The process of change doesn’t have to be daunting, provided it’s approached from the perspective of making slight yet continuous modifications of your everyday life. Healthy habits like nutritious eating, meditation, exercise and more can become ingrained over time; although you may feel that progress is slow at the beginning, things will speed up as your motivation increases in response to how much better you’ll feel while making positive choices. Healthy habits take time to form but unhealthy habits can be replaced with healthy ones through a commitment to small daily actions. Eventually, you’ll create lasting change simply by setting and meeting one small goal after another.
Change Doesn’t Need to be Daunting
Many people want to make positive changes in their lives yet believe the process will be daunting and simply don’t know where to start. Instead of trying to change multiple things all at once, the key to lasting change involves focusing on one small issue at a time to build up confidence and momentum. If you want to get healthy, you’ll probably want to clean up your diet, get better sleep and start exercising, yet if you try to make all of these changes simultaneously, you’re almost certain to feel overwhelmed and are far more likely to give up before reaching your goals. To prevent frustration, try breaking down your larger goals into smaller more manageable sections that you can achieve on a day-to-day basis.
Use Meditation to Create a Solid Foundation
Regardless of the type of positive change you wish to create, cultivating the habit of mediation will help you develop a solid foundation that will allow you to reach additional goals more rapidly. Meditation doesn’t necessarily mean you need to sit on a pillow and chant for a set amount of time each day; walking meditations, guided meditations, background affirmations and more can all be used to cultivate a state of mindfulness that will encourage you to keep your attention focused in the present moment as you move about your day. This sense of presence will make it much easier to replace old habits with new ones since you’ll be more likely to notice (and adjust) your choices on a moment to moment basis.
Break Down Larger Goals into Smaller Achievements
Once you’ve decided you are ready for lasting change, write down all of your goals so that you can see the big picture you wish to create. Perhaps you want to lose 40 pounds, get a new job and buy a home for your family. Taken all together, those goals may seem huge and unattainable, but breaking each one of them down into small, manageable sections allows you to create a clear path to success. Look at all the goals you have outlined and choose whichever one you would like to reach first. If weight loss is your first and foremost goal, commit to making small changes and build upon them until you begin to see significant results. You could replace sodas with water during the first week and add a salad to your diet each day during the next, for example. Over time, your “small” changes may tend to get bigger and you may feel confident working towards more than one goal at a time.
Give Yourself Plenty of Time and Encouragement
It takes time to achieve big goals and it’s important to celebrate small accomplishments along the way to maintain a state of high morale. Some people create a reward system for themselves as a source of motivation, especially in the beginning. People who want to lose weight may choose to purchase a stylish new outfit once they reach the half-way mark; family vacations and outings are also a great way to celebrate the attainment of personal goals. Be wary of any “reward” which involves a return to the original unhealthy habit you are working to replace, as it can result in a setback and potential discouragement.
Regardless of where you are at in relation to reaching your long-term goals, I hope these tips can help you begin to take small steps in the right direction. I hope that they open you up to new, exciting opportunities that help you move closer towards living the life you deserve!