Many things get in the way of change: discomfort, feeling too tired, fear (of failure, of not being good enough), excuses (such as not having time, too overwhelmed), waiting for change to simply happen, striving for perfectionism, and not knowing how. The truth is, making change happen can be the best way to combat those fears and get over those excuses. As change happens you will likely find yourself feeling less anxious, more in charge, less overwhelmed, and more pleased with the way your life is working.
Sometimes when we feeling distressing emotion, unhappy, or as if something just is not right, change is exactly what we need. But, change is scary, and it takes effort; though the effort is worth!
Here are some tips for embracing change and making it happen…
- Determine why you want the change. You might already know why this journey is important to you, but it is good to review this often and keep it readily in your thoughts for times when you feel like giving up.
- If you don’t yet know exactly why, take some time to think about this. What will you want to look back on at the end of your life? What will make your life feel significant? How do you want to present yourself during your lifetime? What type of example to you want to set for those you love or are around you? If you don’t have an answer to these questions, take some time here. Sit quietly and reflect, or go for a walk and think on it. Consider journaling your thoughts.
- Get excited! You are on this journey because you have a desire to do something positive in your life, to make a healthy change. Embrace that wonderful feeling. See this as the first positive step, one you’ve already taken. Now continue those positive steps, one at a time, in the right direction – with excitement! Feeling excitement about the process will increase your overall positivity and keep you on track.
- Create the space. Change will not happen without creating the space for change. This is part of making this a true lifestyle change. Think on these…
- When will you start making the change? In the morning, in the evening, during your lunch break? Don’t wait for the change to happen — make it happen. Block off some time on your calendar each day, even if it’s just 10 or 15 minutes (for reflection, exercise, planning, etc). If you don’t have the time, think about how long you spend each day on social media, TV, games, or doing smaller tasks that aren’t as important. Push those back for just a bit, and do what’s most important to you first.
- Surround yourself. The best way to make change happen is to surround yourself with others making a similar change themselves, people (or a person) who will support your change. Find a few people online or off, and create a support team that will check in with each other regularly. This is an added step in your day, but connecting with others in the same situation can further enhance your motivation and positivity about the process. It is worth the time to connect.
- Make the accountability. Find at least one person who will hold you accountable for making this change. It might be the support team mentioned above, or a coach, or an accountability partner. Lean on this person when you are feeling down.
- Take a small action. If you’re overwhelmed by a large change, or a bunch of large change, just focus on one small step. What small action can you take today that will move you forward? It might be something as simple as “do an Internet search about healthy meal plan or home exercise plan”, or “take 10 minutes to reflect on why this is important”. Take a small step. Movement creates movement. Now take another small step. You are creating change.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step…
Create some space this weekend to make a change. Remember, small steps are change… don’t try to do it all at once!