Finding a lasting solution
Earlier this week a client told me: “The end of the year is fast approaching and I still have so much to do; it feels like I have nothing to show for 2020. I just hope 2021 will be better…”
The problem with this statement is that we have said the very same thing at the end of 2019, and the year before, and the year before that.
Hoping for a new calendar year or a new job or a new season do not provide a lasting solution. When looking forward to that new phase might cause us to think that things will be different and better however, once we are in the new phase the excitement wear off rather quickly and we fall back into the old pattern.
So, what is then the solution to a permanent change?
- Start small
So often we wish to change a thousand things within our world. When you decide to live a healthier lifestyle, you change your diet, drink more water, exercise five times a week, go to bed at the same time every night, stop smoking, and, and, and. In essence we try to turn around a large ship in five minutes while it is still in the harbour. This approach does not work for ships and most definitely does not work on our minds.
Our habits have been engrained in our minds over many years. To change it takes time, dedication and a phased approach. Perhaps commence the healthier lifestyle journey with drinking more water and once you have achieved this goal, add the next element. Before you know it, you will see the change and be able to continue with these changes.
- Setting goals
Setting clear and realistic goals is a key ingredient to your success. When you decide to drink more water, be clear on how much water you would like to drink and when. A while back I dedicated a monthly blog to achieving your goals and shared the following key steps:
- Have three goals at a time
- Your goal should include you
- Goals should be something you truly want
- Be realistic
- Set a date
- Put it somewhere where you can see it daily
- Visualise the end state
- Tell people about your goal
- Love yourself
- Be consistent
No matter who you are, you will have some sort of resistance to change. It is part of our human makeup. You can reduce this resistance to a minimum when you introduce change into your life step by step until it becomes a part of who you are. Exposing ourselves to dramatic change, causes trauma and we would then experience the very same emotional turmoil associated with traumatic situations like divorce, loosing your job, loosing a loved one, etc.
Since you don’t want to put yourself in a traumatic situation, the best way to change your lifestyle is by starting small and being consistent. Do it every day – the worst you can do is to go all out on day one, then skip a day and go all out again. It will take much longer to implement the changes you wish to make when following this approach.
Our subconscious mind is like 7-9-year-old kid. For those with kids, you know exactly what happens when you do not follow a consistent approach with your 7-9-year-old – complete chaos and resistance!
- Regret is a complete waste of time
You will have your moments of relapsing. When changing your life, keep in mind that it is immediate action that fixes a mistake, not crying over it. It is your reaction toward a mistake that counts, not the mistake itself.
Get over your mistakes fast, and you will be amazed by how far you will go. Every day you should be looking forward to that day and leave the past where it belongs; in the past.
Big achievements come one small advantage at a time, one step at a time, one day at time. Jim Rohn