All of us have things in our life that we wish we could change. Many of us have tried to implement changes: I want to eat less, I want to exercise more, I want to spend more time with the family , etc… Anyone who has tried to grow by changing a habit in their life or to begin a new one knows how hard it can be. How many New Year’s resolutions have you broken? Yeah, me too. Personal change can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be impossible, here are three things to remember if you are trying to make a positive change in your life:
If you aren’t a runner but want to be, committing to running 5 miles every day this week is a brutal goal. It’s not fair to you, and it will never happen. What’s worse is that when you don’t achieve your goal, you will likely get discouraged and stop trying to run altogether. The key to forming a new habit is to start small. Remember, small wins lead to big wins. Accomplishing small goals encourages us and brings us closer step by step to our bigger goals. I know you want to accomplish great things, but those things start with small steps.
It’s so easy when we set out to achieve a lofty goal to get lost in the big picture. Many people are committing themselves to a healthier lifestyle, which is admirable. Lots of people start with trying to get more and better rest. But getting better sleep isn’t a good goal. It’s not clear, and it’s hard to tell what to do or how to measure improvements. Start out by focusing on the small details of your goal.
I want to be in bed with the lights out at 10PM.
I want to stop drinking caffeinated drinks at 6PM.
I want to be in my room reading a book with all of the noise off at 9:30PM.
Find a routine and stick with it. Being mindful of the details makes our goals fall into place.
Have A Selective Memory
We all remember our mistakes. We tend to bring them up in our mind over and over, which often leads to lessened motivation over time. Make a point to note and remember your successes. They are there, you just don’t tend to notice them as much. Keep a journal if you need to. Once a day go back and review the things you got right. Leave your mistakes in the past and feed the good memories. Your motivation will increase, and as a great side effect, you will find yourself being more merciful and kind to others as a result.
Change isn’t easy, but it’s important. Find your next step, and begin your journey of change. Don’t get discouraged along the way, if it were easy it probably wouldn’t be worth doing!