When you picture yourself in the New Year, you probably conjure up images of a physically fit, put-together, successful, financially free, healthier, happier, shinier version of yourself. Whatever the change you're picturing when you start in on the quest for your best year yet, uncertainty is not far behind.
"Uncertainty is the emotion that alerts us to danger. When we are taking steps to bigger or bolder, uncertainty tells us to mitigate the risk," says Adam Glendye, LPC and CPCS at GROW Counseling in Peachtree City, "When we start thinking about making big leaps to propel us forward, uncertainty gets in the way."
Rather than let uncertainty derail your plans for a bigger, better, bolder new year, Glendye shares several ways to tackle your negative emotions around uncertainty and establish a more positive way of looking at goals and change to reap maximum benefits.
Not knowing what's coming next can be difficult, especially if you're laying a lot on the line to see your goal to fruition. Uncertainty isn't all bad though, sometimes the unexpected outcomes are not only better than what we'd imagined, but pivotal in helping us recognizing new, more rewarding goals.
As you contemplate your New Years resolutions don't be afraid to think of uncertainty as an ally rather than the enemy. Uncertainty can lead to self-discovery, new experiences, and accepting this emotion as a part of the journey is the first step to moving forward in attaining a bigger, better, bolder new year.
Planning for "When things go right"
One of uncertainty's ways of tricking us into fearing change and becoming disheartened, is by getting us to focus on all of the things that could go wrong– all of the ways we may fail or lose or struggle.
"We spend so much time thinking through what happens if something goes wrong, that we forget to stop and think about what if everything goes right," says Glendye.
While it's easier to imagine 100 different negative scenarios, what if you took the time to think through all of the things that could potentially go right? "All of the planning doesn't need to be from a place of 'what if something goes wrong'," says Glendye, instead, try to focus also on the ways things may go right and plan from that point of view as well. What you focus on grows and focusing on what might go right motivates you to stay on track!
Plan for challenges but also look for positives. When you evaluate both sides of the equation, you will be able to take advantage of more opportunities, rather than expect to lose out in the midst of change.
Variables of Change
Finally, change doesn't have to be "all or nothing" to produce bigger, better or bolder outcomes. Sometimes it's just deciding to take one small step in the direction you're heading that can result in a big difference over time.
Want to invest more in your retirement? No one wants to go without your favorite holiday beverage, but maybe once a week you choose to take the $5 you're spending at Starbucks and invest it. Once you start, over time it'll get easier and easier to put that money towards your savings... and maybe you will even find alternative ways to caffeinate!
Another way to look at change is by taking time to see that there are a variety of positive results and outcomes you may receive - not just the original one you had in mind. For example, maybe you decide to start running to lose weight. However, along the way, you connect with a group that weight trains at the gym - you not only end up loosing weight, but toning your muscles and building a community as well!
If the plan needs to alter, don't stress. The journey to your end goal can take many different forms, so don't get caught up in the uncertainty of the details. As long as you're approaching your goals from a place of balance, and focused on the big picture and how it fits in with the ultimate goal of living a bigger, better, bolder 2019, you're off to a great start!
For more information on Grow Counseling, visit growcounseling.com.