Building the Potential for Change
By Hillary E. Catrow, MSOM, L.Ac.
Spring is here and if nature has anything to teach us about making changes in our lives it is this. Today
may be cold and gloomy but regardless of what’s happening on the surface under the soil great things are
brewing. Lush roots are stirring, and a force much greater than us is propelling the seasons forward. You
could try but there is no stopping the season’s potential to change and bloom.
Similarly change in our own lives can be hard, regardless of how badly we want change to eat better, be
more active, run a marathon, lose weight, be healthier, smarter or stronger. Having a few tools in our
toolbox can be helpful in making the process less daunting and more enjoyable.
1) First comes first, you are already enough and you are the best you right now. Period. There are
no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Celebrate how far you have come and your willingness to move
forward, write it down, take stock and relish in it. Repeat often. Change can be slow and the
journey itself deserves to be celebrated.
2) Start Small. As Lao Tzu says “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Break
down your big goal into smaller and smaller segments. What can you do today that will set you on
your path? Can you add veggies to every meal? Or choose to walk to the coffee shop that’s a
block farther than your go-to cafe. Add a few squats in while you’re waiting on hold with customer
service. Stay present and build on each day. Before you know it you’ll be 100 steps closer.
3) Have fun. You’re more likely to succeed if you enjoy the process. If you don’t like going to the
gym, maybe you prefer dancing or grab your pup and hit the trails. Make meal planning social by
inviting some partners in crime over for a cooking soiree. There are tons of phone apps that can
make meditation, food logging, working out more of a game than a choir. Be creative.
4) Change your language. How we talk to ourselves matters, especially when it comes to doing
things that are challenging. Replace phrases with “I can’t have this” or “I have to do that” with “I
choose to…” Create a self-love mantra like “I love myself enough to take the actions required for
my happiness and health”. Focus on what change is adding to your life, not what it might be
5) Be prepared to fail and know it’s ok. Just like Spring, change will often move in like a lion and out
like a lamb. So what if you ate eight cookies today or you laid around all weekend watching The
Office. Success is just as much about the rest, recovery and reflection as it is about the hustle.
Revisit Step One of this list and remember how amazing you and how far you’ve come. Love yourself and move on. Tomorrow is a new day.