Change is hard. For some people making changes is hard. For others maintaining changes is hard. And no matter how many times you read “it takes x days to make a new habit” or “fake it ‘til you make it” the reality is that our brains will fight us tooth and nail when we try to do something different because that’s what brains do.
Believe me, I get it. We all have places where we struggle to ‘do the right thing’ for our health. My struggle is putting away my work and just chilling. Part of this is because I like my work, but part of it is because I’ve been working so hard for as long as I can remember. My brain will reach for what it knows.
The only way to really interrupt this is to have a strong enough why to push you to the how.
But here’s the catch.
Only you know what is really important to you. It’s imperative to work to figure out what those things are.
And if something is really important to you and you still can’t make the change you need to make, then it’s what I lovingly call a “therapy issue.” The subconscious is a powerful force.
I want you to think about one thing that you want to change. One change that you can commit to today? Pick one that is manageable. Do you want to get to bed earlier? Cut out your afternoon scone? Walk at lunch? Pick one thing. And then list 3 things you can do to support yourself in making this change.
A habit I had solidly committed to after my back injury was walking 15,000 steps a day. Making this change had a profoundly positive impact on my pain and my overall health. Over the last 6 months or so my back pain has been improving and I am not having as much pain when I sit. It’s still not normal but I am sitting much more. This means I’m walking much less. And my back isn’t happy. I want to make the change now to get back to taking 15,000 steps a day at least 6 days a week.
3 things I can do:
- Get to bed on time so I can wake up early enough to walk for half an hour.
- Walk during my lunch break daily.
- Check my steps when I get home at the end of the day and if I haven’t gotten my steps, invite a friend to walk after dinner (I don’t like walking alone when it’s dark) or hop on my treadmill.
I’ll give you an update in a few weeks to let you know how my change is going.
Here is another example from a client visit I had recently.
This client is trying to re-up some healthy habits including exercise and healthy eating (it’s been a rough year on her end…) She likes to exercise in the morning but has been getting to bed too late to get up. So FIRST up is getting her sleep in order. Here are the things she is going to do:
- Turn off screens an hour before planned bedtime.
- Straighten up the house (she has trouble resting knowing things aren’t sorted!)
- Practice a bedtime ritual: brain dump into a notebook, get ready for bed, 10 minutes of guided relaxation with the app Insight Timer.
This is the one thing she is going to start with. Once it is in order then we decide what’s next.
Remember, baby steps are still steps.
OK now you pick. If you want to email me so you’ve stated it out loud, I would love that. Or you can hop on into my facebook group and state it over there. Tell a few people. Ask for support if you need it. And if you need some help to figure out what change is most important right now, that you will have the best chance of following through with? Do the exercises in my book Overcoming Overwhelm.
All the love to all of you!
Yours in Health,