“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on
fighting the old but on building the new.” --Socrates
You Are Programmed to Resist Change.
Everyone agrees change is hard. Despite a deep desire to change a behavior, you find yourself spinning your wheels, getting nowhere. There’s a persistent inner resistance that won’t budge. That’s because we’re wired to not like change.
While it’s one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do, altering habits is extremely rewarding. There are things you can do to modify your behavior easier. Here are a few suggestions to help you.
Break One Goal Down into Achievable Baby Steps.
This is about learning how to step out of your comfort zone. The chances of moving out of your comfort zone, and staying there, are much better if you start small. You can use extreme willpower to lose 30 pounds, but if you haven’t made incremental changes to your eating habits, you’ll likely gain all the weight back and more.
Don’t try to make radical changes in several areas of your life at once. Work on one goal at a time.
Expand your comfort zone with baby steps. Break one goal down into small achievable steps. Build on those small steps until they become habit.
Keep It Simple.
Don’t overcomplicate this. Keep it as simple and easy as possible. If your goal is to develop a regular exercise routine, start out doing a physical activity you enjoy. Maybe that’s walking around one block. After consistently walking around the block for a few days, increase it to two blocks. Whenever you’re resistant to walking, go back to just one block a day.
Keeping it easy and simple will help you become consistent—the key to lasting success.
Setbacks Are Part of the Learning Process.
Accept that lapses, stagnation and slip-ups are all part of the journey to change. They are important elements to learning where you need to make adjustment. It’s part of the process. It helps you gain awareness.
If you feel like a failure because you ate the entire bag of Oreo cookies, stop beating yourself up. What can you learn from that? This is an opportunity to realize you can’t mindlessly munch on cookies while watching TV late at night. You might discover you can eat a few cookies for dessert at lunchtime without binging.
Change is not linear. It zigs and zags. Try to make forward movement no matter how small.
Learn to accept failure. It’s an essential part of the path to success. No one ever gets it right the first time. Babe Ruth struck out over 1,300 times. The legendary Hall of Fame baseball player wisely believed every strike brought him closer to a home run.
Aim for improvement, not perfection.
Change Takes Time.
Start off slow. Your chance of success improves with a gradual approach to your goal.
If you push yourself too fast, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
If your goal is to spend less time online, don’t go cold turkey on Day 1. Find a time limit that you’re comfortable with the first week. Don’t overwhelm yourself with an excessively ambitious target. You can always gradually decrease the amount of time you stay online.
Explore what pace works best for you.
Change isn’t always easy but it is very doable. Don’t let your mind talk you out of it. You can create new habits and successful transformation.