It’s simple to be busy, to not create time for change, to live each day at maximum speed.
If we can’t find the time to make the changes we need to take ourselves one, two or three steps forward, at some point we’ll stall and will likely begin to go backwards without realising it. This is where things begin to get disorganized, unstructured and mistakes begin to occur.
Think of it this way; if you fail to service your vehicle, at some point something is going to go wrong with it. Sometimes you are lucky and it is a quick fix, other times the vehicle is out of action for a long time. If things get too bad the vehicle may not be worth repairing, so you trade it in; you buy a newer model.
Unfortunately, it isn’t quite so easy to fix your emotional, mental or physical health. You certainly can’t trade in your entire body, there isn’t another vessel for you can exchange to!
To avoid any kind of failure, you are going to need to service your engine. However, we’re not as efficient as our vehicles. Ideally, you’ll work on changing you, every single day. No matter what.
If it helps, let’s stay with the vehicle analogy, and let’s consider letting the oil run dry or putting in the wrong fuel. You might get away with a few short journeys, but the long distant drive for a family celebration or a lengthy business trip is not going to be a pleasant, smooth ride.
Making a change in your life is really incredibly simple. For example, you’re probably reading this sitting down. What if you lift one foot up off the floor? Pretty simple? There, you’ve made a change. That wasn’t hard. What if you decided to keep that foot up off the floor for an hour? Not quite so simple? What if you decided to keep your foot off the floor for the rest of the day? That change appears to be getting harder, right? Almost impossible?
Often people make the decision to change without thinking of the long-term implications. This is why, all too often, changes in our life are short term only, with us quickly returning to the same old behaviours and habits. Sometimes this happens without us even realizing.
Therefore, the important aspect of change isn’t simply about deciding to make a change and believing you can achieve the modification, it is about sustaining the alteration. Sustaining it each and every day.
Whilst, lifting your foot off the floor may seem like a ridiculous example, if you were to plan to do it for the remainder of the day, you’d probably want some help. What if you got a cushion to place under your leg? That way, your foot is still off the floor, however, now you’re not having to maintain the ‘change’ unaided.
With the correct help and support, behavior change becomes far easier yet you will need to determine what help you are going to need. Is it as simple as having a friend or family check up on you every day? Is it guidance from a mentor, coach or other professional? Is it recording your actions and tracking your behaviours, or is it following a predetermined plan or regime?
Whatever is going to work for you, before taking the first step on your behavior change journey, please consider exactly what your support cushion is going to be…