There are many times throughout your life where you’ve wanted to change something, however, you find it difficult to stick to the changes whether it’s based on you’ve experienced strong feelings/urges focusing on other things or whether you’re thoughts have been too strong for you to challenge.
When implementing changes you could be trying to be a perfectionist and aiming for an immediate change, that’s effortless, smooth and doesn’t require much energy, this thought process has one purpose, to set you up for a fall. It’s rare for changes to happen overnight. Here are a few examples of this thought process:
- I’m trying a new diet, from this point onwards I can’t eat junk food
- I won’t smoke again after this fag (without having a plan in place)
- I will exercise 3 times a week
- I will get over my ex by the end of the week
The above are examples of how the thought process, shows perfectionism. We always do things, which aren’t perfect, because as humans we’re not perfect. We all have traits we struggle with, that are ok; it’s about working on them without aiming to be perfect.
There are lots of different ways for you to achieve change – let’s have look at a few:
Be gentle with yourself.
Know and expect that you’re going to have moments where you’re not going to stick to your goals, that’s ok. If you expect these relapses, you won’t be shocked when they happen and the relapses won’t bother you as much. A relapse is inevitable, it’s not the relapse, which is important, it’s what you do with it. If you focus on the relapse to the degree that it triggers intense negative feelings, you’ll find, that is enough for you to not continue. If you acknowledge it as a relapse and continue with the change, the change is more likely to stick. Bottom line, don’t be harsh with yourself.
Every time you make progress, get into the habit of rewarding yourself, this will anchor the two together in your mind. The reward can be anything from telling yourself ‘well done’ to treating yourself to self-care time.
Let people you trust and love, know about your changes, allow them to help and support you when you need encouragement.
We all like routine, as it’s gives you a sense of security, you know what’s coming and you know how it works. Create a routine with your change and make it a part of your daily/weekly life.
If you’ve tried to achieve a goal and you find it’s not getting you the result you want. Change the path to achieve the same goal. Try different avenues, however, sticks with it long enough for you to see changes before you decide to change your path. E.g. if you’re training and you’ve trained for 2 weeks and haven’t seen a change in your body, give it a few months before trying something else. Your body, like your mind, needs time to change.
Try all the above, remember change takes time. You’re more likely to see results if you stick with your change over a consistent period of time, despite the relapses.