Okay, I get it. NO one likes to change. Actually, we all have a physical reaction when something changes, good or bad. We’ve all heard about the effects of stress on our bodies and the damage it can do? Well what causes stress… CHANGE! So any common sensed individual would be screaming right now, so WHY WOULD I WANT TO CHANGE? Because some changes, while they may be difficult for us to go through in the moment will BENEFIT our overall health, both physical and emotional, long-term. Sometimes we have to step back and think of the bigger picture…
What have you been wanting to change in your life? There must be something!? I am always a body in motion. I am growing, learning and changing every single day. Some may beg to differ that I will change in my personality, ahem ahem my father (who I live with!) lol, but for the most part, I am willing to adapt! :P Do you want to change your body? Eat better? Give up smoking? Save more money? Get out of debt? Well… you’re going to have to change something to get to that goal, because right now WHAT YOU’RE DOING ISN’T WORKING. I don’t mean to CAPS yell at you. Well, I guess I do, but it’s just so you can understand! You really have to look internally and think about what the cause is. Why isn’t what you’re doing to work toward your goal working? Obviously something isn’t working! We can all come up with excuses, “Well so and so brought in a cake last Friday, and I had to eat some or they would be offended” or “My friends wanted to go shopping, and I couldn’t just go and not buy something”. There is always an excuse so that we don’t have to change. It’s our “scapegoat”. What we need to stop doing is looking at others and start looking at ourselves. Because, for the most part, that’s where the stem of the problem is. And if you aren’t willing to change your habit or behavior, then things will NEVER change, and could even get worse. For example, bad eating habits… you keep eating poorly or making excuses, you’re going to continue to gain weight or, even worse, could develop a health condition. If you don’t stop spending money, you’re just going to go further and further into debt.
We have to get a little uncomfortable to get what we want!
Now, I do a lot of personal development. I listen to a lot of podcasts talking about this idea of change, and that we need to change. We should work to create new habits, etc. Some of them get me so fired up, but then they don’t follow through on giving me the tools to do so! I still love them though. They’re like the cheerleaders to the tools that I’ve collected in other places! I’m going to share some tips that have collected and that have worked for me. They may not work for you… but I know I’m a pretty tough cookie to crack, so if they work for me, they might be worth a shot in giving them a try. These are pretty amendable, so they could be transitioned for different situations.
· You have to more than one goal. I’ve said this before. You can’t jump a staircase, or a mile. You have to take it ONE STEP at a time. What does one step entail? It’s basic, I know. It’s putting one foot in front of the other. But each of those steps is a goal to get you to the end point. I try to think of it like a staircase. I start with my main goal. And then I look at it in pieces, what is it going to take to get me to that goal? I then think of a mid-point and then work my way out from there. I take as many steps as I need to succeed. It’s going to be individual for each of you. As an example…. My dog needs to lose weight. Here’s his step chart!
o Lose 15 lbs Weight (2-3 months)
§ Go for 2 10 minutes walks twice a day (week 4)
· Cut back dog food by ½ cup (Week 3)
o Go on a 10 minute walk twice a day (Week 2)
§ Cut back dog food ¼ cup in morning (week 2)
· Walk fumble to the end of the driveway 3 x day (Week 1)
o Cut back dog food ¼ cup in the evening (week 1)
As you can see… I created a step chart, and then I added a timeline for each item! I also set realistic timelines. I have never had a dog lose weight before, let alone a 200 lb creature. So… I set my goal time a little extended. I knew how to manage his food, and I know his walk schedule and that we had to increase his resistance for walks. Change was uncomfortable for him. He hates walks. He was starving and asking for more food. BUT, I didn’t give into him begging. It was uncomfortable for him because he was hungry and his schedule was messed up. It was uncomfortable for me because A. I had to change my schedule to walk him, (as well as my dad) and B. we had to say “no” to him when he was begging. I kept thinking that I wanted a dog that was going to be around longer… and then it hit me. My goal wasn’t for him to lose 15 lbs. It’s bigger than that, it’s for him to be around longer and enjoy his doggy life.
