Have you ever made a commitment to change, only to find out 3 days, or a week, or a couple of weeks later you’ve thrown in the towel and given up? Maybe you convinced yourself that the change wasn’t really necessary. Or maybe you just feel discouraged with the slow progress, or possibly you simply cave in and add one more failure to your long list of supposed failures.
If this is you, then it’s time to ease up on yourself!
We humans evolved to keep things the same. It’s an ingrained survival technique. Being able to repeat behaviors automatically saves time, effort, and the challenge of making decisions repeatedly over the course of our days.
It is possible to change, however. You just need to understand how the mind works so that you can work with your mind to make change more easily.
Most commitments to change fail because they are made with the conscious mind. Yet it’s in your subconscious mind where all the action takes place! Your subconscious mind is responsible for your thoughts and behaviors – and frequently overrides the intentions of your conscious mind. Willpower is not enough. If you don’t engage your subconscious mind, lasting change can be elusive!
Changing thoughts and behaviors in the subconscious requires using your imagination, adding emotional content, and repetition!
Reframe your thoughts. You may have great intentions about implementing a new behavior or practice – take exercising for example – but may really think it is just too much work! Those negative thoughts will sabotage you every time! So reframe your thoughts and add some positive emotions to it. Take a moment to come up with several good reasons why you want to change like, “Exercising will give me more energy.” Or, “I will look better and feel better if I exercise.” Then every time those negative thoughts creep up, replace them immediately with your positive ones.
Replace your habit with something healthy. We humans tend to repeat habits that comfort or soothe us when stressed. We get stuck and don’t consider healthier options. So if you are trying to change a habit – like quitting smoking – think of 5 things you can do instead of reaching for that cigarette. How about a glass of water, a cup of tea, a short walk, read a magazine article, chew a stick of sugarless gum. A craving lasts 3 to 5 minutes. If you can distract yourself, it will pass and you will be on your way to beating that old habit.
Visualize the end result. Goals are very important. Visualizing your goal will help you achieve it. It is one thing to want to lose weight. It is quite another thing to want to look great in a bathing suit for summer, or those tight jeans and tank top! Keeping a strong visual of your specific goal and how you will feel when you achieve that goal will help you succeed.
Replace those “bloopers.” We all have inner videos – little replays of past memories that I call the “bloopers.” They have a powerful hold over our behaviors. So if you want to change – like having a better social life – but you keep replaying those “bloopers” of when you bombed at a date, or were the wallflower at a dance, you will never even get started. So create your own videos. Why not! Have fun with it! See yourself in social settings engaged in conversations, laughing and having a great time. You will be amazed at how creating your own inner videos can improve your life.
Stay Positive. Implementing new behaviors can bring up a lot of emotions. Believe it or not, there is a part of us that assumes keeping everything the same is in our best interest. So when you want to change you may feel tired, bored with the effort, irritated because you aren’t doing it right, and even anxious. These resistances are normal, but they don’t need to stop your progress. When you feel them, just acknowledge them as old feelings, and then focus on how good you’re going to feel when you complete the task, project, or succeed at putting into action your new behavior.
By implementing these five ways to make change you will find it is easier to make positive change. However, if you find that you still lack the motivation to accomplish your goals, please contact me for a free consultation to see how life coaching with hypnotherapy can help you achieve success. Call 415-819-8769 or email Joy TODAY!