January 19, 2017

How are your changes treating you?

How are your changes going?! I don’t know about you but I have felt myself slip back a couple of times. I have been paying attention to when I do it and it is usually when I’m tired and the old way feels easier. What about you?

At the end of 2016, I started making notes about all the things I wanted to do in 2017. The list was too long…. (I’m still working to pair it down.) While I was making it, I read something that was really helpful to me. Multitasking does NOT work! So focus, really focus, on one thing at a time.   I have been giving that a try and so far I have really noticed a difference!! Instead of feeling myself getting overwhelmed with the too many things on my list and thus distracted, I get to tell myself that for the next two weeks ______ is the only thing I’m focused on outside of work. It has also helped me say ‘no’ to things that I may have considered or even tried to squeeze in last year.


Change is hard!!!


Remember when I said that real and lasting change is difficult? I meant it! Here is an excerpt from “Smart Change” by Art Markman PhD:


“One of the most difficult things for people (and other animals for that matter) is to pass up something desirable right now in favor of something else in the future. A piece of cake now has a stronger pull on our actions than having a beach-ready body by next summer. An afternoon playing video games feels like a better way to spend an afternoon than studying for and exam that won’t happen for another week. Checking a few emails at work feels more productive than putting in effort on a big long-term project that won’t be finished for months.”


I bring this up because I want to keep reminding you that this is difficult. It is not impossible but critical for us all to understand that it not laziness or incapability when we stumble. It’s just a stumble.


Change is starts small!


For years the conventional wisdom was that for real, lasting change to take place people had to make radical shifts in their lives and lifestyles. Not the case at all! We have proven this with research. In fact, lasting change starts with taking really small steps. For example, instead of meditating each morning for 20 minutes and hoping that it cures your anxiety, it may be wise to see if you just take notes on when your anxious. (Don’t get me wrong; I’m a HUGE advocate for meditation.) What if you realized by taking notes that you have anxiety related to the foods you are eating or another lifestyle choice? Meditation wouldn’t solve that for you.


So for this week, my challenge to you is to get big gains from small shifts!!!

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