Why not me?
Believe it or not, you – not some outside force – can bring about a day that changes everything.
Whether you want to reach a certain weight, quit smoking, improve your fitness level, swear off sugar or minimize your stress levels, you can make positive changes stick. Here are some ways you can stop talking and daydreaming about it and make it happen – starting today.
Find the Right Motivation
How many times have you contemplated achieving a goal or kicking a habit? That back and forth is not fruitless, as it helps lay down the psychological groundwork for change. List every underlying motive for your goals and review which ones are intrinsic – that is, motives that come from you and not from avoiding punishment or seeking a reward. Self-chosen goals, or ones that come from within, are your ticket to success. Post these motives everywhere as reminders.
Overcome Your Doubt
Do you have an inner life coach inside of you or a negative Nancy that keeps you trapped in behaviors that no longer serve you? For each negative comment, think about what you would say to a friend that uttered the same words.
Believe in Yourself
Now that you know why you want to change, realize that you CAN change. Say to yourself, “I can quit smoking!” instead of “It’s too hard for me to stop smoking.” Or rather than saying, “I’m going to exercise more,” say, “I am an exerciser.”
Pat Yourself on the Back
Take the time every week to look back on everything that you accomplished, no matter how small. Acknowledge it and congratulate yourself. Would it be more gratifying to have that doughnut or to visualize yourself one size smaller or having your biometrics within range? Will one more cigarette really make your day less stressful or will altering your daily routine, little by little, to avoid that habit be more effective in the long run? Envisioning your future self helps to delay gratification and avoid unhealthy choices.
Make Yourself Accountable
Plan and prepare! Participate in challenges that involve others for motivation and healthy competition. It’s amazing what you can do when others are with you on the same journey. Use social media to post your goals ahead of time and set a timeline or date. Also, get ready to celebrate your success! Mark weekly or monthly “rebirthdays” on your calendar or set alerts on your phone. Planning on making it to each goal will remove any doubts about your perseverance.
If you release the struggle, acknowledge and accept that you are where you are today, you will feel stronger and better equipped to continue working through challenges, even if you don’t see results right away. If you remain honest and consistent with your goals, the results will come. Trust the process. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best, “Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”