Change Is Hard

It’s July 2023. Seven months since we set our New Year’s resolutions. The majority of us put in some time thinking about our 2023 goals and had a plan to achieve them. How’s that going? About 43% of us quit trying by the end of January. Good intentions and hopefulness only get us so far. Often we give up before we attain the vision of the future that we had in our heads. Attaining this vision usually requires us to change. We often don’t reach goals such as stopping old habits or starting a healthy lifestyle because change is hard. Habit creates comfort. Even if it’s a destructive or less than ideal habit. We like to be comfortable. Shaking up our comfortable  life sounds awful no matter how bad we really really really want to reach whatever goal or how much it will benefit our life.  Here are some tips I have to assist you in making long-lasting changes.
  1. Ask for help. Chances are if we 100% knew how to handle a life change, it would’ve happened already. Fortunately this world is full of experts. From reorganizing finances to nutritionists. Find someone to help you who has been there done that and made it their profession. They will save you lots of time, frustration, and wasted energy.
2. Start small. Change is a big process. This is best explained by the old ‘Eat the elephant’ quote. You can’t eat an elephant all at once. You eat it one bite at a time. When achieving big goals, it’s important to understand that it’s a process Instead of jumping on a super restrictive diet that requires tons of math and hours a week of planning, maybe try to get a vegetable in at every meal. Instead of trying to make and save $10,000 dollars, make small changes like buying cheaper dish soap. Once you’ve mastered a step. Move on to the next one. All of your little changes will equal big results. Your results will also last. Mastering a little bit at a time ensures you won’t skip the basics of ingraining these choices into your daily life.
  1. Don’t beat yourself up. I don’t know any perfect people or anyone that nailed a major life change on their first try. It’s ok to mess up. In martial arts there is a saying that goes “win or learn”. Learn from your mistakes and think of ways to help prevent the issue next time. Negative self talk is not at all going to help us stay motivated or help solve the problem.
  2. Keep accountable. Wether it be a professional trainer, financial advisor, a counselor or your mom, check in with someone. We are far more likely to succeed if we A. Know someone is rooting for us and B. Will know what dumb stuff we did.
  3. Appreciate the progress.  “I’m not losing any weight………..but my clothes are fitting better…..”  or “I can’t buy this omega cute purse because I don’t have extra money……..but I paid my credit card down.” Well, there you go then! We’ve focused on one aspect of how healthy choices can affect us, that might not have come to fruition yet, while burying the progress the we have made. More often than not we give up on what’s actually working because our mindset is all messed up. If progress is being made, you will eventually achieve all of the goals.
By having the right approach, keeping the right perspective, and recruiting some outside help, we are infinitely more likely to reach our goals. It’s not January any more but today is the best day to start. You’ve made a great step by reading this article!