May 12

The key to change is starting small

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I am sure we are all familiar with the ‘gung ho’ attitude we can often have towards making change.

 

We wake up on a Monday morning feeling highly motivated, determined to make changes for the better.

 

We tell ourselves that this week we are going to go to the gym every evening after work.

 

We are going to meditate every lunchtime, eat only whole foods, finally start learning the new language we’ve been meaning to start and so on.

 

Then by 6pm on a Monday evening after a stressful day, we are uncorking the wine and telling ourselves that we will start again tomorrow.

 

The result of this of course is that we end up feeling a bit of a failure and beating ourselves up.

 

The problem is that we are trying to bite off more than we can chew!

 

The key is to start with less not more.

 

Most of us have a fairly long list of things we would like to change and we set ourselves up for failure by trying to change it all at once by taking large steps.

 

Start by making a much smaller change than you feel you should make. You can apply this to everything you want to change in your life.

 

Whether it be exercise, meditation, learning new skills, anything you find yourself continually putting off.

 

Do much less but with better consistency.

 

Make the change so easy you can’t say ‘no’!

 

Start with the 2 minute rule, I am referring again to the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. He suggests starting any new activity by doing it for just 2 minutes.

 

It sounds too simple, but it’s incredibly effective.  Of course you can exercise for 2 minutes, you can meditate for 2 minutes.

 

I started learning French by committing to just 2 minutes a day on the app DuoLingo and I am now on a ‘streak’ of 222 days.

 

Look at things you want to incorporate into your life and rate the likelihood of you actually doing them on a scale of 1 to 10.

 

If the likelihood is less than 9 or 10 then you need to make it easier.

 

At the end of the day, when it comes to making changes, it really does not matter how long it takes.

 

What matters is how long the results last.

 

Tomorrow I will be covering effective goal setting.


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