Now, I know this is a silly example. But it’s easy to understand for the steps. Does it? Please let me know
· YOU HAVE TO step out of your comfort zone. One of my goals is to meet new people, and make some new friends. I have to step out of my comfort zone and put myself out there to do this. I’m not going to attract friends while sitting at my desk, or in my house on the weekends. I have to constantly talk to strangers. I KNOW this is something we are told not to do as children. However, I know my Turbo Fire and Les Mills moves! I can bring it if I need to! :P I also know who I shouldn’t just go up to and strike a conversation with! Lol. I have also stepped out of my wheelhouse and have gone to a few meetups from meetup.com. To me, this is the equivalent of blind dating for friends. It is NOT easy! And it’s hard to do on your own, but I did it!! And I will continue to attend them! It’s a great way to meet new people!
· Visualize. We can all set action statements. My goal is… However, I think it’s important to give a reason why. And I think it’s important to rephrase into as much of a positive statement as possible. When I succeed, I will… For example…. When I lose weight, I will be able to play with my children outside. Put a reward to it! Aren’t we all more apt to do something if there is a reward attached? Pavlov’s Dog 101!
· Make a competition for yourself! Join an accountability group. Do something that will hold you accountable daily. This can be as simple as going to the dollar store and getting gold star stickers and putting a sticker on every day that you do some type of fitness! You will enjoy putting that gold star on that calendar! Or post your photos on IG. It will be like a daily goal for you. I can eat clean because I need to post my meals on Instagram!
· Don’t stop learning. Educate yourself as much as you can about behaviors, or things related to your goal. I have podcasts galore on my iphone and I buy self-help audiobooks and listen to them when I’m driving to and from work. Most audiobooks come with the book section as well for you to track your notes!
· Try to surround yourself with people that won’t sabotage your success. For example, if you’re trying to quit smoking, you won’t stand outside with your normal crowd for 10 minute breaks. That would be like hanging a mouse in front of a cat! You want to surround yourself with ‘Like-minded’ individuals. Join a new club, or a book group! Or join a walking or running group. Most running shoe stores actually have running groups that you can join!
· Manage your surroundings! Don’t buy unhealthy food. If it’s in your cabinet, it’s only going to whisper your name. Eat me, Eiren. Eat me, Eiren. It’s like Alice and Wonderland in your cupboards. I try not to buy anything with sugar. If I want something, I have to go out and buy it. And more than likely in that entire process, is the bar of chocolate REALLY that worth it for the gas it’s going to cost for me to go purchase it? Sometimes yes, but most times no.
· Set reminders on your phone. You can even get creative and visual with this one! For example. I snack while I make dinner. Well, most nights I make dinner at the same time. I can always set up reminders to show myself photos of my “sweaty selfies” or that bikini that I’ve been eyeing to buy. Those reminders will trigger me to STOP and think about my habit!
· Invest in your goal. For example, if you are trying to lose weight. Give yourself a reward (this goes back to the reward concept) for every day that you ate 100% clean. This may not be every day because, heck, I eat healthy and I’m not “clean” everyday! So say for every day you put $5 in a jar. Well, at the end of the year I bet you’ll have a nice little jar all set up for something to treat yourself to. Or perhaps enough to go away for the night and celebrate that new little body you’ve been working hard for!
· Know your triggers. This is a hard one because you have to put some thought into it. I’ve heard people say that they mindlessly eat when they watch tv. Well, instead of eating while watching tv, pick up a new habit. Learn to knit. Or brush the dog. Or get up and jump rope or do some pushups when you get that “food urge”. Most of us don’t drink enough water through the day, so I turned my mindless eating habit into drinking water. I’ll get up and go to the kitchen, but instead of filling a bowl, I refill my water bottle.
Always remember that you are more likely to succeed if you plan for your “future” self. These may seem like a lot of steps and a lot of work to do upfront. However, if you don’t make time and change, then you’ll never change! And if you don’t change… you don’t succeed.
What’s the worst that can happen? At least if you TRY, then you are setting the wheels into motion and YOU ARE ALREADY CHANGING AND GROWING. You aren’t standing still any longer!!
I hope this rambling , long post made some sense!
What are some changes that you have struggled with before?
What are some tips that have worked for you to create new habits and grow?
What are some of your favorite personal development books that have helped you?