Change: Too Close to See Your Progress

When you make a change in your life, for example going from working 100 hours to 50 hours, people close to you may not always notice.  Sometimes, when you make major changes in your life it is even more difficult when no one in your life notices them.  It takes time to notice things and eventually they will come around; like all of a sudden your baby is six months old and they seem bigger than yesterday.  Sometimes, we don’t even notice our own changes.  Keep track of what we’re doing in a daily journal, because we are close enough to ourselves to not notice our own changes right away.  Decide on the change you need to make, write down in your journal when you decide on the change, and keep track of the progress.

Have you ever made a big change in your life, but noticed that those around you don’t seem to have noticed? Let’s say you used to work 80 hours a week, and you’ve cut that back to 50. Do your family and friends (especially your family) start telling you how wonderful it is that you’re working less and around more?


Probably not, because they’re too close. This can be frustrating, and I know that for me, making major changes to balance my life is more difficult when those changes don’t seem to be noticed.

But hang in there, because the changes will become more obvious to those close to you. They will begin to notice. It’s just that right now they’re too close. They may be focusing on other things, like the fact that you still don’t throw your socks in the hamper.

But most likely, they’re just focusing on their own lives, and haven’t even been paying that much attention to you.

That’s really how people function. We like to think we’re paying attention to everything, all the time, but it takes time to notice things sometimes.

If you’re a parent and suddenly noticed that your child is now six months old and bigger than a bread box, you understand what I’m talking about. You’re so close to the situation that you can’t see him/her growing. You notice it only in large increments, and only occasionally.

I think if we’re going to lead the lives we want and be the people we want to be, we’re going to have to realize that not everyone is paying as much attention as we’d like. We’re not always going to find people just fawning over us and telling us how much they appreciate our changes.

At the same time, sometimes we, ourselves, are too close to see our own changes.

My solution to this is that we keep track of what we’re doing, and note changed we see, in a journal. If you’re out of the habit of eating lunch, it may be hard to notice you have been eating lunch every day for three months, unless you made a note on your calendar and have been continuing to just check off when you eat lunch.

Developing new habits is hard, and it can be harder when no one seems to notice or care.

I think we owe it to ourselves to notice and care on our own, whether anyone else seems to be paying attention or not. Because, after all, they are our changes. If we’re not paying enough attention to notice when we’ve made a remarkable change, why should we expect anyone else to pay attention?

It may feel good to have someone else remark on our changes, but I think the best possible situation is when someone else notices something we’re already giving ourselves credit for.

How can you give yourself credit for change?

  • Decide on one change you need to make
  • Write down in your journal when you make the decision
  • Keep a log of your progress.

Thanks to I Will Change Your Life for including this post in the Personal Stories of Change Blog Carnival.

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