In my last article, I wrote about how to break unwanted habits. Any time we think about change, the idea of committing to a new way of approaching our day to day life can be daunting. Habits are hard to break, especially when we are trying to change something for the long-term.
A few years ago I was reading up on healthier eating habits and I really liked the idea of becoming more aware of what kinds of foods I ingest rather than just eating…anything. The books I was reading, however, suggested a diet I was not used to at all. The new approach to eating presented by the authors were overwhelming. Although I was interested in change, I did not feel fully confident that I was capable of applying the new habits into my everyday life. That is why I really appreciated one author’s suggestion for creating sustainable change. He said that if any of us tried to incorporate all of what he suggested, we would fail before we even began. Why? Because we would be literally biting off more than we could chew. Change is most successful when it is done slowly (at a pace that is realistic for us) and consistently over time.
I took this authors advice and embarked on my new approach to eating (as I like to refer to it) by committing to doing only one thing differently, and to doing that consistently. About a month or two later I was ready to incorporate more suggestions from his book. After a few months, this new approach to eating became natural for me. Without forcing myself (or depriving myself of anything, for that matter) my body naturally adjusted to the new eating approach I introduced it to (in fact, it felt as if my body was craving it all along.) I felt healthier, stronger, and more energized. I felt amazing.
And then I got pregnant. That was a game changer. I tried to keep to this new approach to eating but found it very difficult to stay committed to it. My body craved carbs, and I craved chocolate and cookies.
It has been eight months since I gave birth and now I am interested again and ready to get back to the approach to eating I was enjoying before getting pregnant. But it is daunting to think about getting back to exactly where I was almost two years ago and the many months that it took me to get there.
So, what will I do?
I have asked myself this question many times over the last month or so, and have come up with the simplest and most logical solution: start over again the same way I did the first time around.
How did I approach things the first time around?
I was gentle with myself. I took things one step at a time and did not put pressure on myself. I simply stayed committed and consistent.
(Now that is some good advice!)
I am going call this my ’30-Day Change Challenge’. During this ‘challenge’ I will commit to doing what I know I am willing to do and can accomplish. I will only focus on doing one thing and doing that thing consistently. After 30 days, I will check-in with myself and see what I am up to. I will ask myself how I want to move forward and what specifically I am willing to commit to next.
How about you? Is there a change you would like to make? Do you feel daunted just by the idea of making such a change? Does it seem out of your reach? Will you join me by committing to your own 30 Day Change Challenge?
If so, here is a short review of some of the tips I mentioned above that might help to guide you in being successful with your admirable endeavor:
- Be gentle with yourself.
- Set small, short-term goals you feel you can and will accomplish.
- Check-in with yourself at the end of the time-period you gave yourself and see what, if any, next steps you want to take.
- Repeat suggested tips 1 through 3 as you continue to move forward.
I hope that you find these suggestions helpful. Let’s support each other as we set out to accomplish our personal goals. Please do be in touch and let me know how your 30 Day Change Challenge is going (and I am happy to share my experience with you, as well.)
You can also read my Ebook to learn more about what I have found to be the most important steps any of us have to take in order to accomplish our goals.
As always, please feel free to be in touch with me anytime to share your comments, thoughts, reflections, or any questions you may have; or to set up a complimentary consultation.
In support and admiration,
Update: As I was adding a few finishing touches to this article, my husband came home from his evening food shopping run and gifted me with one of my favorite chocolate bars. This is certainly going to be a challenge (sigh.)