I’m not going to sugar coat it, change can be hard! If you’re used to doing something a particular way and you’ve been doing it that same way for a long time (years… decades?) it is probably not going to be easy to change to a new way of doing things. However, focusing on the old way of doing things and dwelling on it may actually make it harder for yourself to change.
Fighting the old
If you’re trying to break the habit of having chocolate after dinner or biscuits with every cup of tea in an effort to cut down on kilojoules and lose weight, focusing too much on cutting these down may actually make you crave them more and make it more difficult to keep up the change. You may find yourself thinking seemingly constantly about the fact that you can’t have these things, making you crave them even more than usual until you give up and eat them. Sound familiar?
Building the new
One small change in your mindset to thinking about building new habits could mean that you focus your energy more on finding some healthy dessert or snack options. By doing so you might bump up your fruit or dairy serves, getting yourself more nutrients that your body needs and less empty kilojoules. This way you’ll also find that you’ll crave the chocolate or biscuits less – your healthier snacks will be keeping you feeling full for longer. And when thoughts of your old vices do pop into your head you’ll be able to focus on the new version of yourself that these healthier habits will help to build, rather than the short term gratification of having another row of chocolate!
Unfortunately, a lot of us seem to be hard wired to focus on fighting the old rather than building the new and it can be a difficult mindset to change (but not impossible!). It is often when clients get a grasp of this concept that they need to focus on the positives of the future, rather than the negatives of the past, that they are able to make progress towards their goals at an unprecedented pace.
If you are finding it difficult to make a change, reflect on your own mindset and see which side you find yourself on. If you find yourself spending to much time and effort fighting the old you, make a commitment to your future self to spend more time and effort on building the new you. If you catch yourself resisting change, remind yourself of where you want to be. Print this quote off or write it out for yourself and put it in a place you will see it each day.
Which side have you been sitting on? How have you been fighting the old or building the new when it comes to making lifestyle changes?
Come back on Wednesday for the final part of my realistic resolutions series with more ways to help you stay on track to achieving your goals and building the new you this year.