It’s January – time for New Year’s resolutions – and especially after surviving 2020, many of us are looking for a change.

Some have no choice. We have lost jobs, businesses, or loved ones, and we need a new start.

Others have the luxury of choosing. We have realized that a fancy job title is less important than time with family and friends. Maybe exercising to fill time has morphed into a goal for a healthier lifestyle.

New Year’s, New You?

The beginning of the year feels like the right time to start afresh. We toss out old bills, sort out our tax papers, clean out our closets and look to the future. We decide what to keep and what to change about ourselves as well as our possessions. We set goals for the year and call them New Year’s Resolutions, as if naming them will give us the resolve to stick with them. Almost everyone’s list of New Year’s Resolutions includes some version of getting fit, taking control of finances, and learning something new.

Whatever your change and whatever your reason, I salute you. Growing, changing and improving keeps life interesting. Controlling change in part of your life can give you the resilience to adapt to changes you don’t see coming.

I also want to warn you. Superficial change is a waste of energy. It’s like spending the summer nurturing a garden, only to let the vegetables rot on the vine in the fall. Don’t let that happen to you.

Here are 3 things that you can change in 2021, that will not change your life. They won’t get you any closer to your new goals, or to your dreams. Unless you address what lies behind them.

Superficial change is  like nurturing your garden all summer then letting the vegetables rot on the vine in the fall.

Find a new look – or look beyond appearance

Starting the year with some form of a new look is on almost everyone’s list. Whether it’s finally losing those last 10 pounds, covering your first gray hairs, or doing a wardrobe makeover with a professional stylist, changing your appearance can feel like emerging from a chrysalis and spreading your butterfly wings. The right look really can make you feel like a new person.

Just be sure you know why you are making that change. A new look doesn’t change who you are. If you hate your job in your boring blue suit, you will hate it just as much in a deconstructed khaki blazer. And that stylish new bob won’t make you any braver.

Meaningful change requires you to work on your inside, not just your outside. Instead of expecting a new suit to get you a raise, focus on how to ask for one effectively and then do it. Hate your job? Look for a new one, and wear that blazer for the interview.

 

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