Ask any one of my closest friends, and most of them will openly admit that they’re not comfortable with change. I take that as a litmus-test of the world, regardless of the small sample size.
People don’t do well with change…
Especially when change involves scary things like newness, uncertainty, not-knowing, or loneliness.
Change is a strong word.
I am here to tell you that there is a way to access the benefits of the “change” concept while losing all the terrifying connotations– and this magic all lies within the power of words.
I’m here to give you a cheap-and-easy way to make a real difference in your own life, whether you’re in the sophomore-slump stage of your New Year’s Resolutions, pursuing a Lenten discipline, or are simply tired of beating yourself up over old habits.
Don’t demand change– seek VARIETY.
Example: You believe your diet needs to improve. You need to eat healthier. You need to start feeling better, having more energy, and eating real, clean foods. You need to make a CHANGE.
Instead, why not just infuse a little healthy VARIETY?
I am a little obsessed with variety in my eating. I refuse to eat the same thing for two meals in a row, and I also refuse to eat the same thing for the same meal two days in a row. I rarely even repeat recipes, and always vote for trying something new. I purchase different produce every week, eat different fruits and vegetables, and even drink different juices.
My slightly-insane habits may involve a lot of planning (a post for another time, perhaps), but they also provide me with a fail-safe method for eating a well-balanced diet.
Because I insist on variety in my cooking and my eating, I ended up engaging in a healthier diet (without ever whispering the word “change”).
Lately, I have been obsessed with finding variety in my everyday life. I take a different path each time I walk between classes. I mix up my wardrobe. I choose different uses for my free time each day.
Right now, I am fully embracing a lifestyle of flexibility– or, at least, as much as my over-planned over-scheduled over-controlling personality allows.
“Variety” is a side hug, while “change” is a half-hour makeout session.
Do you feel the difference now?
What’s wonderful is that a little bit of variety over time creates the exact same results as a full-blown “change.”
Example: You believe that you should exercise five times per week. You need to be strong and fit, as soon as possible. Your new year’s resolution tanked with the beginning of February, and it’s time to get back on the wagon. You decide to make a major CHANGE, and go from not exercising at all, to dragging yourself to the gym every single day until you’re so sore you can hardly go up the stairs.
Is anybody surprised when you stop your exercising all over again?
Instead of trying to enact such a massive CHANGE in your habits, just insert a little bit of VARIETY.
I’ve really been enjoying the fruits of my labor the last couple weeks, as I endeavored to add a little motion to my everyday life. One day, I went for a long hike. I went to a ballroom dancing workshop. I did a simple workout on my living room floor. I attended a workout class. I went for a swim in the lap pool.
Variety, people. It’s as good as gold. Let me tell you why.
Variety keeps your mind and your body from becoming bored. You do the same run every single morning, at the same pace, listening to the same music, taking the same path, and soon enough you may as well fall asleep on your feet.
And, with a little bit of variety added to your exercise routine, you completely avoid the dangerous concept of something “not counting” or “not being enough.” If your goal is to mix it up, everything counts! Every minute of movement is enough!
Confession time: I have never been one of those people who sincerely enjoys exercising. Honestly. But something about trying all these different activities tricks my mind into thinking that i’m “having fun”… which, in the end, I truly am!
It’s very easy to add a little bit of variety into your life. It’s so easy to add a little spice of something different, something new.
This thought process is exciting, freeing, fun, flexible, and extremely beneficial.
This week, try to add a little variety into your days and see if it adds a little sparkle to your existence.
Little ways to live out a life with VARIETY:
Write your notes in a different colored pen today (maybe your favorite color! or make it glittery! or something!)
For your next pleasure-read, pick up a book in a completely new genre to you. Graphic novels, anyone?
Do something different with that one hour you have around lunchtime– eat in a new location, meet up with a friend, take yourself out to lunch, or find a prime spot for some intense people-watching.
Meet someone new. Introduce yourself. Have a conversation. Share a smile.
This weekend, plan to do something with a little bit of adventure to it (For me, this means taking myself to the nearest rock-climbing wall for my first ever stab at it).
Buy a new vegetable at the store you’ve never heard of before, and find a new recipe to use it in.
Eat something different for breakfast each day this week.
I hope that you find as much excitement and imagination as I do in making your life full of variety. Life is for the living. I’m tired of trodding down the same old grass, pounding out the same old thoughts, and dealing with my self-imposed limitations.
Variety is my gateway into freedom.
I’m not asking you to “take the plunge”… I’m just inviting you to do a dance in the shallow end.
“La variété, c’est la vie, l’uniformité, c’est la mort.” – Benjamin Constant