Making changes are HARD.
When I set out to make change, or form a new habit, I like to think of them as "promises"- those seem easier to keep, right? However- do you ever feel like it's so much easier to keep promises to others than it is to ourselves? I sure do! Especially as women- we're constantly giving ourselves to others and putting our own needs to the back burner.
I remember being in my 20's and seeking to make changes in my life: remove my makeup at night, (my struggle with acne is still so real- but in my 20s the last thing I wanted to do after a long night out of partying was wash my face!) save money, carve out time to work on my business, and find ways to de-stress to help my battles with depression and anxiety. This last one was a big one for me. I would always start out really strong for the first few days, or maybe even the first few weeks, but then slowly and surely I'd find myself giving up before I even felt the benefits of this new habit. Can you relate?
I deemed myself a "dabbler"- I'd do a little research, test it out a bit, and then fall back into the same slump of helplessness I was in when I started- consistently breaking these "promises" to myself.
So why am I telling you all of this? Well, I've learned a lot about making change and the #1 thing that can hold you back is this: you're not connected to WHY you're trying to make these changes, so consistency falls by the wayside. You quit before you're even able to see the results because it feels "too hard" to get out of your comfort zone.
Let me be clear, you may know why you want to make change on the surface- for example: wanting to lose 15 lbs before your best friend's wedding; but you're not connected to a deeper why beyond that wedding. If that's the case, you'll lose the 15 lbs quickly, go to the wedding, and regain them all back. With only a short-term goal in mind, you're not committing to the long-haul. And our comfort zone of self-loathing feels way better than making the effort consistently to produce a full-on lifestyle change. (Cue the back-to-back nights out of drinking 'til your hungover and late night pizza runs).
Really connect to your why. What would it mean to you to have those extra 15 pounds shed? How would your life be affected as a result? Perhaps it would give you more confidence to pursue finding the man of your dreams. Perhaps it would reduce the risk of disease and chronic illness that may run in your family. Perhaps those extra 15 pounds have been an emotional rollercoaster of binge eating at night because you want to numb yourself from feeling your feelings. Maybe, it would mean that you'd start loving yourself again..
Visualize the change happening. This alone can be more powerful than you imagine. You're putting yourself in the future and seeing your intention coming to life. How would you FEEL? Believe you're deserving of change, and that YOU have the power to make it happen. Because often times our beliefs (I know I'll just give up after a few days of trying) become our realities.
It took me a long time to connect to my why for making change with my mental health. It felt impossible. Mental health disease runs in my family. And after seeing so many of my family members struggle with their mental health the older they got, I just keep thinking "some day that will be me." All of this stress I've been putting on myself, the cycling of negative self-talk, the sleepless nights as a result of not taking action, the emotional war in my head- NEEDED to end. I felt my memory become affected, my relationships, and my career. I NEEDED to get to the bottom of this and find ways to help heal myself- or I knew I was destined to have an unhealthy future. It got that real for me. Finally, I got out of my own way and began to discover self care tools that would change my life.
When you know your why's, promises become a necessity to keep. Clarity unfolds. You begin to transform your way of thinking. Once you know your why, consistency is key. The saying practice makes perfect holds so much clout. They say it scientifically takes 16 days to make a habit stick. However, I like to focus on one day at a time.
Whatever it is that you're seeking to change in your life- make it fun! I like to encourage my clients to get intimate with their why's- write them down. Hang them at your desk or by your nightstand. Then figure out how you can make these changes in your life in a way that feel doable and fun- because if you're not having fun, what's the point?
Additionally- share your intention of making change with someone. Whether you tell your best friend, a significant other, a coworker or put it out there on social media- you're creating accountability well beyond your own mind.
After all, that's how I created my Tuesday Tips 🙂 I knew in order to spread my wisdom of health and wellness, I needed to consistently share. Before that, I would dabble with content and feel so defeated when others would ask how my business was doing and growing. I knew I wasn't fully committed. I decided to share the idea of Tuesday Tips on social media- and let everyone who was watching know that I would be sharing these video tips every week. And that felt scary, because for a moment I doubted myself (you say that now, but you know you'll screw up and miss a week). But- I didn't. I committed. Fully. I knew that in order to grow as a business owner I needed to show up- not just for myself, but for others that were eager to learn about wellness- and show up consistently. Fast forward, and it's been a whole year since I've committed to Tuesday Tips- and so many people tell me how much they look forward to watching them. And there's no stopping me now 🙂
For some, it can be super vulnerable to share your goals with your loved ones. That's where I come in. If you're struggling with making change and want an unbiased opinion, someone to hold you accountable and educate you on how to better your health, let's chat! I would love nothing more than to support you in making sustainable change that feels good so that you can live a life you love.