Creativity is getting inspiration and having that lightning bolt idea moment, and then having the hard work ethic to sit down at the desk and write it down. – Taylor Swift
In an effort to change the way we think about doing any and all tasks I decided to write this post affirming you in any and all of your endeavors. So lovelies, take a swig of your coffee and listen up.
I read an article recently that changing our behavior is a challenge with few equals. Not just short-term change but like actual real change, not the change that sputters out but actually lasts and sustains us for years. Whether it’s diet, exercise, habits, dependencies, work ethic, or whatever, changing your behavior can be one of the hardest things any of us will ever try to do. The article then began to list eight reasons why change is so hard, but nowhere explained how to move past those things or encouraged you to move in a different direction. So here is my meager attempt at doing that.
1. WE’RE MOTIVATED BY NEGATIVE EMOTIONS
Instead, be motivated by positive emotions. Instead of putting yourself down because you’re not your ideal weight or can’t live cool and vegan like the rest of the world, motivate yourself by speaking positively regarding your goals. You can eat healthily, you will workout hard and will enjoy it. I am definitely someone who is motivated by positivity, so as much as all of my cynics out there want to be cruel and callous with themselves, try the opposite. Grit your teeth the entire time but actually do it.
2. WE GET TRAPPED IN THE ALL OR NOTHING FALLACY
This is one that I know I hear a lot of the time, mainly though because I feel like people often will describe themselves as this almost as if it is a personality. Like I just have an all-or-nothing personality, but I think that can actually be a negative thing. Instead, give yourself some grace and relax when you inevitably will mess up, then pick your shit up and try again. Every time after you fail try again and work harder the next time. This will actually make progress on your goals, whatever they may be.
3. WE TRY TO EAT THE ENTIRE ELEPHANT
I was listening to a podcast the other day and Lauren Singer was talking about how when people try and become Zero Waste they often feel like they need to make this giant change and get rid of everything in their house all at once. Then she said, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Take your time, take a small step, baby-step your way to your goal, this will show actual measurable actions, rather than unrealistic goals.
4. WE IGNORE THE TOOLS TO GET US THERE
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard someone say they’re going to do some random thing that will change their lives and then they continue living life the same way they always do because they have ignored the tools that will help them achieve that goal. Wow, that was a long sentence. If you want to change your life, use the tools that will help you get there. Find support. Read. Study. Need I say more?
5. WE TRY AND CHANGE TOO MUCH
This goes hand in hand with the elephant metaphor. Start with one goal at a time. Don’t try and change everything overnight. Your life will always be spinning in a million different directions so don’t try and fix or change everything all at once. Start off small and grow from there.
6. WE UNDERESTIMATE THE PROCESS
Change is rarely one thing, a lot of times it’s connected with a lot of other things. Change is a tough process and achieving goals is a tough process. Give yourself time to actually go through the process of change. You didn’t get to your profession by simply falling into it, even if you have, there have been acts that you have been doing your entire life that has helped shape you to this moment, that is the process, allow it to happen, welcome it even.
7. WE FORGET THAT FAILURE IS A GIVEN
Fail. Fail. Fail. Fail. Fail. Allow yourself to freaking fail. It’s a given. It will happen. And most likely it will happen over and over again. The best part of it though is that every time you fail, it creates one more opportunity to get stronger when you pick yourself up.
8. WE FORGET TO “HULU AND COMMIT”
I think this is something that is true for most of us. Whenever you want to make a change in your life we often set it up in our minds but never really commit to doing it. It’s more of a thought that we’re just trying out. Commit yourself to the process and firmly establish what you are going to do and how you’re going to do it. Quit being weird and just commit already, this is no longer Netflix and Chill, this is Hulu and Commit.
I feel like I’ve accomplished something big and personal by starting my own venture. I have tried to sort of move towards this and have made attempt after attempt facing all sorts of challenges; but right now even though it is small, it feels like I have made progress. Working towards change is challenging, it can take years, but the more you continue to push forward and press on, the more you will see tremendous results.
Stay motivated, stay positive, and stay the course. Leave a comment below on how things you are working towards, how do you stay motivated? I’m curious about what works for other people because we’re all so different.