Lifestyle changes can be challenging. Whether we’re moving to a new home, starting a new job, dealing with new family dynamics, or endeavoring to change old habits, we can become overwhelmed by clutter or a change in our schedule. We may think “I can’t do this, it’s too hard.” or “Look at all the work I still have to do, I’ll never be done!” If we believe such thoughts, then there’s a good chance they’ll prove true. Telling ourselves we can’t can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. On the other hand, if we acknowledge these thoughts and redirect them to something more positive, like, “I’m so grateful for this opportunity to improve my life.” or “I’ve made some progress in the past week,” we empower ourselves to change the situation.
Change is hard - our brains and bodies search for shortcuts in order to seek comfort and conserve energy as a tool for survival. We feel secure in our predictable routines and ingrained habits. While it’s natural to seek comfort and security, it’s important to note that we humans have also evolved to adapt: we can learn new skills, overcome adversity, and problem-solve just about anything, at any stage of life. Think of all the uplifting success stories we’ve heard - most, if not all, involve perseverance, hard work, and of course change!
Many of us in the United States live super busy lives. We work long hours, maintain homes, put meals on the table, pay the bills, nurture relationships, and somehow need to squeeze in some time to take care of ourselves. It can feel like too much - our homes and schedules are overstuffed, and yet, ironically, our culture encourages us to go after more.
The good news is, the first step to changing our situation doesn’t involve lifting a finger! Well, unless we’d like to write about it. But this doesn’t mean it isn’t work. In fact, there’s some hard work involved, and it’s the critical first step to improving our situation. Changing our mindset and perspective is essential if we want to follow through with changing our habits. Our perspective is the lens through which we view our own personal reality - the way we see ourselves and the world around us. No one can change this for us. It’s work we have to do for ourselves. There’s no elusive magic formula - only effort, dedication, and consistency.
We might be wondering, “when is the right time to start?” Right now. We do what we can with what we have. Start now, and a week, a month, a year, or even a decade from now, we won’t regret the decision to improve the situation. Over time, this practice of positive thinking becomes a new way of going though the day. New habits become so ingrained we may forget about the old ones altogether!
Ready to take the first step? Here are some tips and examples to help guide a variety of situations:
Have you gone through life changes and used any of these tips? How did it work for you? Do you have any additional tips that helped you? Let me know in the comments below!