Are You Determined to Change This Year?

“The key to change… is to let go of fear.” – Rosanne Cash

New Year resolutions are easy to list or write, but can be difficult to implement. New Year resolutions are about change. We all see the beginning of a new year as an opportunity to change certain habits or start new ways of life. We all want to change, but certain factors, such as fear, hold us back.

The key to change is to let go of fear. As Dorothy Thompson put it, ‘Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live’. To begin to live is to begin to live without fear; it’s to be able to change without fear. We live in a society that fears failure. Many times, we want to make a change in our careers, social lives, or family traditions or religion, but fear prevents us from achieving these goals. Fear is like a virus that wrecks havoc in our lives. It develops into mistrust, anxiety, worry, hopelessness, and other negative emotions. It paralyzes us and hinders our progress in life. When fear grips you, you become powerless. It’s the greatest obstacle to personal success.

The good news is that there are ways to deal with the fear of change. Consider the following:

1. Write down your signs or symptoms of fear.

It all begins with the awareness of the evidence of fear in us. Although we may have no control over the events or circumstances that we fear, we have control over the effect (fear) they have on us. Our fear is our interpretation of the events or circumstances. Writing down our interpretation of events or circumstances and not allowing them to prevent us from changing an aspect of our lives or following through on our resolutions will really help us to change. Once you know why you are afraid, you can deal with fear.

2. Take small, bold, decisive actions.

To overcome this fear, you must act. When you act, act boldly. Decide in your heart that you are going to change and begin to act accordingly. Action gives you the power to achieve your goals despite the circumstances or the situations surrounding them. Action also enables you to do what you fear. Take action one step at a time. Don’t try to take giant steps, with boldness. Doing this may leave you achieving nothing. Consequently, you may become less confident in your abilities. So, take small, bold decisive actions and you will be encouraged and motivated to change.

3. Believe in yourself.

Believe you can overcome any obstacle, any problem, and any situation that may want to prevent you from changing. Tell yourself you have the ability and capability to change. Even when you fail, get up, tell yourself you can do it and do it again. Picture yourself as doing what you fear.

4. Have regular time-out.

Any time you are having a hard time responding to change, spend some time with yourself; create the time and space to relax, and allow enough, fresh, revitalizing energy to move through you; have controlled deep diaphragm breathing, at intervals. Once you get relaxed and focused, you will know it is time to start to try to experiment with change.

5. Be curious about the object of fear.

Learn about what creates the fear in you. Learn about the change you want to make. Learn about yourself and the best way you can make that change effective. Get involved with life. Learn as much as you can. Develop curiosity. Explore the depths of your being and discover the courage to create a new life, a new beginning. Resolve to live the life of your dreams. Discover your hidden powers and change could be easy for you.

6. Set goals and strive for growth.

By setting goals and striving to adapt and change when necessary, you will eliminate the fear of not reaching your goals. Instead of looking at the frustration and disappointments surrounding your goals, see them as opportunities to grow and achieve your goals. Frustration and disappointments are stepping stones on the road to success.

7. Use your imagination.

Your imagination is like a powerful magnet that draws to it whatever you are anticipating. Use your imagination to focus on the positive, what is empowering and liberating, rather than on the negative, what is discouraging, such as fear.

8. Take calculated risks.

Taking calculated risk is determining that you are ready to face the worst to achieve your goal. It’s about determining to change despite all odds. It’s about doing it afraid. By doing this, your fear of failure will be reduced. Some people take uncalculated risks, and when everything collapses they end up being afraid to try again. If you experience a crash, take another flight. Risk is part of life!

* * *

Changing your life can be difficult. However, knowing how to overcome the number one enemy of change – fear – makes change a little easier. Take your New Year resolutions seriously and have a glorious year ahead.

Photo by Sabrina Campagna

Recommend Resources

Looking for more inspiration? The following are some of our favorite resources:

Recommended Reading List – the best books on everything related to personal change and growth. The selection is a mix of time-tested classics and more recent bestsellers. Click here to see our recommended reading list.

Possibility Change Book Series – the best stories on this website from different topics, neatly packaged into Kindle Books for your convenience and reading pleasure. Books published to date: Fear & Courage, Personal Transformation, and Travel & Adventure.

Kindle Unlimited – a subscription service from Amazon that gives unlimited access to over 1 million titles (including the Possibility Change Series). You can read anytime and on any device with the free Kindle app. Click here to learn more about Kindle Unlimited.

Audible - If you have trouble finding time to read, audiobooks are a great way to listen to books while commuting, working out, cooking, or any other activity. You can try Audible for free with the Audible free trial.


16 thoughts on “Are You Determined to Change This Year?”

