We have all said at some point in our lives that there’s something we want to change.
We want to exercise more, eat better, be happier, stress less, stop smoking, drink less, etc. But how many of us actually stick to it in the long-term? How many of us start strong and then fall off track after a few weeks, get bored or lose motivation and go back to old habits? I see it all the time. And I get it – change is hard. I’ve been there before too. It’s hard to break old habits and stick to new ones.
The biggest thing that holds us back is overcoming our own thoughts, fears and the excuses we make for ourselves. It’s the difference between actions and words – what we say we are going to do, and what we actually do. But sometimes, that is easier said than done.
So, how can you make a change in your life and actually see it through? Here are some of the things I do that you may find useful:
Ask yourself what’s driving the change and why? What do you want to get out of it? Why is it important to you? What do you need to do to get there? What’s holding you back? What excuses do you make to stop yourself from changing? What’s your attitude towards change? Does it frighten you? Frustrate you? Ask yourself why. Get to the heart of your motivation.
This process helps you to understand yourself a bit better and how you react to change and all the things that you do to stop yourself. Once you have an understanding of that, you will know how to work through those inner-battles you have with yourself – or at least become more aware of when they are happening!
I think this is best summed up with one of my favourite quotes: “In order to succeed, we need to actually plan for our own success.” Write down what you want to change (think bigger picture) and all the small things you’re going to do each day to get there. It doesn’t have to be this big grand gesture, but a series of small steps that you know you can achieve. Hold yourself accountable by reminding yourself everyday what change it is you’re trying to make and why. Write it down and stick it on the fridge. If it’s staring you in the face every day, it’s harder to ignore!
If you’re someone who constantly says: “I can’t…, “I don’t…” “It’s too hard,” ask yourself why. Why can’t you do something? What’s stopping you? If something is too hard, why is it too hard? What can you do to make it easier? What needs to change in order for you to be able to do something? Is there anyone out there who can help you? What’s holding you back? Is it a physical obstacle or a mental one?
We are all capable of change – but the difference between people who are able to make a positive change in their lives versus those who continually struggle, all comes down to having the right attitude.
Research shows that when we start to become more mindful of what we are doing on a day-to-day basis, it reshapes the way we think. It helps us to increase our resilience and our capacity to be able to cope with life’s challenges.
Being mindful is about being in the moment – not thinking about what happened in the past or all the things you have to do, but being aware of your surroundings and your actions and taking a moment to just stop and think. When you do something slowly, you can pay more attention to what you’re doing. If you are someone who likes to make excuses for things, being mindful will make you more aware of when you are doing them, so that you can find active ways to stop it.
If you’re going to make a change in your life, do it because you want to, not because you feel you have to. If your goal is to change your diet – think about why? Is it because you want to be healthier? Is it because you want more energy? Is it because you want to improve your mood? Or is it because you think it’s something you should be doing because everyone else is?
To make a real positive change in your life, it has to be for the right reasons. If your heart is not in it, it’s not going to work. You will get bored. We all have the power to change. We just have to actually want to.
If you’re ready to make a positive change in your life, drop me a line today.