by Angela Reed-Fox
There’s a time to start embedding new lifestyle changes; when you know what you want and how you’re going to go about achieving it. Don’t rush into something if it’s important and something you’d like to make into a permanent change. Slow and steady is more likely to work.
The way you talk to yourself
Think about the encouragement you’re giving yourself – or lack of it! If you’re telling yourself “I can’t” all the time, that becomes your identity. It’s a negative feedback loop that will become stronger if you slip up – and makes slipping up more likely! When we feel positive about ourselves, we’re more likely to succeed. So, instead of saying “I can’t”, say “I don’t”. This puts you back in control. THere are things you don’t do because you choose not to – that is a powerful position. Much more powerful than being in a position where there are things you “can’t” do.
Plan, and build momentum
Small changes sustained over a long period are far more effective than huge, radical changes that are only maintained for a matter of weeks. If you’re wanting lasting results, you’re going to be embedding small changes that you’re going to maintain for life. You’ll be able to maintain them if:
Pick your time
On the one hand, putting off until tomorrow what you could have got started with today is not helpful. Think about your future self – if you start today, how will you feel in 5 years? What will you be doing? And how about if you don’t make the changes you’re thinking about? Where will you be in 5 years?
On the other hand, if you’re going on holiday next week, your usual schedule is up in the air, and you’ve already got a lot on your plate – hang fire. Just hold back, do your stuff, and then make changes. Just don’t use it as an excuse not to do anything. Be honest with yourself and hold yourself to account. And if it helps – tell someone else of your intentions, they’ll help to make sure that you get started and encourage you on your way.
We wouldn’t treat other people the way we sometimes treat ourselves. Cut yourself some slack, focus on the process, and improving on where you currently are rather than aiming for perfection straight out of the gate. If you’re planning for small sustainable changes, you’ve got plenty of time. There’s no need to rush, but there is a need to get started – and to go at a manageable pace.
Relax, plan your goal and your changes, and then start small at the right time.