Change For Good: Making changes that last
Why is it a struggle to make lasting changes?
It’s not easy to make lasting changes to our behavior. We often start out with the best of intentions, but before long we find ourselves slipping back into old patterns. Why is it so hard to change? And more importantly, how can we make changes that actually stick?
What do we mean when we say "lasting changes"?
When we talk about making lasting changes to our behavior, we’re referring to changes that are permanent and sustainable. This means that the new behaviors we adopt need to be something we can stick with for the long haul, not just for a few weeks or months.
It’s important to be realistic about what we can accomplish in the short-term, and focus on building habits that will eventually become second nature.
The difficulties of making lasting changes
Making lasting changes to our behavior can be difficult for a number of reasons.
First, we often have a hard time breaking old habits and replacing them with new ones. Second, even when we do manage to change our behavior, it’s not always easy to maintain that change over the long run. And finally, it’s often difficult to see tangible results from our efforts in the short-term, which can lead us to give up prematurely.
One of the many challenges we face when trying to make lasting changes is overcoming inertia. Our natural tendency is to stick with what’s comfortable and familiar, even if those behaviors are harmful or no longer serve us. Breaking out of our comfort zone can be daunting, but it’s essential if we want to make lasting changes. And to really succeed in making those changes, we need to replace our old behavior with new habits that are positive and productive.
It’s also important to respect the power of emotions when it comes to staying motivated. When things go wrong, or we face setbacks (which is inevitable when pursuing ambitious goals), the negative emotions we feel can undermine our determination and quickly turn a minor slip into a major relapse.
Tips for creating a personal plan that works for you
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to creating a personal plan that will help you change your behavior. What works for one person may not work for another, and what works in the short-term may not be sustainable in the long-term. That said, here are some general tips that can help you get started.
- Start by identifying the behaviors you want to change.
- Set realistic goals that challenge you but are still achievable
- Create a timeline for reaching those goals, and break them down into specific steps
- Make a commitment to yourself and be willing to put in the effort required to make change happen.
- Find positive ways to reward yourself when you reach milestones.
- If you experience setbacks, don’t let them derail you. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try again.
Just remember that lasting change takes time, so be patient with yourself and don’t give up too soon. You might not always see the instant results that you seek, but in the end it will all be worth it when you’re in better shape, feeling healthier and living a happier life.
Despite the difficulties of modifying your behavior, changes can be made and sustained over time. We can help you set realistic goals and form a personal plan that works for you. We will provide support and encouragement when setbacks occur, and together we’ll celebrate your success!
If you’re ready to make lasting changes in your life, our team is here to help. We have the experience and expertise necessary to help you create a personal plan that fits your lifestyle. Let’s get started today!