"The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time" -Abraham Lincoln
Step five of completing your resolution is the best one. It's all about being mindful. It's putting it all in perspective and bringing it all into the present. When we look at the four previous steps; Forgiveness, Responsibility, Change, and Commitment, we must remember to keep the whole process in present perspective. Taking these things individually is challenging, we must be sure to keep a good perspective on the process. We tend to overthink, over analyze, and get caught up in the drama of making change. This is where the perspective of taking things one day at a time, comes in to play.
It's just our nature to focus too much on the future or on the past. Most of the things we worry about happening in the future will never happen. Spending time rethinking the past is a waste because what's done is done, take the lessons you've learned and let it go. It just makes more sense to approach change one day at a time, than to let yourself get overwhelmed with the process. One of the dangers in making change is we expect perfection and we expect it NOW. This is why so many programs focused around addiction use the mantra "one day at a time". It works! It's about living in the present, being in the moment, and moving forward!
Living in the moment allows us to focus on what we need to do in this time to succeed. It eliminates the danger of trying to take on too much at one time. All you have to do is get through today. It's the sensible approach to change. It works perfectly with the previous four steps.
Because you're living in this moment, you can let go of the blame you have for whatever brought you to this point. Tackling your resolution in the moment allows you to take responsibility for what is happening now, not what might happen later or what brought you here. When you look at embracing change, it is easier to think about it in small steps. Just change for today. Then you are able to commit to succeeding today, and that's a lot less worrisome than worrying about doing it long term.
Here's the best part about taking it one day at a time. If you mess up, you start over. So many people give up on their resolutions because they had a bad day and didn't succeed in their plan for change. Maybe you ate something you shouldn't, or drank something you shouldn't have, or smoked, or whatever it is that "set you back", it really didn't. It was just a mistake, give yourself a break and move forward. Maybe you didn't do it yesterday but today is a new day.
We all have bad days, we all make mistakes. By taking a mindful approach, you are able to look at it from the perspective of a lesson learned. You can evaluate what got in your way, learn from it, and start again. One bad day or a couple days of messing up shouldn't derail the process completely. By forgiving yourself for the bad day; by taking responsibility for the mistake, deciding if there is something you need to do differently, and then recommitting to start again, you can move forward. One day at a time, one moment at a time. Hold yourself accountable for the mistake but move on rather than give up.
Remember, you are in this for the long haul. Changing long-term patterns is a long-term goal. Don't let a short-term setback take you from your commitment to change. Shake it off and start the next day committed to your goal again. This is how you succeed with change, you recommit.
The way we show up in our lives each day effects our chances of success. Just because you didn't show up 100% one day doesn't mean you can't the next. The good thing about the commitment you give to yourself is you can give yourself another chance, you deserve it. In fact, you deserve as many chances to succeed as it takes.
When you live a life that is focused on the present, you will find a calm confidence in knowing you just have to get through this day. Taking this change one step at a time, not always focusing on the big picture, makes this endeavor much more manageable. When we can focus on the moment, we can be more in tune to what we need to do right now.
Every day we get a new beginning, a new start. The morning comes bearing gifts of renewal, redemption, and a fresh start. Just as the sun rises each morning in all its glory, we have an opportunity for a new beginning, a glorious new start. The best part is, we can let go of the mistakes we made yesterday, they don't matter when we start fresh in the present day.
Finally, on this journey of change, never once did I mention the word perfection. Achieving your goals and improving your life doesn't mean everything has to be perfect. We are not striving for perfection, only progress. When you stop trying to be perfect and embrace progress, you free yourself up to live life on your terms. Putting things in the perspective of making progress, you can approach each day with the mindset of improving just a bit more. Make some progress!
The promise of the morning means we have a chance to progress more. Even if it just a fraction, it's still progress. Even if you don't feel it was much progress at all, you can learn from it, and that's progress.
Day by day, step by step, living in this moment, you can make incremental changes towards your goal. Don't strive to be perfect, don't set unrealistic deadlines. Take it slow and steady. These incremental changes over long periods of time will add up to massive change. Even if there's a setback, you can move forward the next day! Do it long enough and you succeed!
Embrace each day. Be present.
One day at a time. One moment at a time.
The Resolution Revolution:(click links below to review)
Step 1 Forgiveness
Step 2 Take Responsibility
Step 3: Embrace The Change
Step 4: Make The Commitment
Step 5: Keep It In Perspective