Who ever says, “I love change!” Hardly anyone and with good reason: it often means work! It takes energy. It calls for a new mindset. But above all, it means we have to shift from what we’ve thought, felt or done for some time to something different.
To be honest, our natural inclination is to resist. The new habit may lead to something better physically, mentally, emotionally or financially. Yet still we drag our feet. So how can we gain momentum? What is the key to motivating ourselves? Here are 3 concepts to help get you moving in the right direction.
Re-think the Concept of Change
First, understand that our attitude holds the key to how we view life. Our mindset lens can be our greatest friend or our worst enemy when it comes to change. And make no mistake about it: it is within our control! We aren’t born with a negative outlook; we adopt a habit of a negative outlook. That’s a big difference…and one that we can overcome when we retrain our thinking patterns.
Of course, change can be good or bad. For the most part, when it requires us to move towards a future that is not fully defined, we delay. In fact, our resistance often increases with age. We get comfortable with our routines, flaws and all. After a lifetime of following rules and expectations, we finally have a larger say in our life. As a result, change often remains out of reach.
But do you remember how exciting it was to embark on a family vacation? Do you recall the thrill of leaving home for college dorm life? How about the adventure of moving out of state for a better job? We embraced those unknown situations because we had a positive mindset.
Perhaps it’s time to return to that youthful confidence that change is good! Or at the very least, exciting. Even when it’s not completely clear, we assumed back then that things would somehow turn out OK (which they generally do). A positive mindset makes it so much easier to move ahead and find possibilities instead of roadblocks, don’t you think?
Review the Pros & Cons of the New Habit
Next, take time to write out the benefits and challenges of your new habit. There’s real power with capturing your racing or jumbled thoughts and emotions and organizing them on paper in black and white. Just looking at the content of the two columns can be eye-opening. The “pro” column is filled with desire, ambition and passion. The “con’ column is filled with fear, apathy or even a touch of laziness. It’s like the battle line is drawn between our running shoes and the couch!
However, this list can serve as a motivating tool when your energy is flagging. Or when that little voice of resistance is whispering. A quick review can remind you of the importance of moving ahead anyway. Scan the list…and then go! Overthinking is always a showstopper!
Change with Small Steps
Lastly, it’s time to begin! Keep in mind that this is not a race. All new habits take time. For change to effectively occur, we need to break the goal down into manageable segments. Otherwise, it’s easy to give up after overdoing things on Day 1 or during Week 1.
For example, if you’re wanting to clear out clutter, then pick a room and start with a drawer, a counter or a cabinet. If you’re seeking to eat better, eliminate processed foods or sugar first. Substitute fruit or extra veggies. The point is, create manageable change by embracing small changes over time and adding to those steps as they become your new routine. In a month, you’ll be impressed with how far you’ve come!
For more ideas on how to incorporate positive change, check out the smart ideas for adopting a new habit in this 5 minute video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXXWUMTtGsY
Or refer back to this post for ways to reset your mindset: http://downsize365.com/mindset-reboot-when-stuck/
What strategies have helped you change your own personal routine? Drop us a comment below…and thanks for stopping by!