Making changes in my life has always been a real struggle for me. I get stuck in my ways out of fear of the unknown, out of a need for control, out of a search for perfection, or just out of laziness. And when I try to make changes, I get caught up in looking for fast results, constant improvement, and/or effortless new habits.
There are a couple of blog posts on this subject that have recently clicked with me when it comes to making changes
The Half Step That Will Change Your Life - Leo Babuta, Zen Habits
The Single-Changing Method - Leo Babuta, Zen Habits
The basic gist is to pick one thing, one small thing, and kind of give that one thing a laser-like focus. It can be as simple as taking 2 minutes out of your day to just do nothing and reflect on your life, or drinking more water, or eat one new healthier option. From a consistency standpoint, try to only worry about that one new change you’re making, if you slip-up, just go right back to that one thing. Once it gets to the point that you feel like it’s really become a “habit” and you can do it with minimal effort, or you really enjoy doing it, then move on to another change, and do the same thing. Don’t get caught up with the end goal, focus on the step itself and enjoying the change you’re making. One thing I’d throw in that’s not necessarily mentioned in the posts would be to give a change a fair shot to see if it will work out, but if it doesn’t, then don’t feel like you failed and don’t give up on making other changes. Just find a new small change, focus on it, and see what it does.
I know that I personally feel overwhelmed with the vast amount of stuff in my life that “needs” to change. And that can lead me to giving up, that there’s no way I’ll be able to make it all happen. But now I’m starting to learn that, you know what? That’s the way life goes, and it’s gonna be ok nonetheless. Maybe I can make all those changes over time, maybe I can’t. Maybe I’ll get them changed in a timeframe that feels fast enough, maybe I won’t. Regardless, I can’t stop trying to make some of them.