What Does It Take To Change?
You see those people on social media who seem to have their lives together perfectly. Your favorite influencer has a dream morning routine, she works out consistently, and never seems to skip a beat. And now you are wondering, “What is she doing that I am not?”
Life is already challenging enough without the temptation to compare or put ourselves down because we have yet to see an improvement in our lives. However, I am here to share with simple, actionable steps to begin seeing a change in your habits to make your goals a reality. And to sweeten the deal, these tips are applicable to ANY area in our lives. So, no matter where your habits need to change these concepts remain relevant!
Capture Your Negative Thoughts
If you have ever struggled with being consistent or following through on a diet change you may have created a narrative in your mind that labels you as a failure. In fact, these ideas can go back as far as childhood. Whether it be the moment you failed at an assignment or project in school or your upbringing fostered an atmosphere where you best was never good enough. And now, as an adult you are struggling to maintain consistency in a particular area in your life.
Now, we cannot change our past nor can we use it as an excuse to hold us back from living an abundant life. And if we ever hope to see a change in our behavior we must go to the source, our thinking. Useful methods to address our thoughts can be going to counseling/ therapy, hiring a life coach, or even journaling. With any of these methods, or a combination, you can begin to identify those thoughts and start the work of healing from the negative and limiting beliefs.
Identify Your Emotions
We have all had those days where we just cannot understand why we are so moody. Maybe you woke up on the wrong side of the bed, or somewhere throughout your mood went south. There are even occasions where social media, television, or even conversations with others affect us emotionally and now we are unsure of what started the whirlwind of feelings.
Now, our emotions are neither good nor bad. In fact, they serve more as a signal of something deeper at the surface and when we can identify them and track them back to a thought it helps us in the long run. Sometimes, we cannot immediately identify what thoughts led to our present behavior and when that happens our feelings are our next best option.
You may be feeling disappointed, anxious, or insecure and never even acknowledged it. A great way to identify those emotions is through journaling (daily journaling is best). Especially during those times in life where moodiness or lack of motivation seem common, we can be sure to find a solution after seeing those words on paper, acknowledging them and finding a strategy to move forward.
Now that we have identified our thoughts and emotions keeping us from being great, it is time to combat those thoughts. The negative thoughts always seem to be rooted in emotions or false perception. For example, I believed for a long time that I was unable to finish what I started or be consistent because of the fact that I never graduated from college. While the fact that I never graduated is true, I have had many examples of ways I have been consistent in life and achieved my goals.
So, the perfect strategy to combating those negative thoughts is by stating facts such as:
- Scriptures focusing on your Identity
- Affirmations or Mantras
- Past Journal Entries and Accomplishments
- Praises and Encouragement from loved ones
Another bonus strategy to retrain your mind is to do something you are good at and passionate about. Sometimes creating or serving is enough to help us get out of our own heads and see our value by giving to others.
Replace the Habits with Healthy Ones
If you think about anyone who has successfully changed their lifestyle, it was done by placing something new in its place. America’s Auntie, Thabitha Brown, discussed how she transitioned to a vegan lifestyle by making her favorite meat dishes as vegan dishes and now she has successfully maintained it for years. It is the same concept for replacing habits. We should identify the habits we are looking to improve and replace it with the healthier alternative. This way we are easing ourselves into the process and reducing the risk of reverting back to our old ways.
Some people are good at dropping “cold turkey”, however the possibility of returning to that habit is much higher in those cases. We are looking for long-term solutions!
BONUS TIP: Accountability
I know this may be rolling your eyes at me by now, but I will always promote accountability and community. Reverend A.R. Bernard from Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn often says,
“ We cannot grow in isolation.”
And I have personally seen the benefits of having people with whom I can share my life. The best people to have in your community as accountability will be ones who can listen without judgement and give you space to make mistakes, while still being honest. They will cry with you, laugh with you, and accept you as you are while encouraging you to become your best self.
Other forms of accountability which are often overlooked may be: coaches, counselors, trainers, doctors, mentors, teammates, coworkers, etc. There is an opportunity for accountability in every area of our lives.
And if you are missing that accountability in life, text me at "accountability" to my number: 540-513-5112 and I will be more than willing to be that partner for you.