Be patient with yourself, change takes time.
Making changes can sometimes be difficult and demanding but it’s also a natural requirement of life. Some changes are more difficult than others and habits or routines are the hardest things to change.
We are all creatures of habit.
This means that any changes we want to make need to be based on good foundations, the decisions and the choices we make everyday, based on the evidence we have about what we want to change. A well thought out slow change is normally better and more long lasting than a rushed one.
Smaller steps are better than big leaps.
It doesn’t matter what you want to change, it might be your health, weight, relationship, home or your job. The basic elements needed for successful long term change are much the same.
We’re all very good at adapting to our circumstances, so good in fact that we can often become lazy and stop challenging ourselves. Sometimes It can seem easier to accept negative life situations without questioning or trying to find new ways to attain the greater achievement and fulfilment we desire. Change helps us to learn and grow but it can sometimes bring us a mixture of both excitement and difficulties.
The main elements of successful long term change;
Rise to the challenge and be ready to overcome problems.
Find your deepest reason by asking yourself why you really want to change things, be positive and motivated. Thinking about all the good things you’ll gain. Expect the unexpected, It is highly likely you will experience several failed attempts in your quest for change. You will need willpower, commitment and determination to succeed. Reminding yourself of your deepest reason when you hit difficulties can help you remain focused on your reason why.
You have to really want it!
If the change you seek is positive and life enhancing you absolutely must not give up during the first failed attempt, in fact that failure should be a springboard to trying different ways to achieve your desired change. Many people simply give up too early, so it’s important to try and imagine any failed attempts as a test in which you must prove your determination.
Always have a plan.
Have a good plan of action but try to be flexible with it. Think about your routine and how the changes you want to make will affect your lifestyle.
The continued energy and action you put in to making those changes permanent is just as important when you have made progress because it takes time to make those changes fully and you need to decide everyday to stick with your decision to change, adapting your plan when you need to.
Knowing how to do something isn’t the same as actually doing it.
This is often a key mistake with weight loss because it is perceived as only requiring short term effort which means dieters reach their weight loss goal then stop their efforts to exercise and return to old eating habits. Controlling weight by exercising and making healthy eating decisions requires a change of mindset, not just physical lifestyle changes. It is actually a continuous long term commitment with no end point. Most people know what foods are healthy but you have to actually do and be the change you wish to see consistently enough to make new healthy habits.
Don’t be too proud to ask for some help.
Support and guidance from a mentor or even a friend can stop you from falling back into old habits or giving up too soon. As well as offering support, advice and encouragement an advisor or coach can help you see your life and your choices from a different perspective, a change in perspective is often the catalyst to life changes. It can be demotivating if the people around you don’t support the changes you’re making at first. It shows everyone finds it difficult to get used to doing things differently, they will normally get used to it and learn how to support you better in the future.
Action is often more important than motivation, if it still feels right stick with it, don’t find excuses to stop!
Making successful long term changes however small is an important part of your development. It takes effort to make these changes but you are worth that effort.
Change has the power to boost your happiness, confidence and self esteem, improving the quality of your life in so many unexpected ways.