Maybe you feel that you are starting too late. Maybe the whole idea is so overwhelming and you have no idea where to even start, so you think “what’s the point?”
Let me make one thing clear: if you want to see change in your life in some way, there is no better time to start than RIGHT NOW. I used to have a bad habit of thinking “I’ll start on Sunday,” or “I’ll start next month,” or some other typical beginning-marker. But seriously, why does it matter so much to some of us that we start at a fresh week or a fresh month or a fresh year? Why would it be so unthinkable to start today, right now–a Wednesday afternoon? Why hold yourself back–why start later when you could start making changes to your life RIGHT NOW? Because you’re afraid you’ll fail if you start today? Or you’re afraid of giving up your favorite bad habits right now? Or you think that somehow magically at the start of next week or whatever that you will be miraculously forever changed from that day forth and will never ever go back to the way you were before? Okay okay okay wait. Take a step back. You are putting an immense amount of pressure on yourself. Humans are not meant to have dramatic overnight changes.
Think about it. Our bodies react negatively to things that we shouldn’t do. That’s why our physical and mental health declines when we try to force ourselves to change too quickly. If you try to become super skinny overnight by starving yourself all day, you’ll only make yourself exhausted, weak, moody, and lightheaded. If you try to become super fit and toned in one day, you’ll wake up the next day bedridden with terribly sore muscles, a hoarse throat, no visible results, and you’ll only make it so that you are unable to work out at all for the next week or so.
We’ve all heard the phrase “Patience is key.” As frustrating as it is, there is a reason that phrase exists. If you want the kind of change that will last, you’ve gotta have the commitment and do the work that lasts, too. AND you’re gonna have to give yourself room to make mistakes, too.
Without further adieu, I present to you the 3 steps for changing your bad habits into the good ones you’ve always wanted:
STEP 1: Put your goal in perspective.
Depending on what your goal and situation is, ask yourself questions such as: “Do I want 30 more minutes of sleep/this brownie/this item more than I want to progress toward my goal?” Sometimes the answer will be yes, and that’s okay.
Step 2: DON’T JUDGE YOURSELF.
Stop thinking “I should do/be this” and think “I would like to do/be this.” Hopefully this will help you to feel like you have more of a choice in the matter. It’s actually extremely freeing to allow yourself to have some agency. Thus said, don’t judge yourself when you consciously choose not to pursue your goal. It’s okay if you don’t want to right now. As long as you try again later. Note: DON’T think “I would like to be this, but I’m not.” Those kind of thoughts will not help you to change. We all learned to walk one step at a time, often falling and getting back up, and I believe that you can do anything you want if you put in enough time, effort, and discipline. (Note: I said you can do anything, not you can be perfect at anything.)
Step 3: Stop restarting.
Remember that EVERY little choice counts. Sometimes you may find yourself thinking “It won’t matter if I skip today,” or “Ugh, I already failed today anyway so I guess I just won’t do it today.” Stop self-shaming when you fail. You don’t have to give up every time you fail in progressing toward your goal. You are never going to have a magnificent transformation of motivation that will forever make you progress toward your goal, so stop waiting for that day.
Well there you have it, folks. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Best of luck in changing those bad habits, and let me know in the comments if this has helped you in any way!