Making the choice to make a change

Could this be the year when you choose to turn those positive thoughts into positive actions?

By Jayne Fidgeon, Clinical Supervisor in the John Taylor Hospice Wellbeing Team

With the hustle and bustle of the festive season now behind us, we have the whole of 2020 in front of us – the start of not just a New Year but the arrival of a new decade. At this time of year I often find myself reflecting; contemplating the old year and deciding what to take with me into the next 12 months.  

For some, 2019 was a year to muddle through for lots of different reasons. We cannot go back but we can take learning from those experiences. We often forget we always have choices: do I choose to continue unhelpful or unhealthy patterns of thoughts or behaviours in the New Year or do I choose to do something about them? I guess there lies the power!

We can positively change our lives through the choices we make, but how do we set about turning those great ideas and intentions from contemplations into actions?

Think about what you want to achieve and why

Whether it’s a positive change to your diet, a promise to quit an unhealthy habit or introducing a new healthy habit like regular exercise – defining your goals and having a clear vision of what you want to achieve, and why, can really help.

Whenever you decide to make a change, it’s helpful to understand why you’re making the change in the first place. For some people it helps to make a list or keep a journal. I have found that sharing my ideas with others and stating my intentions out loud can really help to create a positive and determined mindset!   

Create a plan and take action

It’s easy to be overly optimistic and think that simply deciding to change is all it takes. You can choose to put those thoughts into action by making a plan.

Think about what motivates you and create small goals that serve your larger goal. For example, if you want to introduce healthy diet changes then why not start by making sure you’re getting your 5-a-day? Try not to bite off more than you can chew and think about starting to introduce little changes that feel more manageable.

Taking action can be a difficult step but, whatever you want to achieve, you can make the choice to own it! I’ve included a resource section below that I hope will help you to take that next step.  

Don’t be afraid to seek advice and support

Building a network of support can really help you to put your New Year plans into action. This can take many forms such as joining a group or club, downloading an app or seeking professional help. Finding what works for you may take some time. Depending upon your goals, being with like-minded people can be extremely motivating and inspiring or you may prefer to go it alone – remember it’s your choice and I guess there lies the power!

Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year ahead.


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