For so many people, January 1st is a time to set goals and think about the New Year. The first few weeks are full of starting new habits and vows to change, but before the end of the month, most are back to old habits and behaviors. What causes us to want to change in the first place, especially if we have had past experiences of not being able to obtain these goals? Why do we give up so easily?
I believe that everything is connected, that life is interwoven with all seen and unseen matter. There is something deep inside humanity that needs to grow. Just as a seed must sprout, so must we. One issue of accomplishing goals is that often, they are so big that we don’t know how to break them into small accomplishments. When we do make them manageable, we don’t see the results as fast as we want.
Today, global warming, zero waste, social justice, eco trends, alternative energy and others fall in to the larger concept of sustainability. It’s easy to get all riled up and declare new behaviors at a rally or after watching an inspiring movie, yet after a few weeks of carrying those mason jars to the food co-op, many people become discouraged and whine that the problem is just too big to do alone.
Therein lies the problem. When we think we are alone, singular actions rarely make a difference to our mind. Yet, when we feel a part of something greater – something bigger than just me – courage and power rises within us. Today, more than ever through social media, we all have the opportunity to be connected with some group. Even then, we can easily get distracted and forgot what our original goals were.
For me, the best way to create change is to feel connected. I need the big picture and the small steps to get to that point. I need to feel the energy that flows as the dots are connected. This is what has kept me honoring the planet and humanity. Knowing that I am greater than myself, and believing that my small actions make a difference because I recognize the oneness of everything, encourages me to move forward through the hard times. It also allows me to start all over again when the current plan doesn’t work.
Finally, we are starting to see how action, as well as inaction concerning environmental issues, not only affect the planet, but also humans living on the planet. I grew up on a farm, so I learned at an early age that crops needed to be rotated in order to improve the soil. I also learned that many plants and animals were symbiotic and needed each other to thrive. That meant we had food to eat, so I understood the connection of my actions on Earth.
One of the reasons I promote “Green Building” is because building science looks at the building as a whole system. It takes into consideration everything from the site to the people living in the home. The guiding question is “how does everything work together to create the best home ever?”
We have spent the past century breaking everything into parts in order to understand how it all works. Vast improvements have been made in industry, medicine, transportation, social welfare and food production. America had high goals and effectively created steps and processes that allowed us to rapidly obtain those goals – our school system was divided into time frames much like assembly line workers; doctors focused on singular cures and specialties; individual cars created convenient mobility; vast amounts of food were created in mono systems. All of this elevated the overall quality of life for most Americans. Somewhere in all of the objectives and mini-goals, we forgot the big picture. We forgot that most things work in tandem and everything is connected to something larger.
Quantum physics and string theory are changing the way humanity sees itself. Science is now stating the words of ancient mystics and agreeing that, indeed, everything is connected and our awareness of our universe and ourselves depends on those connections. It means that what I do and what you do really does matter! It also means that “a little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing!” It means when individual actions are recognized and intended to create change, then they will. This is why we start with those lofty New Year goals and break them down into smaller objectives that we can accomplish.
2020 is a new decade and an excellent time to create personal goals and objects. The key to keeping those goals and actually creating change for yourself is to believe that little steps matter, and as long as you don’t give up, change will occur. It is also important to recognize that when you make a better version of yourself, you are in fact creating a better version of the world you live in.
Let’s create a world that works for all!
Happy New Year!