1 Mourn What You Will Miss
You know that bad habit you can’t kick? It’s hard to change because it has been serving you in some way. Perhaps unhealthy food is giving you comfort, too much wine providing escape or procrastination has been saving you from possible rejection.
Change is hard because we get comfortable with the way things are even when they don’t serve us well.
The famous Kubler-Ross grief model is not just for mourning the loss of a loved one. We go through the same stages with any type of change EVEN if it’s a change we want. Expect to find yourself experiencing denial, anger, bargaining and depression before you get to acceptance and new action. Perhaps you have some awareness at which stage you regularly get stuck.
Let yourself feel your way through all the stages, mourn what you will miss and then tell this unwanted behavior goodbye forever. You’re now ready to move onto new beginnings.
2 Savor the Outcome You Seek
Change is hard but change is good. It’s important to spend ample time thinking about why this change is something you want. Indulge in the possibilities and Imagine what your life will be like when you have achieved it. Know that what you are going to get is so much better than what you are prepared to leave behind.
Really let yourself fantasize about mastering this transition. Feel the benefits and the self-fulfillment of achieving this important goal.
You just enjoyed a taste of the improved life you can create and start living. Isn’t it worth fighting for?
3 Anticipate the Obstacles
This is a critical step often overlooked. To truly get into control, you must admit what’s likely to get in your way. Get clear on your triggers. When and where do you expect you will be tempted to slide back into that habit you want to change? It may help to literally write down a list of possible scenarios and solutions—when this happens, I am will do that.
Achieving change is going to require your rational mind to have a very serious conversation with your very irrational unconscious mind. Your real enemies are the fears hiding deep behind your bad habits: your self-doubt, your feelings of unworthiness, fear of failure or even fear of too much success which may put pressure on you to achieve even more.
Dig deep for what is really getting in your way. Define your inner demons. Write them down. Tell them “game on” and prepare to fight. Only then will you be able to create a clear path to success.
4 Rewire your Routine
Now that you have identified what’s really getting in your way of making desired changes, you can proactively get yourself ready to move forward and stay the course.
You have to prepare and plan. When the obstacles present themselves, and they will, what can you do instead of falling back into your old routine? You need new ways of dealing with the stress and underlying fear causing conflict with your best interests. Try everything until you find what works.
Here are some defensive tactics to consider:
-Who can you reach out to for back up support?
-What positive affirmation or ritual can you use in moments of weakness?
-Which motivating quote, book or video can you use for reinforcement?
In addition to self-defense tools, you need some serious new offense plays so you won’t fall back into your old way of being. Set yourself up for success by getting very planful.
If you aren’t eating healthy, what kind of shopping strategies and meal prep plan can you put in place?
Not exercising? What movement is most fun for you? Dancing, swimming, walking—even shopping counts as steps.
Procrastinating? Staying in a job you don’t like? How could you motivate yourself to do the bold things you know you must do to succeed?
The secret is to put enough positive energy into planning your new routine that your fear subsides and is replaced with hope. Hope is a powerful catalyst. Let it propel you forward.
5 Celebrate Your Progress
Outlining a plan, action steps and making commitment is pretty simple. But, actually taking action…that’s where the real challenge lies. If you slip, don’t beat yourself up. Just start again as many times as it takes.
Positive reinforcements are powerful. Rewarding yourself is going to be key to create a new habit. Celebrate your progress every step forward you make along the way.
Final Words of Encouragement
Even change you are passionate about making is going to take some real gusto, grit and unwavering determination.
You can take control, commit and create change. Don’t expect it’s going to happen overnight and don’t accept defeat.
Remember, above all else, give yourself grace and a lot of love for striving to be the best you can be.
Are you ready to create the life you want to live?
Wishing you courage and renewed hope as you make your next move.
It’s time to hit the reset button. You got this.