Your 2020 Shift List

Happy New Year!  As we journey through the month of January, there are countless people talking about New Year’s Resolutions, a word of the year, goals for 2020, etc.  And those things are all great and if they work for you, that’s fantastic!  Today, however, I would like to share with you a slightly different twist on the concept of goals and present to you the Shift List.

When I was in my counseling program, I had a professor who talked often about the idea of the 5% shift.  When any of us think about change, we tend to often set unrealistic goals and set ourselves up for failure.  When we set a big goal and don’t reach it, we are much more likely to quit and give up.  5% of 100 is obviously a really small amount.  But over time, shifting 5% moves you in an entirely different direction, and it’s at a pace that is typically more sustainable and lasting.

So let’s say that one of your goals for 2020 is to exercise 5 times a week for 30 minutes but prior to now, you haven’t been exercising much.  That might be too big of a jump.  But what if we consider the 5% shift?  How about you go for a 10 minute walk 3 times a week?  Or do a 10 minute yoga video when you get home from work?  Once this 5% shift has become engrained in your weekly life, then we can ramp it up and go for 20 minutes at a time.  Or add another day.

From an emotional standpoint, what if you struggle with perfectionism and are very critical towards yourself and others?  Your 5% shift might be to say one kind thing to another person and one kind thing to yourself once a day.  And then when you master that, you can add to it.

Change is always possible.  But change generally lasts when it’s done at a slower pace, with small shifts along the way.  So welcome 2020!  Think about what you would like to see be different when you reach the end of this year.  And then shift away – 5% at a time!  You will be amazed at the transformations that can occur.  What’s on your shift list for this year?  Share in the comments below!

~Tiffany Jones, LMHC, Director of Renew Counseling

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