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Do you struggle to make positive changes in your life? While many of us started this year with New Year’s Resolutions set in our minds, many will already have been forgotten. But we all know that it can be difficult to create changes that last.
The good news is there are ways to make it easier. The trick is to choose methods that you find easy to stick with, and I’ve got seven of those to share with you here.
1: FIGURE OUT WHY YOU WANT TO MAKE EACH CHANGE
This might sound obvious, but it’s surprising how few of us go into the ‘why’. If you don’t have a reason for doing something, you’ll find it a lot harder to achieve.
For example, let’s say you want to lose weight. Why? Do you want to look better? Feel healthier? Or fit in those amazing jeans hanging in your wardrobe? Maybe you know you’ll feel better if you lose that stone. Whatever your reason is, write it down.
2: MAKE SMALL AND MANAGEABLE CHANGES
If you struggle to make big changes in your life, break them down first. For instance, maybe you want to renovate your property, but you can’t work out where to begin. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the enormity of such a task. So, make a list of tiny steps you can take to move you closer to your goal. Then embark on each one in turn. These bite-sized steps are so much easier to manage.
3: DO SOMETHING EVERY DAY TOWARDS THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO MAKE
This leads on from the point I made above. Small changes are easier to make than big ones. However, forward momentum is important. You can maintain this by resolving to do something daily to keep this up. Even if you can only spare a few minutes on busy days, it keeps that connection in place.
4: FORGIVE YOURSELF FOR MISTAKES
No successful dieter has even reached their weight loss goal without going off course at some point. Plenty of ex-smokers will admit to failing a few times before they finally managed to quit for good.
All change is hard, and it can take several attempts to make it stick. Remember this if you struggle to make forward progress sometimes. The only way you can fail to make the changes you desire is if you stop trying.
5: PLAN IN WRITING – AND IN DETAIL
Whenever I set a goal, I write it down. There is something about the act of doing this that makes it easier to achieve and more concrete in my mind.
But when you write it down, write in detail. Don’t dream – don’t say ‘I want to spend more time painting each week.’ Instead, say something like this: ‘I will spend two evenings a week from 7pm until 9pm painting.’ That is a firm plan, and one that will be easier to achieve.
6: CHECK IN OFTEN TO SEE HOW YOU’RE DOING
When was the last time you went on a train journey? While you were no doubt set on reaching your destination, the journey itself can be quite pleasant if you have good scenery to look at. And when you can see nothing but the darkness of a tunnel, you’ll plan something else to do to pass the time.
When you want to make lasting changes, it can take time to achieve them. Don’t set your goal and then put your head down and get on with it. Check in with yourself frequently to see how well you are doing. If you’re struggling, ask yourself why. There is a reason why so many people benefit from journaling their progress when they are trying to achieve things in their lives.
7: SHIFT FROM THE NEGATIVE TO THE POSITIVE
This is a biggie, which is why I have left it until last. Let’s say you want to go to the gym twice a week. Trouble is, all you can think of is having to get up early to do it or aching once you’ve completed your workout. In short, you’re associating the experience with pain.
Flip it on its head and make an association with pleasure instead. If you hit the gym twice a week, you’ll feel fitter, healthier, and happier. You’ll tone up. Your clothes will fit better. Do you see how this works? The best part of the technique is it works for everything.
So, whichever changes you are set on making, apply these seven steps to ensure you stand a far greater chance of achieving these things. You might be surprised at how your life looks in a few weeks from now. Remember, you are in charge, and those changes are within reach.
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.