You know this story – you want to get into better shape, but you “don’t have the time to work out” and “don’t want to change the way you eat.” The changes we would like to see in our lives don’t just happen – we need to MAKE them happen.
In order to change, we need to let go of what our body and mind know – we need to alter the habits we developed. Our environment and perception of time are two big factors that influence our habits. It is hard to change when we don’t recognize these and even change them as well. For example, if you are trying to quit smoking, but still go out with co-workers on during their smoke breaks, your body will crave cigarettes even more because it associates the environment and time with the old habit.
Why is it so hard to change? Our current situation (the known) is predictable, which feels safer to us, even if it is negative or we are unhappy. The unknown is unfamiliar and uncomfortable, and the body doesn’t trust that – it wants to be in the known. So it creates feelings of stress and potentially fear (based on our survival instinct) in the present over the unknown that may, in our minds, outweigh any imagined positive outcomes from the change. Therefore, we remain stuck. We need to recognize this, know that we are responsible for our decisions and get out of our comfort zone! Consider this – it may not just be us that is being hurt by being stuck – we may be keeping someone else stuck and/or hurting them as well. Take responsibility and have that tough conversation with your spouse, start regularly biking with your kids, check out that new church, stop eating fast food, get out of that relationship that isn’t right for you – whatever it is, make that change!
Most change is evolutionary not revolutionary. Small steps each day will get you there. Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare – slow and steady wins the race. Though sometimes having a time frame on a goal helps motivate the change, some evolutions are better left to unfold however they do in whatever amount of time they do. Whether big steps or small, change ultimately involves a leap of faith. But that leap is taking you to a better you!
Here are a few tips to help you make changes.
- What do you want to change? Imagine it, write it down or draw a picture of it, feel it!
- Understand when making change, you are signing on to get your ass kicked! There is work involved. There will be successes and setbacks. How badly do you want it? Use your support network to help propel you through the weeds!
- Feel and express gratitude regularly for achieving even small steps toward your goal/vision – recognize that every step is important and celebrate them along the way!
- Find a support network to encourage you and hold you accountable in the changes you want to make – such as a coach or group program.