Transform Your Life One Change at a Time
23rd April, 20100 Comments
• Do you want to become more assertive and successful in your relationships?
• Do you want to feel healthier, get fitter, and feel more optimistic about your life?
• Are you ready to free yourself from procrastination, and start freeing up time to do the things that really matter to you?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, or want to make similar changes in your life, then you have come to the right place.
Creating new habits and replacing the old is the key to making meaningful changes in your life. It all starts with one change. It's true, one change as small as it may seem can be the catalyst to propel your life into a new direction.
Think of some habits that you want to change. How would you feel if you started making these changes right now?
If you were to make simple life changes like biking to work instead of driving, tackling the bills head on - instead of letting them pile up and overwhelm you, or journalling every night for a ½ hour instead of watching TV….Wouldn't you feel better?
And once you feel better you want to do more: you’ve given yourself momentum. Then it’s a case of keeping it going until you create a new habit. Then, when you stick to these new activities on a daily basis for 21 days, a new habit tends to replace the old one, and the power of your actions adds up, helping you make the changes you want in your life.
4 Simple steps to creating change
Step 1: Define what you want
Start by defining the goals and the habits you want to establish.
Make these goals as specific and measurable as possible. Rather than a generalized “being more assertive”, write down exactly what you will do, for example, “I’ll ask for what I want once a day”, or “I'll journal every night for 10 minutes”.
Step 2: Commit
Write your goal down. This works because by declaring your goal to a piece of paper, you are making a stronger commitment. And your commitment will be even stronger if you share it with others.
Commit to the change you want to make, and report regularly on your progress. This is a huge step toward making the habit a success.
Step 3: Start small
Start your new habit in small increments to ensure success. It’s easy to become over-enthusiastic about the change we want to make. The problem is that when you start like this, you soon run out of steam.
Start off slowly, with one or two habits. Don't overwhelm yourself. It’s more important to create momentum and confidence, then step up your efforts with time. By starting out doing less than you can actually handle, you build up energy and enthusiasm. This doesn’t just apply to habits, but to any changes you want to make in your life.
Step 4: Be flexible and enjoy the process
Be flexible. It’s OK to change your mind. In fact, it’s recommended. If you find making two new habits is too hard, go down to one. If two is too little step up to three. Make sure this doesn’t become a chore, if you keep enjoying, you’ll keep doing.
The steps might be simple, but they are not always easy. You might find yourself needing the extra support that a life coach like me can provide. If you find that to be the case, then please contact me, I'd love to speak with you about your goals and the direction you imagine for your life.
Sticking to your new daily habits
To keep you motivated and make your new habits stick, you can use a little psychology to keep moving towards your new path.
If you find yourself reaching for the keys instead of biking to work or reaching for the TV remote instead of your journal, ask yourself how you’ll feel in the long term if you do that. Wouldn't you feel better if you got into biking instead? How will you miss out if you don't change your habit? What are the consequences of not pursuing your new path? Is it worth it?
Sometimes what is difficult is not making the new habit, but getting rid of the old one. In order to replace the old habit, you want to associate pain with the habit you want to stop and pleasure with the new activity.
To stay motivated, give yourself a reward when you make the changes and follow the new habit that you want. This will motivate you to keep going. It is human nature to repeat what makes us feel good in the short term. Stick to your new habits and treat yourself by cooking your favourite dinner, watch the film you’ve been wanting to see or get yourself a bunch of flowers.
Envisage the negative consequences of your actions, and give yourself positive reinforcement for your new habits: your chances of success will increase exponentially.
Your journey begins today. Wherever you are in life, whatever you want to change, these tools will help. Goals are meant to be achieved.
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Karen Hayns MSc - Future PerfectSeptember 11th, 2017