me not to fall prey to this.

These and other daily efforts are preparing me for the big challenges I hope to take on in the near future. Since relocation is the most daunting change I plan to make, I find that the small changes I make every day are helping me get ready for the inevitable.

If you have stories to share about similar challenges, I would love to hear them!

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