  1. the best way out is to let go of bad habits. Generally, it’s not quiet hard to change but we just can’t let go of our habits. We just constantly like being stuck in them. It feel good but it increases our worry. So this year, let go.

  2. Hi Olusegun,

    You are right. We must let go of fear before we can bring about change. Only when we let go of fear can we bring about much needed change in our lives. I love the ways you have listed to deal with fear. Here are my thoughts on some of them.
    1. Write down your signs or symptoms of fear.

    Keeping our fear in our heads makes it hard for us to discern the problem. But when we write it down, it becomes crystal clear. And with clarity comes awareness of the fear we must overcome. This, in my opinion, is one of the most important steps we must take to deal with fear. Without awareness, there can be no change.

    6. Set goals and strive for growth.

    Setting goals gives our energy focus. When we focus our energies on growth, we have less time and space to feel our fears. We have a goal to reach, a purpose to fulfil and that compels us to go forward. As long as we accept frustration, disappointments, mistakes and failures as part and parcel of the road to success and learn from them, we will reach our goals. And in doing so, we will have much growth and experience as a result.

    8. Take calculated risks.

    Taking calculated risks involves prudent planning and preparation for outcomes that do not go our way. As long as we anticipate the various outcomes, we will be in a better position to deal with setbacks and adjust quickly. The good thing about taking calculated risks is the experience we gain. Even if we fail, we know what not to do and that brings us one step closer to change and our goals. Remember, mistakes and failures are lessons of life that we have to learn to advance to the next level.

    Thank you for sharing this inspiring article! :)

    Irving the Vizier

  3. Are we practicing “negative” goal setting?

    Resolutions (or goals) are important, however you have to “activate” them in order for them to work. Activate all your scenes: You must confess what you want, thinking about, visualize, and focusing on your goals.

    The problem with most of us is we active what we don’t want. We confess and speak about what we have; we focus on what we fear, we visualize the worst case scenario, and we worry about and hold in our mind a picture of what we don’t want to come to pass. Naturally, we bring these things into our life.

    Simple formula: What we choose to focus on we “attract” into our life.

    http://www.contrarianism.net

  4. Thanks for the tips here. One other thing that may be helpful for getting ready to change is to work with a coach, mentor, or friend as someone to hold you accountable.

    My friend may not have realized he was doing this, but he felt he always had trouble getting everything done that he wanted to on his days off. So he got in the habit of sharing some of his bigger to do’s he needed to get done each week. On more than one occasion he or I would call each other to check up on the goals.

  5. Hi, This post is brilliant! The idea of writing down our signs and symtoms of fear. This allows us to have more self-awarness and have a deeper mindfulness of what affects us and how it affects us. These tips are wonderfully proactive. Thanks!

  6. I’ve decided to change and of course no better time than the begining of the year , i have seen in many websites that keeping a journal helps when making a change so i created a blog. there i give tips about change of habits and also i report my daily progress. It helps a lot because i can see where i missed things or how good i have done. It would be great to have people join me there, give me your opinion or share what you are doing to change and how are you doing it, i believe that when we have people sharing the same interest it motivates us. It will motivate me and im sure it will motivate you too. http://changeables.blogspot.com/

  7. Writing down your fears and symptoms is really important. First knowing them is the first step to overcome them. However, overcoming them often needs someone else. I think trying to overcome fear by oneself isn’t very practical. Having someone there supporting you and giving you advice and encouragement how to overcome it is necessary for many people.

  8. Really like number 7, using your imagination to focus on the positive. It’s so easy to be negative, unfortunately, but putting some decent energy into imagining how your better life will be has got to be a good thing! Particularly if it really is a powerful magnet drawing in the good stuff you’re hoping for! Got to be worth a try. Thanks, Gee.

  9. I really enjoyed this post. Writnig fears down or saying them out loud is the hardest part. Giving and receiving support can change someones life. I have decided this year to channel all my energy into positive thoughts and take more risks. Thanks for the post ☺

  10. To set goals and to take small decisive actions is great. What made me think is that you mention fear more than once. You might be right. I mentioned often that one should dare more. What holds people back to not dare more? I rather think that many don’t want to put the effort that is necessary.

  11. I agree with Vivi that journaling can really help. Especially with overcoming fears like you have said, a journal gives you a place to write down all your fears and figure out a way of overcoming them. And when you are feeling down reading back over past successes is a good way of getting up again!

  12. Leting go of fear is the first step to achieve what you want in your life. Then changes will come into life spontaneously, so changing requires eliminating all your fears which keep you from achieving your goals. Maybe, at first it is hard to achieve, but your attitudes towards your life will change right away. in this way, all decisions you have take about future will be supported by you. You will feel more confident and sure about your decisions. I think, It’s worth taking a first step.
    .

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