7 Steps To Making Positive Change And Ditch The “I have No Will-Power” Crap
We all know we ‘should‘ eat healthier, move more, be kinder to ourselves, drink more water, watch less Netflix, call our Mums more… but knowing it and actually making a shift is a completely different story.
So how do we find the balance? How do we live and laugh and thrive, how do we make sure we are getting in enough exercise; are eating well; taking enough space; growing; learning; how do we make sure we are doing enough of the ‘good’ stuff, to be able to be happy and healthy and functioning at our best?
Finding the motivation to get up an hour earlier each morning to go for a run…pfff, not easy.
Tired and grumpy and staring at the pastries on the meeting room table and trying to will-power your way out of eating one (or three)… that’s tough.
Feeling unhinged, stressed and easily triggered and finding the motivation to go to a quiet place and meditate for 10 minutes rather than scrolling instagram…that shit ain’t easy.
In fact, none of it is. So many times in my life friends have said to be ‘but it’s easy for you because you like healthy food / exercising / meditating / being outside / going to bed early…and it’s true – I do like those thing, but I also like enjoying a glass of wine or two on a sunny Sunday afternoon, sharing a delicious meal with friends where I will undoubtably eat too much of everything, scrolling instagram aimlessly, and chilling in front of Netflix. But I can do these things because I take personal growth, caring for my health, moving, eating well, being present and exploring my deeper purpose really, bloody seriously.
I’m saying you CAN have it all, but you need to find your balance – the sweet spot that allows you freedom, inspiration AND happiness.
Here’s what I’ve learnt are the key strategies to making positive life changes. The best news is it’s not about will-power – it’s about understanding why this is important to you, putting super simple strategies in place to help you achieve what you want to do, and making it fun:
1. Connect to your why – why is this important to you, and how will it change things. Don’t be afraid to go deep. “Because it’s trending” or “because my bestie does it” isn’t going to keep you motivated when your alarm clock goes off an hour early and the thought of dragging your arse out of bed for a run is about as appealing as hot pants on your overweight uncle. Find your why, and keep it close – maybe it’s a picture on your phone, a post-it note beside your bed, or a little mantra you say to yourself everyday in the shower.
2. Who will this effect in your life? What relationship / s will this impact? How will those that are closest to you benefit from this positive change in my life? Like attracts like – when we are happy and confident we project this out into the world, when we are in our victim mentality we also project this energy. Greet each day with a big, warm, open heart and things will flow, keep your internal negative dialogue going about how things are not OK, then this energy will come back to you. If you don’t believe me just try it, for one day, and see what happens. Who needs you to make this positive change? Who fills up your heart so much that you need to do this.
3. Get practical. This one is easy peasy – no deep thinking needed here! Find small key things you can change in your space and schedule to help you make this change – name your early morning alarm “Me time” or something positive that fills you up, if you are trying to start a daily meditation practice set up your space and make it cosy – think meditation cushion, blanket, some more of dim light, headphones if you use them, water bottle already prepared, notebook if you want one…prep everything else for the morning as well so you are not sitting on your meditation pillow stressing about making the kid’s lunch or not having enough time for a shower! Want to get in the habit of making healthy meals? Rearrange your kitchen so things are in places that make sense to you – put seeds, nuts and grains in glass jars, move utensils to beside your oven, keep your favourite spices out where you can easily reach them, chop up some veggies and have them ready to grab for meals during the week.
4. Make yourself accountable. This can be as easy as posting to social. Be honest about why you are positing – don’t post to show off, mates get sick of that pretty quick – just say that you are posting to keep yourself accountable. Health Coaches are great for accountability, but so are friends – think about someone who might also want to make health a priority or some sort of positive life change and team up with them – good mates makes everything better, and lighter, anyway.
5. Make it fun. If you tell yourself that this is a chore you will soon give up and go back to your unhealthy habits. Instead keep it light, and fun -remind yourself that this is “me-time”. Think about what used to light you up as a kid…maybe it was dancing, or tennis or jumping on a trampoline and explore how to get back into it. Find friends to go on this journey with you, or find a class / workshop / event where you can meet some new mates who also keen for a few laughs and connection.
6. Set a goal and stick to it. Make sure it is achievable, write it down, and find a way to track it. For example – if you set yourself a goal of meditating for 28 days in a row, make a quick wall chart to tick off each time you meditate. Don’t over complicate it, what’s important is the fact that you are writing it down.
7. Review and re-assess. No matter how much motivation you have initially, it’s pretty tricky to keep going with any new life change after awhile. Life creeps back in and we find our monkey minds telling ourselves that we don’t really need to do that thing everyday, and soon it goes from a daily practice, to once a week to not at all. Be kind to yourself and take a look at what’s happening now in your life and what changes would make sense now as opposed to what habits you set up months ago. You might want to do this each week, or maybe it makes sense to just do it on the 1st of every month or when the seasons change. Have a look at what’s working and what’s dropped off and either plan these back in, or move on to what will best serve you now. There is no failing, there is only observing and learning.
I’d love to hear about any habits you have successful added into your life recently, or if you have any other tip on how to make health habits work for you.