Change – What’s in Your Control, What’s Not


A new year. A fresh start. Optimism at the possibilities. Fear of knowing the self-sabotage of the past.

As we check-in with ourselves and notice changes we want to make, it’s helpful to be clear of what’s in your control.

How much of your time and energy do you spend worrying and ruminating on things not in your control – other’s actions, what people may think about you, past events, or other’s drama.

All this takes time and energy away from things in your control like your actions, your thoughts, your attitude and what you consume.

We tend to think we have some sort of control when we are complaining and worrying. It’s comfortable. We get the sense we are doing something. We post on Facebook about what horrible thing this political leader did. Or gossip about a co-worker. Or we toss and turn in the middle of the night about what are adult children may or may not be doing.

Things we do control we spend less time on, after all, they are harder. It’s easier to whine about things not in our control than it is to do the actual work of changing.

Say you want to declutter – you can complain about not getting help or that you have too small of a house. It’s easier to list off all the reasons you can’t declutter. Taking action will require you to make a plan, implement the plan and then if you don’t implement the plan – figure out why.

It’s in your control to set a time aside to declutter. It’s in your control to decide to use the declutter calendar or a different plan. It’s in your control when that reminder pops up that you declutter. It’s in your control to inquire of yourself if it didn’t happen.

But, that can be scary because in the past asking yourself why you didn’t declutter meant a lot of berating yourself over lack of willpower or how unorganized and scattered you are. Instead, how would it feel to ask yourself why you didn’t declutter in a self-compassionate way. You are curious and looking for feedback. You are trying to find out what is helpful and beating yourself up isn’t. You are digging down to get the truth, not your surface excuses.

Then you make a new plan for the next day that deals with this truth. Maybe you get support, maybe you read a how-to, or maybe you allow your feelings to be expressed.

You control whether you try something else or give up when things aren’t perfect.

You also control how much you take on at one time. Especially at the new year we want instant transformation. We want all our changes done at once. But, we know that is not how life works. We don’t have the time or energy for that.

Questions for Change

So what will your 1-4 projects be for now?

How can you make your life slightly better that is in your control?

What do you need to surrender and let go of so you have more time and energy?


Photo by Torne


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *