Change is hard.
Being stuck in a rut is hard.
CHOOSE YOUR HARD.
No matter what it is you want to change in your life, change is not easy. Losing weight, cutting down on screen time, finding work/ life balance (yes… that IS a thing!!!), decluttering…. all of these things have ONE big thing in common; for them to happen, you must make the decision to START.
I’m here to give you permission to start NOW. Not on Monday. Not on New Years Day. Not once the laundry is finally put away… NOW! (well, not right this minute… please finish reading first… THEN you may begin!)
I’m going to use a saying that I learned in University when I was studying to be a Physical Education teacher. It has stuck with me and helped me not only in teaching but in many aspects in life.
‘Challenge + Success = FUN!’
But why should we be aiming to have FUN?
Well… why not?
Fun or enjoyment of a task no matter how mundane it is, will help you stick to it. it will motivate you to do it again and when we want to make BIG changes, we need to maintain these changes.
If the tasks are challenging and we are successful at achieving them, we will enjoy that task and feel rewarded by them and therefor, more likely to do it again.
How do I get started?
No matter what the challenge is, my advice would be to start with something that only YOU have access to or control of.
Here are some examples of what I mean:
- Want to declutter? Don’t choose an area where EVERYONE in the home keeps their things. Start with a space that is YOURS.
- A sock drawer
- Your bedside table
- Your nail polish collection/ make up bag
- Do you want to start being healthier? Don’t try to meal plan for a family of picky eaters. Start with something YOU can do on your own.
- Drink more water
- Walk for 15 min on your lunch break
- Eat less processed foods
If you attempt any CHALLENGE and you SUCCEED in completing it, you will feel the sense of accomplishment, no matter how small the task was (that’s the “FUN”!) and that feeling is what will help you want to pick a new challenge or build on the one you just accomplished!
But what if you are so overwhelmed that you don’t even know what change to make first??
I got you! Keep reading…
3 steps to deciding where to start with change.
Is your head spinning with 87 things you want to change in your life?
Grab a pen and paper… or any note taking app on your phone lets do this!
Take all your thoughts, no matter what they are and dump them onto your page. Much of that overwhelm you feel is caused by not wanting to forget what you want to do. So once its on paper, it is out of your head and will not get overlooked. You might take a few days to get all these random things out onto paper but it will be worth it. You will feel lighter and you will be able to breathe, take a sip of coffee and start to move on to step 2 of the process.
Categorize your brain dump.
Now this is the hard part…. But I’m still here walking you through it so don’t panic!
You can try different ways to organize what you have put on your page. Now, we are talking about how to make changes and deciding which changes to make. A lot of the thoughts you have put on paper might not have anything to do with change (or so you think!) so we can start there….
- Highlight the things on the page that require ‘change’
- loose weight
- learn a new skill
- save money
- Organize your page into categories
- Choose the time frame of each task
- Short term (Things I can do in the next few weeks)
- Medium term (Things I can do in the next few months)
- Long term (Things I can do in the next few years)
Once you have organized your brain, its time to make some decisions.
Make a choice
Now that you have emptied your brain, organized your thoughts and learned that taking baby steps is the key to success its time to make a decision.
Which of these changes will a) be realistically achievable with minimal effort and b) have a positive impact on your life?
And THAT is where you should start.
Remember the key formula…. Challenge + Success+ FUN!
Changes should be exciting and add value to your life.
Changes should bring you joy.
Changes should excite you!
If you need that extra bit of motivation, think of where you would be today if you had made these changes 1 year ago. Why wait???