Do changes need to be forever?
“We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.”
-Max De Pree
This can be a loaded question. Either deep down we know the answer (which we don’t like), or anticipating the answer with the reaction as if we were playing peek-a-boo - aka hands in front of our eyes not sure how fast or slow we should separate them from each other. Or perhaps you’re feeling a bit more stoic and braced, ready to hear the truth. And generally these questions bring concern, apprehension, and some reservations. Typically we’re not asking this if we’re super excited to change.
Why does this happen then? What’s so horrible about a change being forever? If it had to be forever, anyways. We’ve clearly changed before in our life, from different life stages (physically & mentally) like kid to teenager, yet there’s something different about this type of change. Generally speaking, by the time we become aware that we need to make various changes to our lifestyle, we’ve become pretty ingrained of our habits that it can be a little scary to change. Literally. Like even though we want different results, our whole body’s highway of pathways and systems got used to responding on this level.
Versus the socially acceptable, very common ways that people do change (such as the kid to teenage stage listed above), choosing is different than biology. We’re taking responsibility that we’re going to disrupt our life a bit, and therefore people around us, perhaps going outside some social norms. Fortunately, changes work best and are sustainable when they’re done little by little, even like adding in that extra glass of water.
SOMETIMES changes need to be forever, you may make some changes, your life may change, and you realize you can’t sustain them- you need something different. Or you hit a plateau in your goals and there’s another ‘level up’. What was uncomfortable soon becomes comfortable. Changes can change, so it’s really the TYPE OF CHANGES that will be forever.
Here’s how you can make a big impact on your life without feeling overwhelmed by ‘forever’:
WHY do you want to change?- When we value ourselves and our place in the world, as in our soul purpose, any decision that arises from this place becomes just that- a decision. You are choosing to do the best possibly by yourself, change what needs to, and your focus is redirected from the change itself, to YOUR motivation reason.
When you feel you need to cut down- Common concerns include alcohol, sugar, coffee, and soda. Does going cold turkey work for you? If so, have at it! If not, jot down for a week when these sources appear- for energy? stress? social reasons? If it’s energy and stress related (or other reason), I can totally help with that. If it’s social, PLAN AHEAD. Visualize what and how much you’re going to order that you feel you can do. Once again, this may change, but a small enough change won’t make our brain short circuit (no pun intended).
When you feel you need to increase- Common thoughts include vegetables, water, gym, stress reduction techniques, etc. PICK ONE. All of these are solid foundations and will cover a lot of ground, yet consistency is key. If you typically have a salad for lunch, for example, can you add in an extra vegetable? Do you have a friend around you who loves their gym class (or yoga, etc.) - tag along!
A new behavior may become automatic in a little more than 2 months, and anywhere from 3 weeks to 8 months to form a habit. However, you’ll know before then whether or not what you chose is something that can work for you. Then onto the next! There will always be next, and there will always be more, so to throw another wrench in there, the best we can do is stay present. Maximize our efforts in knowing what you’re doing truly is effective. I can help you find your foundation. The fact is, a change may not NEED to be forever, but as we realize our ongoing capacity TO change, as our health improves, we’ll WANT to change. If you’d like to know where you can start to get those different results, let’s find a time to chat!