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Why changing is hard and how you can master it

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

Changing requires action. Here are some valuable tips on how to achieve the change you want to see in your life.

Claudia S. Herrmann

CHF Consulting Group, LLC

December 2020

How many times have we wanted or needed to change certain things in our lives, but we just put them off until “mañana”? We know what to do. We are constantly bombarded with information about all imaginable topics: self-help, motivation, success, mindfulness, healthy lifestyle, exercise, meditation, performance, and the list goes on and on. Whether we read it through a news feed or if we watch videos, listen to audio blogs or audio books, we are well equipped with all the information we need to adapt, to pivot and change things, for instance, when the unforeseen like the Covid-19 pandemic hits us out of nowhere and forces us to radically change our lifestyle. Some people embrace change and thrive when presented with challenges and the opportunities to do something different. Usually, these people are super achievers and extraordinarily successful. Others have a challenging time adjusting. Others are professional procrastinators. I count myself among them, so I need extra incentives to take action.

We know the formulas for success: Want to lose weight? Eat healthy. Want to stay fit? Exercise. Want more money? Work smarter. Want to find a new significant other? Engage in social activities. Want better relationships? Work on your mindfulness. Want to reinvent yourself? Find your passion. Want to be happy? Meditate. Want to quit drinking? Go to AA .

The information resources are out there. Just google “transformation” and you’ll find more leadership and self-help trainings than you could follow in your entire lifetime. Tens of thousands of people provide us with the formulas for success in all areas of our lives. Millions of people have started successful businesses, lost half their weight, have developed fool-proof formulas for success in life, created mindfulness systems, and have written books about it all. In fact, we’re flooded with too much information. So, what separates the iron man from the overweight potato couch? The millionaire from the poor?

The answer lies in taking action. Then why do we put off those things we know we need to do to reach our goals? It’s in not starting to do what we should do: exercising, drafting a business plan, eating veggies. The deterrent, the one thing that holds us back is usually our fear of our own success, or not believing we are enough, or we are just burnt out and feel beaten up. But once we start, we find out that doing is not an insurmountable obstacle. We need more willpower to start those tasks that are more difficult, unpleasant, or challenging. However, once we start these tasks are easier to accomplish. We find out that if we actually get up in the morning and put a 3-mile powerwalk in, we do feel better throughout the day.

Starting and doing have to do with your mindset and your behavior. Procrastination usually is related to fear of doing something different or new. To make the necessary changes to reach your goals, I share some things that I have worked on and that I share (Also see Slow Blink Training Program | CHF Consulting Group). Here’s what you can do:

1. Believe in yourself

If you don’t believe you can’t accomplish something, you won’t. If you doubt your own abilities, write “I am enough” in big letters on your bathroom mirror, on your bedside table and other visible places. Repeat the phrase every time you see it. Over time, you will gain more confidence in yourself. I have done it and believe me, it works.

2. Write down your goals

Putting your goals on paper helps you visualize what you want to accomplish. It’s best to start with a small list of three or four very specific goals. Small lists are doable. Specific goals allow you to measure your progress. Losing weight is wishful thinking, losing ten pounds within one month is a goal. Once you have accomplished your first goals, start a new list. Make your list really visible. If you want to lose weight, put your weight loss goal on the refrigerator door. I put a picture of zebra butts on the refrigerator to remind myself to not overeat.

3. Start with baby steps

Simplify your new habits and behaviors so that they are easy to accomplish. If your goal is to lose weight, start out by walking one mile instead of burning yourself out by exercising for three hours at the gym without even having a workout routine. If you’re addicted to sugar but want to lose weight, throw out the cake and cookies, and instead try preparing some sugarless puddings with fresh fruits that will satisfy your sweet tooth, and are a step towards healthier eating.

A new habit is formed in roughly three weeks, so you need to just keep it up. Reward yourself if you have accomplished a goal.

4. Shape your environment

If you want to lose weight, go through your refrigerator and pantry, and toss all unhealthy food items you have stored. You can donate your non-perishables. If you want to exercise, set your alarm at an earlier time. Prepare your workout clothes the night before.

If you still have trouble starting, enlist someone you trust to hold you accountable. As an example, get a training partner and make a commitment to work out with that individual. Sign up for meditation classes. Enroll in healthy cooking classes with one or more friends who want to eat healthier and share your healthy recipes.

“Remember that the “someday” will turn into never if you don’t just start. Now.”


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