It’s that time of year when people are making resolutions and vowing to make changes and saying things like This time I really mean it.
But for most people, it’s not too long before you lose momentum and motivation and desire.
And then, there you are again, in the same place a year later.
I work with a lot of women who haven’t had success with making changes that last, and over the last seven years I’ve learned quite a bit.
Here is why change is so hard:
1) Your brain has not evolved as much as society has.
Your brain is a super efficient machine that wants to expend as little energy as possible. It wants to default to whatever you have been doing for the past one or ten or twenty years. That’s what it knows how to do really, really well.
So when you try to do something different, your brain is gonna work as hard as it can to get back to the routine stuff that it knows how to do automatically.
Change requires your brain to do a lot of extra work, over and over and over again. Because your brain has to be consciously doing new stuff when you decide to do something different and out of the normal routine.
Your brain also doesn’t like discomfort, because your brain is still operating in caveman mode. Your brain looks at hunger and discomfort and stress as a big saber-toothed tiger that is going to kill you. And it wants to avoid that at all costs.
Your brain likes to be comfortable.
But change is un-comfortable.
So your brain is gonna put up a good fight.
If you have fallen off the path before, you haven’t failed.
You just have a super efficient brain!
But now you know better, so you can use your brain to fight your own brain.
2) Change is hard because it often comes from a negative place.
If you are trying to make changes and are coming from a place of self-loathing, you are really going to have a hard time.
When you are trying to punish or shame yourself with change, deep down, you are going to resent the change.
And then there is a good chance you are gonna get to the f*ck it stage pretty quickly.
When you make changes because you care about yourself, because you want better for yourself, because you love yourself, because you know your body and your brain deserve better, then you are coming from a place of love and respect and compassion.
And then you are in a much better position to make changes that stick.
3) Change is hard because you try to change too much at once.
I don’t know about you, but even knowing everything I know about change, when I hung that new 2020 calendar up on the wall yesterday, I was ready to declutter and organize all the things, start reading more, drink more water, prep food for the month, stop drinking caffeine, start lifting at least three days a week, and stop watching Netflix in bed every night.
It’s really easy to want to completely overhaul every aspect of your life at once on January 1st.
And then we end up changing nothing by the time February rolls around.
The key to making changes is to start very small and to make changes, easy and satisfying.
With my clients, we work on one-minute habits.
Yes, only one minute!
Habits that you can do in one minute are manageable and sustainable, and that’s what makes them stick. When you can do them every day for the rest of your life.
Once those little one minute habits are solidified (by the way, it takes more like 60 days to form a new habit, and not that 21 day statistic you hear about so much) then you can stack on top of them.
But the key is to start off super small.
Now that you are newly armed with this info about making changes, you should have more success in 2020.
Come back tomorrow for day 3 of the making changes blog series. I’m gonna show you how you can find time in your day to do the things you say you don’t have time to do.