Several months ago while I was on my Vipassana meditation retreat, I was captivated by the idea that change is a constant. By unplugging for ten days and increasing my sense of awareness, it became very apparent that objects around us and within us, even at the tiniest levels, are always in a state of flux. Despite the fleeting nature of everything, we as humans tend to cling to objects, people, places, memories, emotional states, etc.. We crave permanence even though impermanence stares us in the face. When I returned home, I became obsessed with this question: if everything is constantly changing then why is it so hard for most people to change old habits and develop new habits?
It turns out my question has a number of answers. For starters, certain behaviors become so deeply wired into our brains that we perform them automatically or when triggered. This allows us to perform certain activities without having to think about them. This dynamic allows the brain to focus on more important activities such as those related to survival. Additionally, most people try to change old habits and create new habits but don’t really know how to or give up too soon. There’s not only a lot of misinformation floating around but many people, myself included, try to make huge changes before taking small steps. The evidence is clear: more than 100 million Americans set New Year’s resolutions but less than 8% are successful in their pursuit.
Over the last three years, I’ve become deeply passionate about behavior change and personal growth. During this time, I’ve developed a daily meditation practice, built a highly satisfying sober life, lost nearly twenty pounds, cycled more than 3,000 miles, read more than a hundred books, and created countless other tiny habits. All of these changes didn’t happen overnight. Each behavior began with a small step that eventually grew into a larger habit with plenty of time, practice, and patience. Perhaps most importantly, I relied upon a support network of family, friends, and mentors who held me accountable, provided tough love, shared advice and encouraged me to stay the path. I couldn’t have made these stride alone. I realized change isn’t easy, but it’s certainly possible with the right tools, a bit of patience, a dose of persistence and peer support.
With that being said, I’m excited to finally take the wraps off my latest side project: One Change Club. We are building a community in NYC that helps our members build good habits, one at a time. We believe that everyone has an unlimited capacity to grow, but it’s difficult to develop new habits alone and without tools. One Change Club was created with a simple idea: build a community of dedicated individuals who are committed to creating new habits and supporting each other. We started One Change Club because we wanted something like it in NYC but it didn’t exist. We took the initiative to build it ourselves and share it with you.
One Change Club has three components: a workshop, community, and tools. Our workshop is the initiation into the One Change Club. During the workshop, you will receive a crash course on increasing self-awareness, understanding behavior change, mapping your habits, understanding new habit formation and implementing a plan to achieve your goal. Once you complete the workshop, you will interact with the community on three levels: in the workshop, in our online community and in one-on-one chats with other members. Upon completing the workshop, you will gain access to a variety of tools to help on you on y our journey including a habit tracker, a community app, a daily email, a variety of worksheets and journaling exercises.
Our first three workshops are planned for December 2017 and January 2018. Right now, they’re limited to NYC, but we hope to host workshops in other cities later this year. Space is limited because we’re keeping the first three cohorts small. We plan to give our inaugural members the attention they deserve so they can succeed. We also want to learn what works and what doesn’t before greatly expanding cohorts. I promise we will iterate and improve each cohort based on feedback from members and our learnings. I also promise to learn from and grow with each member. In all honesty, this is a bit of an experiment and I can’t make any guarantees, but the early feedback from prospective members has been super positive. I am truly excited and honored to share the experience with you.
If you’re based in NYC, you can apply to the One Change Club here. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, comments, feedback or initial impressions. I hope to see you there.
I’ll leave you with our manifesto:
We believe you have an unlimited capacity to grow. You can become who you want to be. You can change whatever you want to. You are potential. You are progress. You have everything you need inside of you. Heart. Smarts. Guts. Passion. Will. Strength. The road won’t be a cakewalk. You’ll struggle. You’ll stumble. You’ll fall. That’s ok. Everyone does. Failure is part of the journey. You have the freedom to choose how to respond. You can give up or pick yourself up. Have faith. Wipe the mud off your face. Take a deep breath. Look in the mirror. Focus on yourself. Don’t point fingers. Start over. Take the first step. Make it a small step. And the second. Focus on just one more rather than the mountaintop. The goal is progress, not perfection. One step at a time. One day at a time. That is all we ask of you. Nothing more. Be patient. Be persistent. You can do it. You are doing it. You will reach your destination. We believe.