So you have identified a specific area of your life which requires some change, yet you keep putting off doing something about it. Or perhaps you have reached a point where you have said 'enough is enough', it's time to make a change yet you still do nothing. Life gets a hold of you and you continue with the same patterns and habits inside your bubble (which we all have!).
I am sure at one point or another you have made the promise to yourself that you will start eating better, get your weekly workouts in, give up something and drinking, stop the negative self talk, be more confident and stand up for yourself in your relationship, or make more time for yourself. All too often, however, the promised day is past you and still you have nothing to achieve your goal.
It's frustrating because you want to do it, yet you are constantly delaying the first (and perhaps the most important) day of change. Eventually, it feels as if its an impossible task that you give up before you even start anything.
What if I told you it is possible to start those changes today... and you can start right here and right now.
Why we put off the First day of change
Change requires pushing your comfort zone boundaries and this means a little initial discomfort. Anything which requires changes to our daily routine can result in difficult and challenging periods as our new day to day tasks are replace with new ones. Establishing new habits and skills can be like a personal battle ground where retreat looks like the best defense.
Think about those things you have always wanted to change, those ones you have scheduled into your diary for Monday or at some point next week. Quite commonly, the end result is us never getting around to it. How easy is it to come up with good reasons (also known as excuses) as to why we cant do it, start it or take that first step towards change?
By postponing that first day of change, we seek to shield ourselves from that critical moment when we have to finally confront our discomfort. You've probably used excuses like:
- I'm not ready
- I am too tired
- The timing's all wrong
- I'm too busy
all of the about (and others) could be reasons you use to justify not starting today. On the surface, they may appear to be valid excuses but, deep down, they're more likely a clever delaying tactic to put off taking that critical first step towards change.
Unless you get serious and totally commit to the changes needed fro a new life, you'll find the same old excuses apply equally no matter when you aim to begin.
Get real with yourself - if you're not ready now, when will you be?
How to get ready for the first step
Preparation is super important before you embark upon any life change. Do your homework and anticipate the challenges. Plan how you'll react when you come up against setbacks: for example, how you'll cope when you crave that cigarette or chocolate bar you're trying to do without.
Create your tribe who will support you no matter what happens. Share your intention to change with a friend or family member. Get their support so they understand how important it is to you and so they understand where you are at an dhow important it is for them to be there for you. This gives your support network you need to encourage you along your journey.
Some people also find that, by putting it out there to others, they're more likely to stick to getting started and continuing. Others, however, prefer to get going in private a they don't like feeling under pressure from anyone else's expectations. Whichever works best for you in your choice, and the best part is you get to decide.
While preparation is important, don't let it stop you from actually rolling up your sleeves and getting on with it. The truth is that you're never going to feel 100% ready or equipped to cope with every eventuality, but suck it up despite this and deal wit any issues as they develop.
If you're going to succeed, you need to get started at some point!
OK so you have made the decision to make a change in your life and you are ready to commit! You can either go all out or start gradually and ease yourself into forming new habits.
From my experience, the all-or-nothing approach can wear us out and although we may see results fast, the changes are usually not sustainable. Easing ourselves into changes are the best way to build a solid foundation and help us feel more successful in the long run.
For an example if you want to shed a few kilos and you have poor eating habits, focus on making one simple change each month, fro example replace certain foods with alternatives, develop that as a new habit and then layer in the next change the following month - I have seen and worked with many clients who have found this approach to be way more achievable and have achieved outstanding results. What this does is allows you to replace old habits at a pace your mind and body can handle. It all comes down to a small shift in your mindset.
There is no time like the present. Start making your changes now today! You don't need to schedule anything in, do anything first to get more organized or gain more knowledge - take a small step in the direction of what you want and get the momentum started. For example if you want to be more confident in your career, there is no need to set a date for this. Instead, take action today by either taking higher care in how you dress and look, write in a journal the 50 things you love about yourself, or be more assertive and self-assured with a colleague right away. Definitely get the self help books, study those and take action but also learn from what you are currently doing or not doing in your life right now. When you feel more confident, stretch your new attitude and skills to those around you. Your goals will become a reality by taking small action steps. As all of those small steps start to compound and the momentum continues to build, you become unstoppable.
Setting a start date for some time in the future for your first day of change can lead to too much focus and attention on the big day. There becomes an internal (and possibly external) pressure that it's got to work for you on that day - or else you have failed.
So ask yourself, what is to stop you from quietly beginning your first day of change right now?
No stress, no fuss. Simply put into practice the tips you have read on how to do it get going.
Today is as good as any to start.
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