In my last post I suggested that an important factor in enjoying lasting change is looking at new and different approaches to your plan. Here are a few more ideas to help you out on your journey towards real change.
Lighten up and laugh
Think for a moment about a change you want to make. Really think about it. Now note your facial expression, your posture, and your attitude. Did you get all serious and stern and determined? Did you wrinkle your forehead and stiffen up? Or did you bust out in a big excited grin and exhale some tension?
We learn best when we are relaxed and at ease. Guess what? The act of change is about learning. We are more flexible and open to
possibility when we are not tight and frustrated with ourselves or giving ourselves a hard time. Effective change needs to have a fun factor. It’s a huge motivator. If you’ve participated in my groups or programs, you may have heard me talk about the importance of having bold juicy strategies, goals, and rewards. Why struggle to create a change that you are going to dread? Life is simply too short.
When you create your plan for change, be sure you have a very compelling reason for making the change you are pursuing. Ask yourself continually how you can make the process lighter and more fun.
One note here: starting a new habit can be a tricky business. Expect that the first several weeks might be tough and reward the mess out of yourself for following through (don’t skip this step!). After that, treat dread as a warning sign. Any time you find yourself dreading your new habit, the program you’ve joined, or the change you are making, ask yourself what you need to do to bring the joy back.
Ask for help when you need it
A very normal part of making changes is hitting stumbling blocks and challenges. But stumbling blocks, busy days, Halloween candy and difficult work projects shouldn’t bring you to a dead halt. If they do, if you feel stuck and not sure how to get going again (or how to get going at all), it’s time to ask somebody.
Figuring out how to change it up or find the bold and juicy or even stop beating yourself up long enough to see the humor can all be VERY hard to do when you are stuck inside your own head. But things change when you enlist the support of someone who believes in you and sees past your own perfectionistic, stubborn, frustrating mindsets. Other people may tell you the most surprising things about yourself. They see your strengths in a way that you might not and they usually bring a fresh perspective. If you consult with an expert, they’ll have a whole assortment of tricks and strategies to freshen up what you are doing.
Just one thing. Don’t stop listening to yourself. Make sure you do a “gut check” on all the support and wisdom you are offered and make sure that it fits with who you are and the goal that YOU have for yourself.
Can you see how these simple ideas can mean the difference between repeating the same old patterns and breaking through to new ones that actually serve you?