You have great intentions. Each morning you wake up and tell yourself today will be different. You will exercise, eat well, spend time with loved ones, and maybe even read a book.
By the time you collapse into bed at night, reflecting on the day, none of this has actually happened. You are disappointed in yourself and deflated, but promise yourself that tomorrow will be different.
The desire to change is there.
WHY IS IT SO HARD?
- We are creatures of habit. Life is hectic. It is much easier to maintain your current routines and habits rather than develop new ones.
- Change is scary. In the back of your mind you can't help but wonder if you will be able to really succeed in changing. If you don't try it, you can't fail.
- Change requires effort. Your attention is pulled in so many directions. It requires concentration and discipline to make a change and stick to it.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Don’t take on the whole world at once. Change is easier when you take one small step at a time.
For example, rather than go from no exercise to committing to an hour each day, five times a week, consider starting with a half hour twice a week.
This goal is far more achievable and you are more likely to succeed.
WHY SO REPETITIVE?
I was recently asked why I repeat many of my strategies, offering similar advice in varying formats or approaching the same issues from different perspectives.
As I gave it some thought, I realized that I rarely make a change unless I have heard and thought about something multiple times.
In 2009, I read that it takes 21 days to change a habit. It wasn't until I had come across the same concept three times that I decided I would test the theory. I wasn’t compelled to take action after the first or second time I read it. But by the third time, I was convinced that there must be something to it if I kept seeing it.
I tested the 21-days to create a new habit by committing to floss my teeth daily. I knew that no matter how busy I might be, I would be able to complete this two minute task. Once I succeeded with this new habit, I used the same 21-day rule to introduce many other daily habits that are now part of my routine and have significantly improved my overall well-being.
Change is hard and requires discipline.
It makes sense that you would want to be absolutely sure it is worth the effort before you commit your time and energy to do something new and different.
What changes have you successfully made?