Have you ever attempted to make a major change to your life or yourself? You know, lose weight, stop smoking, relax, listen more, exercise, be more organized? I’m sure you have your own list.
How did it go? Did you just decide one day you were going to take the actions necessary and you did it never to look back?
Maybe, but more often we fall back into the old behavior, we feel frustrated, and we give up, only to start the process again another day. (Usually a Monday or January 1st!)
Change is not black and white, on or off. It is a whole slew of shades of gray. I know, my specialty in coaching is helping people change, and I’ve helped a bevy of people change (and myself!). I’ve seen the process and I am here to tell you:
Change is messy.
BUT we expect it to be clean and that expectation only leads to disappointment.
What usually happens is, in our excitement to change, we hold onto the behavior we desire to manifest the change we need for awhile. Perhaps you want to exercise to get into shape. You exercise for a day, a week, maybe even two weeks, but our brain is still wired for the old behavior and we easily fall back into it. When our brain is wired for something, it is what we fall back on when we are tired or stressed. It is the “easy” place to be.
Holding on to the new behavior takes energy — sometimes lots of energy! When we get tired or stressed, etc, we won’t have the energy to sustain the new behavior and our old behavior comes as a relief.
When our energy is shored back up, we will have the energy to try it again.
AND each time we move into our new behavior, we rewire our brain a bit so the new behavior isn’t as new. As the new behavior becomes more familiar, it takes less energy to sustain it.
When a client says, “Argh! I only exercised for a few days!” I say, “Woohoo! You did it for a few days. That is more than you have done for years!” I am excited for them because I know they have begun the rewiring process.
So, what can you do to make change easier? It is time for a new Change Paradigm:
So, let’s look at how we really need to see change:
Step 1: Remember: Change is gray.
Your change probably won’t happen overnight. You probably won’t be perfect. (Gasp!)
Step 2: Changing CAN happen overnight.
BUT it could and I want to plant that seed for you. I have seen it and experienced it myself. It is amazing! BUT if it doesn’t for you, that is normal. It is NOT a sign that you have no will power. The harder a change is, the deeper you know the behavior is engrained, that is all.
Step 3: If you fall back on old behavior, love yourself anyway.
When you fall back into old behavior, instead of, “See, told you you don’t have enough will power! You’ll never be able to do this…blah, blah, blah” think “Hmmm…must be tired. What do I need to do to get my energy back?”
Step 4: Get your energy back.
Then, get your energy back in whatever way you need: more sleep, rest, exercise, water, talk to an inspiring friend, call your Life Coach (ahem…me?), renew your inspiration (see #5).
Step 5: Get inspired!
Renew your inspiration by remembering why you want to do what you want to do. Why is this change important to you? What do you WANT from it?
Step 6: Repeat!
Then get up and do it again! Do not wait for Monday or January 1st. Start the moment you have the energy and do something small.
Ready? Let’s get changing! You can join me for my FREE program:
Easy Steps for Making Changes in Your Life