“The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
So maybe you have overcome or are working on overcoming a flawed mindset and may have even overcome some barriers to change. Now comes the hard part. Maintaining the change that you have worked so hard to make. This in of itself can be a monumental task. Here are a few things that you can do to maintain your change.
What would you add to this list? Comment below with what you has helped you sustain any changes you have made.
In my previous post I discussed mindsets, now let us discuss some of the things people would like to change. Most of us have something that we want to change as it relates to our lifestyle. Some people want to eat better, some want to be able to sleep better some want to become less anxious or stressed, and others want to feel more satisfied. All these things go back to a change in lifestyle because all these things are connected. Exercise and a better diet can lead to having a better mood. A better diet and more sleep can lead to less stress. Improving all these things can lead to improved mental health.
Leading a healthy lifestyle has so many benefits. There is absolutely nothing negative that can come from a healthy lifestyle. The benefits of a healthy lifestyle include a reduced risk of cancers and diabetes, improved memory, improved mood, improved cardiovascular health, among many other things.
Changing your lifestyle sounds easy but it can be particularly challenging. Let us briefly discuss some things that can be barriers to lifestyle changes.
I do not want to spend a lot of time on barriers, but I think they barriers should be identified so that they can be recognized for what they are. You will be able more likely to make a sustained change if you can identify the things that will hold you back and make plans to combat those things. Now, let us talk about ways you can overcome those barriers.
Incorporate change into daily routine
Since the number one barrier is lack of time, try ways to make changes in your daily routine. It is hard to incorporate a major change like cooking healthy meals or starting an exercise regimen overnight. If the change you want to implement is your diet, start small. Purchase healthy foods at the grocery store or make healthy choices if you eat out. Or if you want to exercise more, instead of purchasing an expensive gym membership that you may then feel you have no time to use, try to incorporate more walking into your day. Park further away from the entrance to where you want to go or walk around while waiting for your child to finish their practice instead of sitting in your car. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, incorporate small changes into your daily routine.
Set small goals
It is sometimes best to set small, attainable goals on your journey to change as opposed to making sweeping changes overnight that may not last. This can be helpful when making a change such as eating healthier. Instead of tossing out food from your old diet and buying all new food, you may want to consider slowly buying new food and incorporating your new, healthier food into your diet slowly. Over time you can let your unhealthy food choices go and eat more of your healthy food choices until your entire diet is made up of your healthy food choice. You may decide to eat healthy twice a week, the four times a week, before changing over to health food completely.
An accountability partner is someone who can ensure that you maintain the goals and commitments that are made when you are trying to change something. Before you get an accountability partner, you need to ensure that this is someone who will be completely honest with you. You also need to ensure that you are ready to receive whatever feedback that the may give you. The role of an accountability partner is to cheer you on when you are doing well but to also let you know if you start to slack off your commitments and goals. Accountability partners can be great if you are looking to change and are willing to accept honest feedback.
Rewarding yourself is a great way to stay motivated as you work to make a change in your lifestyle. The caveat to this is to ensure that your reward is not detrimental to the change you are trying to make. No matter what your goal is, it is okay to have a cheat day if that cheat day is not going to pull you back into your bad habits. A good reward could be something such as binge-watching your favorite TV show, treating yourself to a night out or staycation, or allowing yourself a weekend morning where you can just sleep in. The point is to reward yourself for a job well done as you continue to make the changes that you want to make.
Be kind to yourself
Do not be hard on yourself if you have a setback. Setbacks will inevitable happen especially if you are breaking a habit that you have had for an awfully long time. If you have a setback, just get back on track and pick up where you fell off. It is okay and no one is perfect. Establishing a different lifestyle, even if it is a healthier lifestyle, can be hard to do so cut yourself a break.
So many things can be addressed when you say that you are going to change your lifestyle. Lifestyle encompasses everything to your diet, your habits, your preferences, and even how active you are. Changes to some of these will come easy while changes to the others will be a little more difficult.
Have you ever made a lifestyle change? Were you able to maintain it? Share what worked and what did not work for you.
