Five Steps to Making a Change Stick

However much you say you ‘want’ to change or you have ‘got’ to change or you ‘need’ to do something different, do you find it’s actually quite tricky to do?

I puzzle over this with my constant examination of my relationship with food and my inability to regularly exercise.  I know I ‘should’ make changes to both these aspects of my life, but I don’t.

I’m starting to wonder if it’s due to a number of factors.  For example, do I set my goals too high, so when I don’t achieve them in the first week/10 days/month, I’m disappointed and give up?

Here are five steps to help all of us make a change and stick to it.

Believe that change is possible

If you’re not convinced or not sure, you’ll fall at the first hurdle.  Truly believe it and hold onto the idea that the change, whatever it is, is possible.

Be realistic

If you believe you can change, and you’re convinced it’s going to happen, don’t set yourself up to fail. For example, if you’re wanting to lose some weight by reducing the amount of bread you eat, don’t go and stock up on it!  It’s putting temptation right there.  In your face.  Daring you to resist. Which you won’t be able to do.

Ask yourself, am I being realistic about giving up bread entirely?  How will I manage when I go out for a meal?  Be honest.

Be kind to yourself

Changing an ingrained habit does not happen overnight.  It’s all about baby steps.  Examine your habit.  Why do you do it?  Under what circumstances?  Can you change the circumstance rather than the habit itself?  Rather than coming in from work and going straight to the fridge, can you change your behaviour in some small way?  Make it easy to do so that you can do it again the next day. And the next, and the next…

Have a vision

Imagine where you want to be. How will it feel?  How will you be different?  Describe it.  Write it down.  Own it.  How real is it for you?  It needs to be real so that every time the old habit seems to come back…you can remind yourself of this vision.  I want to be two dress sizes smaller by next summer.  Not a size 10, or even a 14.  Oh no.  I’ve learnt to be far more realistic.  A size 16 will be fine – and realistic.

Give yourself a reward

Either a physical, tangible reward such as a smoothie after a workout, or a facial after achieving a particular goal.  Set this reward up.  Know how, where and when you will get it.  And most importantly of all, remember to give it to yourself!  Like I said earlier, be kind to yourself…you deserve it.

Good luck!

Helen-Foster