Some wise person once said: “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” And yet, so often, we underestimate what it takes a) to make a change and b) to stick to it. Here are five ways to set yourself up for a successful change.
Get ready to fight
After the initial excitement has worn off, things very quickly start to feel difficult. Be prepared to fight off your inner saboteurs trying to pull you back into your comfort zone. Boredom will creep in as progress is delayed; embarrassment and shame will dampen your motivation; frustration will make you lash out at the world. And all the while, that voice in your head will be telling you that you are not good enough, not ready or not suited.
Be aware of your inner saboteurs and develop strategies to keep them in check.
Don’t rely on willpower
Self-control is a limited resource that will fail you, especially when you are stressed. Instead of forcing yourself to follow a big, detailed action plan, focus on maintaining smaller tasks or behaviours which support your vision. When you repeat these behaviours on a regular basis, the habit is what will drive change.
Whether it’s food, news or social media, you are what you consume. Did you know that a large burger may add at least 450 calories to your daily intake? You will need almost 90 minutes to walk off those calories, or at least a 40 minute run. That is valuable time you could have spent on something more productive. So making wise choices may be a simple as what you eat for lunch.
Go slow to go fast
The advice for marathon runners is to start out slowly and run an even race so that there is enough fuel in the tank for the finish. Going too fast in the beginning, when adrenalin and excitement makes you feel like you’re flying is a big mistake. You will hit the dreaded wall and the chances are high that your performance will suffer, or that you won’t even finish the race. Haste does truly make waste for your race time and your wellbeing.
Push past the finish line
Just when you think that you are nearly there, remember that it’s not over until it’s over. When you see the end approaching, it’s natural to ease off a little and slow down as you cross the finish line. If you want to beat your personal best, keeping up that momentum is vital to finishing the race as a winner. Lunge forward into the tape for an extra boost.