It’s so exciting, isn’t it, when we come across a neat set of prescriptions that suggest there are a few simple steps to take to a new you, a better lifestyle, to happiness, success and more!
But is it really that easy?
Well, often it isn’t. We, and life, are complex, forever in an intricate dance together. I want to change, but life puts obstacles in my way; my ego resists and tells me ‘it’s all fine, stay as you are’; I try but it is too hard to stick at change; it is tiring and stressful sometimes.
We all meet these familiar difficulties as we attempt to change aspects of ourselves and our lives. We are all in a constant cycle between doing nothing and going forward. So, do I have a set of reassuring guidelines you can follow? Not really, but I can tell you a few things that might help.
- Spend time getting to know the thing you want to change
Set aside time to get to know whatever it is that you want to change. If it is an aspect of you, devote time to thinking about when it is most difficult; what obstacles always seem to arise when you push for change; who in your history struggled with the same and is that helpful or not to you?
- Don’t give up
It takes many attempts at effort and failure to change long-standing habits. Don’t give up too easily or too soon. Use self-help, the support of friends and family, and try to see setbacks as opportunities to learn more about what you are trying to change.
- Stay open and curious!
‘I wonder why I automatically reach for biscuits when x says that to me?’ By taking an observing position we are less likely to become too emotional when things go wrong. Instead we want to understand what happened and apply our learning.
- Take action.
It is not enough to think about something or imagine a future without the problem. You really do have to do practical things to help yourself achieve the outcome.
- How do you eat an elephant?
Bit by bit. It helps to keep steps and goals small, at least until you are well on your way. Keep it manageable and support yourself with kindness as you go.
Change, however small, is always an achievement.