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CHANGE CAN BE HARD
Have you ever felt like you wanted to make a change but you didn’t know how or where to start? Sometimes, even the concept of making a change can be overwhelming at first. Not knowing how or where to start only adds to the overwhelming feeling. For example, you may want to eat healthier but feel like you don't have the time or means to cook. Where would you start? Maybe you don't know how to cook. Or you have a partner who does not provide the support that you need. Maybe you have friends that might make fun of you for making healthier choices (yes, this does happen to some people!) All of these different social and environmental factors make it hard to create change.
In another example, say you want to start doing a form of self care such as journaling. However, you have a mental block about it because your desk is not clean. Now, you don’t feel like you have a clear space to write. Perhaps you think it’s a silly idea, or you end up watching TV instead because you are in the habit of doing that during a time you would like to be journaling. There are many different elements that come into play when actually creating the change you want. You have to make adjustments in more than just one area. It's not always easy to just say "I want to start journaling" and then immediately get into it. When it comes to making changes, there must be a shift within yourself that you commit to in order to achieve the thing you want most.
CHANGE IS COMPLEX
People, feelings, beliefs, experiences, and interactions with one's environment are complex. Hence, not all change can be created equal. Factors like how big and challenging the change is will also come into play. There’s also no “one size fits all” solution for creating change. Rather than viewing this as a downside, allow this to empower you in knowing you will find the solution that is best for YOU. There’s no shortage of creativity when it comes to creating the best change for you.
Here are some helpful tips to think about when you want to make a change:
1. Be specific with the change you want to make
Know what it is that you want. Write it, label it, draw it, speak it, own it. The change you’re aiming for is clear and concise. You’ve now planted the seed for change to occur!
2. Outline everything that needs to be adjusted to make the change
Now that you’ve planted the seed for what you want, create an outline or list (on paper or in a note on your phone are two great ideas) that involves all the things that need to be adjusted so that there is room for the thing you want. Now, you have begun the process of tangible steps that need to happen. The seeds to change are becoming more real and alive!
3. Create an action plan to adjust those things
Now that you’ve outlined everything that needs to be adjusted, a plan must be put in place to actually make the adjustments.
Let’s go back to the journaling example from above. If you know you need to adjust your TV time so that you can create time for journaling, you can do something like cut down on your TV time so that you make the time for journaling. Or, replace TV time with journaling so you don’t have any distractions at all. This may require you to not sit down on the couch after work so that you aren’t then looking at the TV, wanting to turn it on. It may require you to go sit down at the desk or table where your journal is before sitting on the couch so you know it is time to journal.
Create a plan for each of the things you know you must adjust. Figure out a routine or headspace that works for you. Set your environment up for success so that you follow through with your plan! Let the people around you know what your plan is so that they may help support you, if necessary.
4. Create step by step goals to achieve your change
Here we are! At this point there could be just a few steps or a lot of steps in place for what needs to be adjusted to achieve change. Either way, it’s okay! If it seems like a lot, slow down and pick a few things that you know you will be able to do. Then, create the steps that need to happen. If you are able to do this, start actually applying it to your mindset and/or environment.
5. Don't rely solely on motivation
Motivation will only get you so far. If you only did things when you felt motivated to do them, it might take forever or it might only last a few days until fading away for a long time. We’ve all been there at some point! Motivation comes and goes. It is not reliable. If you lose motivation, that’s okay and totally normal! What typically helps in this case is remembering why you started. Then, sometimes simply starting to do something builds back that motivation and it becomes easy again.
Using the 3 minute rule is a great way to do this. Start putting action into your steps for at least 3 minutes. If at the end of the 3 minutes you still don’t feel like doing it, give yourself permission to pause and try again later. However, if at the end of the 3 minutes you are on a roll and decide to keep going, that’s great! Movement builds momentum, and now you have found the momentum to keep working at it! Momentum is the essential key.
6. Setback are okay - use them to your advantage
We are not winning or progressing all the time. We run into problems, discover obstacles, lose motivation and don’t know how to pick back up again, have a slight shift in feelings or mindset, or something happens in life that makes us feel down or distracted. There are so many other things that could happen. These are typically bumps in the road. All possible causes for setbacks. Again, that is okay! Setbacks are completely normal. This is LIFE! Life is constantly moving and changing and bringing new things to us daily. Nothing is stagnant. But you don’t have to let setbacks diminish your progress. You can absolutely come back from them and keep going. You can even learn from your setbacks and use it as growth and progress to further than yourself.
There is no simple solution to creating change. It depends on a lot of different factors. However, there are helpful tips to start with in order to make the changes you want. You must also ask yourself, "Am I willing and able to start this process?" You have to be both willing and able to really do it. If you are just willing but not able, you are in the very beginning phase of change-making, but you won't be able to put action into it just yet! If you are able but not willing, you absolutely will not put any action into making change. So start at being willing to. Then, figure out if you are able to do this now or if you need to wait until the time is right. When it is, you will know and you can begin putting the steps together to get to where you want to be. The other question to ask yourself is, "Am I able to do this alone or do I need help?" You can always ask those around you for help, as long as you feel like the people closest to you can be the support you are needing. In addition, you can always reach out to us, All Inclusive Fitness and/or Mindset Orlando to really help you break everything down and create the step by step approach needed to achieve your goals and create the change you want.