It’s Time for Positive Displacement
Time to say goodbye to the old and welcome the new. Time to kick old habits to the curb, and eagerly anticipate improvements in our lives.
You know the cycle. We set the goals. We limit this and restrict that. Yet, after a mere 30 days we come to the realization that we’ve underestimated the very mountain we had attempted to conquer.
We find ourselves asking whether there’s a better way. And I think there is.
You see, many of our goals have to do with taking things out of our lives – whether it’s food, habits or ways of thinking.
But with this comes a sense of loss. A break in the rhythm of our lives as we know it. And so we yearn to regain this rhythm, a sense of normalcy. Our resolutions falling by the wayside as a result.
So how about we tried something different?
Consider what I call positive displacement.
In positive displacement we get to replace what worked for a time with what will work for the better. Instead of living with a break in the rhythm of our lives, positive displacement helps us create a whole new rhythm.
In John 16:7 we see Jesus demonstrating this principle as He prepared His disciples for the time when He would no longer be with them. And not wanting them to feel like orphans, to have a great disruption in life as they knew it, Jesus promised them the awesome gift of the Holy Spirit in His place. This positive displacement is still at work in our lives today.
How to Put it into Action
The key is to have a plan in place so that we leave no void. So there’s no break in the rhythm.
If we despise running, signing up for marathon training likely won’t work. Instead, we could fix up that old bike and take it for a spin. Or let loose on the dance floor in the middle of the living room. We’d be a lot more consistent and before long, we’ll notice changes in how we look and feel.
If we find ourselves having takeout for supper every day of the week, we could try cooking supper one day a week for the first month, two a week for the second month and reach our goal by July.
In positive displacement we get to replace what worked for a time with what will work for the better. It helps us create a new rhythm.
If you struggle like me with the sweet treats in the fridge, we could try swapping them with those veggies in the crisper, and placing the veggies on the top shelf for a change. In essence, making the better choice easier.
Positive displacement may also work for matters of the heart. We could displace worrying thoughts with being thankful throughout the day. We could even counter our spending sprees by giving to a ministry or charity instead.
Proverbs 16:9 reassures us that, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps”. We definitely aren’t alone in this process. As we seek to re-design our lives, may the new rhythms we develop finally see our goals realized.
Dr Simone Holligan is a passionate Christ-follower who gains joy in the path of scientific discovery as it leads her to the Truth. She’s a behavioural scientist, writer and consultant with ongoing interests in studying everyday decision-making processes that impact our health and well-being. She currently resides in Ontario, Canada.