I’ve been preparing an exciting new program for transformative health that launches later this month. The biggest challenge for any change, let alone a transformative one, is that motivation is temporary.
I suppose that’s why every Jan. 1st, people make “Re-Solutions” – because the “Solution” wasn’t a real Solution so they need a re-do, a Re-Solution. A play on words – but with a strong element of truth.
If only I could wave a magic wand and find that simple solution, one that would make the process easy. Sorry – I haven’t found that wand yet - but I am still looking!
Instead I reflect on my personal work with clients and that of my colleagues and others in lifestyle-based health initiatives, and I love these words from James L. Chestnut, DC.
“Behavior modification does not create sustainable change and it makes change unpleasant. Change is not hard, hard change is hard. Easy change is easy.”
“I teach easy change because it is the only change that works. If you believe that exercise is awful or that French fries are wonderful you will always behave accordingly. Trying to force yourself to stop doing what you enjoy and forcing yourself to do the things you dislike is miserable, it is just deprivation and nobody can sustain that. Your behaviors are logical based on your belief systems. It is your belief systems that are illogical.”
The key points are forming new beliefs and then creating new habits that support those beliefs.
Those are big topics, too big for this post, but they can be broken down and tackled a bit at a time.
So today, a tip I want to share is that to achieve your goal, changing your pattern - doing something different - is easier than just “stopping” something. For example, replace the urge to smoke or eat a bag of chips with taking a walk, drinking water with lemon or engaging in a 60 second meditation.
You create a doable, EASY healthy new habit.
EASY is the key. I don’t mean easy as in “not challenging” or easy as in “not doing anything.” You wanted change and that requires doing something, and usually something significant. What you want is something achievable and sustainable.
How can you shake up your patterns and insert a different routine or action?
The Chopra Center offers the following from, Learn What Type of Habit Formation Works Best for Your Resolution
"Once you have noticed your pattern or decided on a new habit to form, you need to make a plan that will work consistently until that new routine becomes a habit. Some people edge their way into a resolution where others jump in fully from day one. Neither method is better but by matching a method with your goal, you will help yourself stick to it. Try these methods:
- Pairing: This refers to pairing a new habit with an old one. For example, if you want to oil pull every morning you might put the oil on a bathroom shelf so you do the oil pulling while showering.
- Moderation: Sometimes setting a goal to moderate a behavior feels more attainable. An example would be to introduce meatless weekdays rather than a full-time vegan diet.
- Abstain: For some habits, choosing to abstain entirely makes it easier. If you want to cut out sugar, choosing to “eat less sugar” is not measureable or easy to track. This makes a habit harder to form. With a goal of total abstinence, it’s easy to see if you are successful.
- Scheduling: Set a reminder on your phone that tells you when and where. This means your resolution is a priority; it’s in your calendar. What you schedule tends to get done.
- Make it Easy: The simpler you make it, the better. If you want to work out, join the most convenient gym. If it is close to work or home, you are more likely to get there than if you have to drive across town. If you want to cut out carbs, don’t have carbs in the house.
- Don’t Let Perfect Keep You from the Perfectly Good: Sometimes the frustration of not being 100 percent successful may keep you from continuing. Don’t beat yourself up if you skip a day or break your diet. Recognize that a little of something good is better than none at all."
Wishing you Easy Change – a Solution!
P.S. Need some help digging in to find out what’s making change hard for you? Let’s talk! I’m sure we’ll discover what’s getting in the way and I offer a complimentary session. Scheduling is simple with my online booking system: Schedule Now