We all sometimes need a wake-up call to realize we’ve gotten off track, that our lives are not going to end up where we want them if we stay the course — and so, despite ingrained habits and what feels like overwhelming inertia, we change with simple rules and discipline.
Making big changes in your life takes dedication, perseverance, and the right mindset. If you’re struggling to create new habits to create the life you want, these five guidelines can help you stay on track and motivated throughout the process. A little Shakira always get me out of bed, expecially this song.
Stop waiting for a special moment to make a change.
It’s tempting to postpone making big, important life decisions until some significant date rolls around. How often have you told yourself that you’ll start doing something after New Year’s or on Monday morning? The problem with this kind of thinking is that it’s a form of procrastination in disguise. Planning for the future can make you feel good, like you’re making progress towards a big change, when in reality you haven’t done anything. Doing things differently isn’t going to be any easier in the future than it is right now, so stop waiting around for external events to motivate you and just get started.
Take a step forward every day.
Instead of overwhelming yourself by trying to change all your habits at the same time, focus on taking just one action every day that moves you closer to your goals. Trying to do too much is a recipe for burning out and getting discouraged. Building small habits that you can sustain without much effort is a more effective–and less frustrating–alternative to changing everything at once.
Get rid of “just-this-once” thinking.
The surest way to undermine good habit formation is to find excuses for why you’re not going to follow your new, improved habits today. When you tell yourself that one more cigarette or one more takeout meal won’t do any damage, what you’re really doing is giving yourself permission to avoid making hard changes for another day. It’s true that doing almost anything on rare occasions won’t hurt you in the long term. But when you regularly catch yourself reasoning that slipping back into old habits one more time won’t matter, it’s a sign that you’re not committed to changing your life.
Don’t dwell on slip-ups.
Changing your life is going to take time, and you’ll slip up at some point along the way–it’s inevitable. No one overcomes all their bad habits overnight, or even in a few months. The process of transforming your life is awkward, imperfect, and messy, so be patient and forgive yourself when you make mistakes.
Adjust your vision for the long term.
Miracle solutions and quick fixes might seem tempting to try if you’re anxious to change your life, but no worthwhile change happens overnight. If you want lasting results, make a commitment and buckle down for the long haul. Think about your goal in terms of years, not days or weeks.
When you want to change something big, adjusting your mindset is half the battle. Your attitude can be the deciding factor in whether you achieve your goals or not. These straightforward rules will help you establish your new habits and get the life you want.