18 Jan 2024

Enhancing our Capacity for Change

Sometimes we doubt our capacity for change, as old habits run deep. Because we are human, we falter. 

We look for ways to replace unhealthy habits that do not serve our happiness and wellbeing with healthy habits that do. 

In Atomic Habits, James Clear says who you want to be is just as important (if not more) than what you want to do (or stop doing). For example, it is better to aim for a positive outcome (to be a moderate drinker) than a negative goal (to drink less alcohol).

Over time we become more aware of our patterns and tendencies, our strengths and weaknesses.

Because habits are so ingrained, our progress occurs in fits and starts. Sometimes we get discouraged when we are not making headway, or when we have a setback. It can feel like two steps forward and one step backward.

By showing the same kindness and patience towards self that we extend to others, we begin to see incremental improvements. Patience is a form of wisdom which I continue to work on.

When old habits re-emerge, their grip will not be as strong as it was before. We become aware of them sooner. Each time we falter we can bring ourselves back with more compassion and patience. Each step backwards strengthens us for the next step forwards. 

Failure can be a gift. Eventually we discover that lessons learned from discouraging experiences prove to be beneficial.  What might seem like a big deal at the time, is just one detour on a lifelong journey.

Intentions are a way to create better versions of who we are and the kind of life we want to lead e.g. to be present – to live in the moment without worrying about the past or future.

This year I want to be in flow – to embrace the challenges and changes in my life, the surprises and triumphs that lie ahead. 

I am ready to go with the flow just like a river.  To be uplifted and energised and accept that life is constantly changing. 

With incremental improvements to daily habits, I am getting my mojo back, with more energy and enthusiasm. 

Image of Okere Falls by Steve Vaughan.


Mary Somervell

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