Lasting Change is a challenge! It involves effort and hard work!
When you get started on a change it is usually quite exciting, being something new. You have a lot of ideas and you take action.
Eventually the first obstacle arrives and the excitement gets lost. The enterprise usually fails.
How can you go over this obstacle and make change stick?
This blogpost will give you three profound tips on how you can keep your excitement throughout and create lasting change.
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01 – Create a vision and find the ‘Why’ behind it
A vision is a goal, but not just any goal.
It is a compelling destination. A goal that excites you.
It is something you desire most and are committed to work hard for. The change itself is not your goal. It is usually not what excites you. The change is just a tool to get to your goal.
Your vision will give you a fascinating reason for the change. However, the vision is not the end of your mental journey.
The next step is to think about why you have the desire to achieve your goal.
The ‘why’ behind your vision will guide you to your feelings. You’ll want to discover them because emotions are great triggers for success.
Questions you might want to ask yourself are: “Why do I want this?” “What does this give me?” “Why is it a must for me?”
Having discovered the deep feelings behind it, you are eager to do whatever it takes to make the vision real and, thus, the change lasting.
VISION > GOAL
CHANGE > TOOL
WHY BEHIND VISION > EMOTIONS
EMOTIONS = TRIGGER FOR SUCCESS
I wanted to change my eating habits drastically. I had a normal diet with carbs, dairy products, meat, burgers, pasta, fruits, cooked vegetables and a salad from time to time.
I also loved chocolate as well as sweet and savory snacks.
I wanted to change to a vegan and almost (about 70%) raw diet.
It required a huge shift and looked quite hard. I would never have done it without a compelling vision in my mind.
My vision was to have more energy.
Why did I want to have more energy?
I always have so many things I would love to do, but rarely had the time and energy. I always demanded more from myself than my body could give me. I worked hard to achieve something, but rarely felt successful.
This created negative emotions in me. I felt easily overwhelmed, dissatisfied and was dubious about my abilities.
Eventually I came to a point where I didn’t want to accept it anymore. I had the desire to have the opposite emotions such as satisfaction, faith, feeling productive and fulfilled.
I’ve learnt that my diet has a high impact on my energy and performance. The desire helped me to stick to my change and made it lasting.
GOAL > MY VISION > HAVING MORE ENERGY
TOOL > THE CHANGE > NEW EATING HABITS
EMOTIONS > THE WHY >
- SATISFACTION WHEN GETTING MORE DONE
- FEELING VIBRANT, ENERGIZED AND HEALTHY
- FEELING MORE PRODUCTIVE
- ABILITY TO CREATE BETTER RESULTS IN LIFE IS WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY
- HIGHER PERFORMANCE IS WHAT GIVES ME A FEELING OF DEEP FULFILLMENT
Tip: Print out a picture that illustrates your vision and put it where you can see it daily. This will remind you every single day, where you want to be.
02 – Create rituals that support your change
Our behavior and everyday life is built upon habits. Habits you have had up to this time have determined your behavior and daily routine.
New habits will create something different.
This means that a lasting change requires a modification of habits. Old habits might be strong and deep rooted. However, you can break them when incorporating new daily rituals which are gradually replacing the old ones.
Being committed to do them daily will build a consistency that is required for lasting change. The good thing is that rituals won’t take up much of your time. They are easy to implement, but have a big impact.
There are two different types of rituals and I recommend you to implement them both.
These are mental rituals on the one hand and physical rituals on the other hand.
Mental rituals are a powerful tool in order to condition yourself. You can imagine them as messages you are sending to your brain saying that you want the change and that you are committed to breaking through obstacles even when difficult times arise.
Physical rituals are things you are doing physically and on autopilot, like brushing your teeth.
Example of a mental ritual
One helpful ritual for every change is to take 6 minutes every day (2 minutes in the morning, 2 minutes around midday and 2 minutes in the evening) and build a picture in your mind showing your ultimate vision.
Try to really feel the emotions you would experience when you eventually achieve your goal. By doing this daily, you won’t get the chance to lose your vision.
Example of a physical ritual
If you want to start eating healthier, start for example with drinking a healthy green smoothie every single morning. Soon it will become a habit and you won’t think any more about whether you are going to prepare one or not.
I recommend to commit yourself to do your new rituals for at least 1 month without a single exception. After a month they will be a part of you and your daily routine. They will run on autopilot. Then you can implement the next one.
03 – Go one step at a time
If you are trying to make a big change in one step, then it can cause you to feel overwhelmed, as there are so many things that need to be considered. Usually it takes away the excitement and quitting is likely if success seems impossible.
Instead of seeing it as one big change, break it into manageable chunks.
Going one step at a time is much easier and you can be convinced that this one single step is actually possible. Additionally you’ll see the small successes of every step. That will help you to enjoy the process.
I also recommend for you to reward yourself for the single stages you’ve already achieved. Celebrating your progress will let your mind know that you are happy about the change and that you want to continue even when encountering hard times.
Change is hard, but you are at least in control to make it easier.
Take action on the following steps and you’ll see how easy it can be. Create your compelling goal and engage your feelings by finding your ‘why’. Think about which rituals could serve your change and start to implement the first one into your daily routine. Last but not least, be patient and enjoy the process by going step by step.