How to Make Changes that Stick
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Have you ever wanted to change something about your life, but the thought of making a change was so overwhelming that you didn’t take any action at all? It could be for anything – from changing how you eat to starting a new exercise routine (especially if you haven’t exercised in years). Insert any new thing here…. change is hard!
That was my story. For a long time, I knew I wanted to make changes, in a lot of areas in my life, but I didn’t feel like I knew where to start. So I just kept trudging along, doing nothing. After a while I started to ignore the voice in my head that wanted to change. You get the idea.
It wasn’t for lack of motivation. I would read all the articles, make all the lists. But as soon I would look at the list, it would propel me into paralyzation. The little voice in the back if my head would whisper “who are you to try and improve?” “what qualifies you to teach that?” And on and on.
I’m happy to say that I’ve overcome those voices, and this post will lay out how I’ve done it. I’m not where I want to be – yet. But I’m definitely farther along than where I was a year ago.
If this sounds like you, or you know someone struggling with this, read on.
5 ways that helped me start my own transformation.
1. Decide once and for all that enough is enough.
It sounds simple, but in reality, if there are multiple areas in your life that you fee need a reset, then this alone can be daunting. So instead of sitting in despair over the fact that you know you need to change, just decide that enough is enough, and choose just one area to start making improvements in. It can be any area: food choices, exercise, finances, relationships, or personal growth. Just pick one. (Pro tip: if you are able, pick the one that seems like the hardest change to make. Often making a change in that area will create a domino effect on other areas as well.)
2. Know that change isn’t going to happen overnight, but one step at a time will bring you the results you are seeking.
For me, the biggest challenge was to take control of my health. That meant searching out a new doctor (I didn’t have a regular provider) and making the appointment to find out where I was. Not gonna lie; it took me about a month to make that happen. I think I was scared to see what my starting point really looked like.
3. Set small goals to complete along the way.
I have a few small goals that I try to follow everyday to help me reach the larger goal of a complete health transformation.
- Drink 100 oz. of water daily
- Take all of my prescribed vitamins daily Get 8 hours of sleep
- Exercise 3 times a week for 45 minutes
These small goals will get me where I want to be: 75 lbs. lighter. If I were to completely focus on the 75 lbs., I would just crawl under my covers and hope the pounds would melt away all on their own.
4. Use tracking tools to help.
I use a couple of tools on my phone to keep me in check. My Fitness Pal for meal and water tracking and Sworkit. I track my meals, water, and track exercise with My Fitness Pal, and use Sworkit for exercise routines. Just by tracking what I’m doing, the results are beginning to speak for themselves.
The weight is coming off. I have more energy because I am actually exercising. I also have noticed that when I’m not faithful about tracking, I don’t feel like I’m doing all I can for myself.
Besides the apps listed above, I also use my phone’s health tracker, along with my watch. It’s amazing to me how much just having these tools in place have helped me personally.
5. Have a reward system in place to keep motivated.
I used to think having small rewards didn’t matter, after all, wasn’t reaching the goal a big enough motivation to keep going? As it turns out, having the proverbial dangling carrot always in the forefront of your mind make a huge difference. The key to having rewards in place though is to make them personal to you, because this is your journey.
Keeping that reward in place to stay motivated really helps. As a coffee addict, I used to allow myself to have a Starbucks if I worked out 3 times a week. But as it turns out, I don’t enjoy that as much as I used to, so now my reward to myself is a new outfit to workout in once a month if I hit my workout goal.
Get back to the basics. Pick one thing you want to change, and just start. Big change won’t happen overnight, but when you break it down and take one step at a time, I know that you will begin to see results much sooner! I’d love to know what you do personally when you decide to make changes. Leave me a comment and let me know!