Change for the Better
Posted by Gail | Filed under Life Lessons
Is there something you’re doing that’s working against you? You know what I mean… yelling at the kids, leaving work early every chance you get because you hate what you do, letting your personal space fall to rack and ruin because you can’t find the energy?
We all have things we know we should do differently, little things we’d like to change, or monster-huge bad habits that are eating our lives. But change is hard. Here are five things you can do to make the whole thing just a little easier so you can make a change and make a difference.
1. Treat the change as a game. Hate making your bed in the morning? Focus on how lovely it feels to walk into a beautiful room at bedtime. It’ll take less than three minutes to make the bed, but you can enjoy the beautiful room every time you walk into it. Can’t imagine cooking every meal at home when you have a wicked take-out or eat-out habit? Decide you’ll cook at home on Tuesday and Thursday nights this month. Next month, add Monday and Wednesday.
2. Use positive speak to drown out the negative chatter. If your head is full of reasons why you can’t, come up with three good reasons why you will. Write ‘em down. Next time your brain tries to convince you to not change, quote yourself – out loud – one of your reasons why you will change. Research shows that you can change your thinking on purpose, so get busy drowning out the “I can’ts” and “it work works.”
3. Surround yourself with the right folks. If you’re trying to break a shopping habit, hanging out with the chicks or dude who love to shop isn’t going to help your cause. Find something to do instead of shopping – curling, knitting, cooking, running, reading – and then find people who love to do the new thing. If you’re trying to quit smoking, dump your smoking friends for a while. Trying to quit drinking? Hang out with those who prefer to sip tea.
4. Learn something new. Many people don’t know enough about the very thing they want to change. Hate your job? Do you know what else you’d be good at? Hate your weight? Do you know how to eat right? Want to be a better money manager? Do you know what’s involved in building a solid financial foundation? Time to take some classes, read some books and do some practicing.
5. Reward your good behaviour. Just about every expert agrees that when you’re trying to make change stick you have to reward your good behaviour. Set milestones for what you’re trying to achieve, and then link a feel-good activity to your accomplishment. And as you change, don’t focus on the big picture… that’s setting the bar too high. Look instead to the small things you’re doing differently, and give yourself a pat on the back for those.