Your mindset can be one of the hardest things to change. This is mainly due to the way that we arrive at our mindsets. Mindsets are often formed because of our upbringing, culture, life experiences, and beliefs. Mindsets tend to be deep seated and can often be a challenge to change.
I wanted to take a moment to discuss mindsets because you must be aware of the mindsets that you hold when considering how you respond (or not) to change. Let us explore a few mindsets.
Optimistic vs. Pessimistic. The optimist sees life through rose colored glasses. Everything is good, and if something bad happens, the belief is that things will get better. The pessimist believes that everything is always dark and bleak and if, by chance, something good does happen, they will believe that is a fluke. When the subject of making any type of change comes up, it will take more effort for person with a pessimistic mindset because the first battle will be the negative outlook on the change. You would have to get past this negative outlook before you could begin to take the steps to make the change.
Immediate success vs. Process. This is one that I am currently working on. The conflicting mindsets of a persons who wants overnight success versus the person that feels that everything is a process and success is attained one step at a time. The good thing is that no matter what the desired change is, a person with each of these mindsets will try. The person with the mindset that everything is a process will be more likely to succeed as they will understand that setbacks and bad days are a part of the process of change. The person who believes in overnight success will be more likely to quit at the first setback or if the change comes too slowly.
Hard work vs. Lucky break. There are those who believe that success comes from hard work. These individuals understand that change is a process but that it also involved hard work. Anything worth having normally involves some kind of hard work. The person who feels like success only comes by the luck of the draw will not truly try to make a change. If a half-hearted attempt at change is made and they fail, they will assume that the change was not meant for them. I see this a lot when people speak of professional goals. Some people believe in working hard to get the recognition needed to obtain a promotion. Others believe that it is all about who you know, and skills and knowledge does not really matter.
Let us consider these mindsets in the context of change. Can you really be successful with a diet if you believe all success should be immediate and that you will not have setbacks? Can you realistically begin to work towards a dream or a goal if you believe that successful people are only successful because of who they know and not because of hard work? Here are a few ways that you can change your mindset to see the change that you are working so hard for.
What mindset pattern or patterns do you fall into? What do you think can help you come out of it?
Join me next time where I will be discussing lifestyle changes.
I have always believed that feelings of restlessness or discontent were signs that some sort of shift was about to occur. I have been feeling this a lot lately – in many areas of my life. From re-examining my personal goals to even my re-examining the direction of this blog, I have had a heightened level of anxiety whenever I considered the different levels of change that was needed for me to get to where I wanted to be. It was such an odd feeling. Wanting to do more but almost feeling stuck when it came to doing what needed to be done to see a significant change.
Change can be hard. For some, significant change can seem impossible. During this series on change we will be talking about different aspects of change and how we can overcome whatever may be preventing us from making significant change. People seek to make one of several types of changes to include changes to their financial situation, changes in their jobs, changes in their diet, changes in their lifestyle, the list goes on and on.
Let us look at why making changes can be so hard for some people.
What other barriers would you add to this list?
In the next few blog posts we will be talking about different things people often need to change. As we discuss and you determine whether they apply to you, keep these barriers to change in mind and check to see whether you are guilty of any of these. And if you find that you are guilty of some of these, do not be so hard on yourself. Just make the necessary adjustments and try again to make that change.
Join me next time as we discuss changing your mindset.
Have you ever tried to work on a goal, and it felt like you could not shake the thoughts or habits of your past? This is me all day long. I can clearly establish a goal but thoughts of “you are too old to start this” or “you never complete anything you start” are whispering in the back of my mind as I work toward my goal. Some people can articulate a goal, work at it, and achieve that goal with no setbacks or barriers. Others must overcome many barriers. Here are some ways to help you push through when you come upon these barriers and setbacks.
Setbacks are normal when working towards a new goal so be gentle with yourself. Today is a new day where you can shake old thoughts and habits and establish new ones. Hopefully, these tips can help you conquer the obstacles that stand between you and your goal. What else would you add to this list?