I thought I would begin this blog with a quote from Rod Stryker: “The most difficult yoga pose of all is change.”
The first time I heard that it made me pause. Reflect.
I work with clients every day and the biggest challenge of all is creating lasting change towards better health and well being.
We make progress. We begin to feel better. Then we begin to slowly slip back into our old habits. We begin again.
Why is that? What is it about change that can be so challenging? Why do we resist it?
I’ve seen it time and time again. A client comes in telling me that they are at the point that something has to give. They are at a crossroads in their life. Their health is taking a very steep wrong turn.
They know it and would like some guidance as to the first steps to take towards gaining more energy, having less pain, getting better sleep, have less anxiety/stress and to gain back their enthusiasm for life.
In some cases these changes may be necessary to save their life whether it be to stop smoking, a diagnosis of cancer, drinking issues that are destroying their liver or stress levels that are off the charts creating severe health issues.
In some cases it’s getting off the addiction to sugar.
And in others it could be about guiding them towards major life changes in order to get healthy both emotionally and physically, as both are inseparable.
I see how challenging it can be in myself. We all have habits we stick to and to change them can take a lot of work.
I often ask my clients what is their motivation to create healthy changes? What would inspire you to stick to the changes you agree to? If their answer is for anyone else but themselves (like kids or a significant other) I often find that the changes won’t stick. If they do it for themselves success is more likely, but not always. Why is that?
The most common thread I see is that when we change it leads to the unknown. If we really can not discern an outcome we become afraid of what that might be. Even though the changes may lead to better overall health there are still lingering concerns about how that might change relationships, jobs or living space. Even if none of those things are currently very healthy it’s better than being alone, jobless or homeless is the thinking I hear.
We automatically go into “worse case scenario”.
What if our relationships became healthier because we are? What if a new job lands in our laps due to a more positive outlook on life? What if you move to a new town and find your enthusiasm for life with new friends that respect you and support you in all your new adventures. There are so many beautiful ways life unfolds yet we are more likely to go to what we see as “the negative”. Its only negative if we think it is. It’s how we choose to define change.
The next time you need to create a new habit in your life try this:
1. Start with one thing. Stick to it until it is a new habit. They say that it can take any where from 21-30 days to create a new habit.
2. Start small. For example, don’t get up 1-2 hours earlier and set yourself up for failure. Maybe try 15 min. earlier for a couple of weeks and then add from there.
3. Find support and someone to hold you accountable. It’s hard to create change alone. Whether it’s a coach you hire or a good friend, we all need someone on our side cheering us on!
4. Connect with what motivates YOU. It’s different for each person. Quiet that inner critic and flip your fears into all the positive ways that change could show up in your life.
I hope this has been helpful. Please share your stories of success with change and what worked for you! We can all learn from one another.