Now that the Holiday season is coming to the end, most people are at the “the resolution preparation” mode. I certainly feel my 2018 flies by so quickly, especially at the end of 2018. Earlier this year, I made a decision to move my office to a new location. In October, I started to plan the move and in November, I was busy with the move. In December, I am still adjusting to the new office and still trying to put everything to its place.
I certainly have a lot of changes in 2018.
As I reflect this past year and the decision to move, I realized that I had learned something about CHANGE to help with my 2019 planning.
The idea of making the office location change popped up in 2017. However, due to many personal reasons, I couldn’t dedicate the time to make a move. More importantly, I was scared. My clients were used to the office and were referring me new clients to that location. I was very used to that office. Even though there were issues, they didn’t bother me enough to make a move.
By 2018, the same issues bothered me more and more and I realized it’s time to make a change. My lease ended in November and I needed to give 3 months in advance notice. This was one of the main reason I decided not to move in 2017. I didn’t know which landlords would hold 3 months for me and I can’t afford to pay the rent in two places. However, by 2018, I decided that I was going to look first and see what I can find.
So, the first lesson I learned about change is: if you don’t take time to make the change, that’s because those issues didn’t bother you enough to make the change.
Starting in July, I started to look and for sure, no one is willing to hold the place for me until December. I told myself that: “no matter what’s going to happen, I am giving my notice at the end of August and it will still give me 3 more months to look for a new place.”
When I walked into my new office for the first time, I knew: “this is it!” It was like the love at first sight. After a few rounds of checking and talking, the landlord actually held the space for me until December and agreed to let me stating to move in over the Thanksgiving weekend.
Everything worked out in the end.
Still, I remembered the day after I signed the lease, I was experiencing a tremendous anxiety attack. I was sitting in my old office and thinking to myself: “OMG, Grace, what have you just done?” My logical brain knows this is the right move and knows that I have planned this for the entire year. My emotional brain was scared for the change.
Once I know when I would move, I started the planning process. I laid out a plan for everything I needed to do, before, during, and after the move. However, I found myself paralyzed with my to-do list. I have a practice to run, the clients to take care, and much administrative work to do. Every weekend when I should be doing the things on my to-do list, I was waking up wishing I can borrow Santa’s elf to help me. The to-do list was getting longer, and I was nowhere close to ready.
Still, time passed by and I gradually managed to pack and to look for the new furniture.
In the end, I did the best I can and still have had a lot of things to do at this moment when I am typing up this entry. However, I am in my new office. During this transition, I didn’t miss a day of work.
The 2nd lesson I learned is: Change is scary, but it helps to take charge instead of being pushed to change. There are many times in life, we know the change is needed, but we refuse to make changes. Change is a constant thing and there is no way anyone can stay the same forever. At times, the circumstance pushes us into making the changes, such as death. In the meantime, there are times that we can take charge of the change. If we take charge to make changes on our terms and timetable, change is still as scary as it can be but much more manageable.
I am not a very handy person. I am a very clumsy person. In the moving process, I bought many pieces of the furniture that required assembling. The first time, I put together four pieces of chairs for the waiting room area. In the end, every chair was wobbling. I sat on those chairs and thinking to myself: Should I buy some safety insurance for my clients just in case the chairs falling apart while they sat on these chairs?
However, by the 2nd weekend, I started to get the hang of doing it. I was able to find some tools to help me and was able to tighten up those wobbling chairs to secure. By the 3rd weekend, I started to figure out the process and the procedure to systematically assemble the furniture to avoid the mistake.
Suddenly, I realize this:
The 3rd lesson I learned from this change is: keep practicing and eventually, you will get it. Acquiring new skills or changing old habits is not easy. However, if I just kept practicing on it and do it consistently, eventually, I will be able to do it. This philosophy can almost apply to everything in my life, learning English, running, yoga, meditation, doing therapy, etc..
So, here is my challenge to you while you are setting up your 2019 New Year Resolution plan.
- Check your stock and pick one thing in your life that you want to change.
* What would that be? Is it your career, relationship, or housing location?
* Or, it’s not a life altering changes but something you have been avoiding to do, such as diet, exercise, or fiancee?
- Make a list of the steps that you need to take to make the change happen.
- Pick one thing on that list and stick to it for at least the entire January. Then, pick another one on the list for February, and continues.
At the end of 2019, let’s come back here together and see where we are.
Oh, are you asking about my plan? There will be quite a few changes in my practice in the year 2019. I am planning to offer a different kind of modality of services in 2019. Those services will still center on the trauma, depression, anxiety, and couple relationship work but with different approaches. I am still in the planning stages and will announce them once I have a concrete plan.
Goodbye 2018 and Hello 2019! Let’s make 2019 the year of taking charge of change.