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  • Writer's pictureDr. Neal Nybo

Choose to change

“You rarely have time for everything you want in this life, so you need to make choices. And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are.”

—Fred Rogers

A lot of people are ready for change

A little over 150 years ago, Henry David Thoreau wrote one of the most quoted, and disquieting, truths of the twentieth century: “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

There are plenty of statistics telling us that many people today are not satisfied with quiet desperation.

35 million Americans taking antidepressants,

70 percent of surveyed employees who say they are unhappy,

3 billion hits on Google for “change,” it’s clear that a lot of people want things to be different in their lives.

There are all kinds of positive examples of people seeking to move past quiet desperation. The majority of college graduates now return for additional education. Eleven percent of Americans move each year, often for positive reasons—marriage, children, job change, retirement. And almost half of us make New Year’s resolutions for positive change. Sixty-six percent of those resolutions have to do with better fitness. For all kinds of reasons, people are ready for change.

Ready but not able to change

People are ready, maybe even desperate, for a change, but they don’t know what to do or how to go about it.

We see this in those New Year’s resolution statistics.

Thirty percent give up before February, 75 percent before meeting their goal.

Change is hard for every person, and for all kinds of reasons.

In order for real change to occur:

1. Goals have to connect with deep places inside us. It’s not just any change we want. It’s change that resonates with the best parts of who we are, change that connects with our passions, and that reflects our values and vision of our place in this world.

2. For resolutions to stick, goals need to be specific to us. We need clarity and direction about what is right for us.

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