Why is it so hard to build in new habits and create lasting change? As we approach the end of January, many people will be asking themselves this question. Many may even beat themselves up for not following through with their new year resolutions.
It’s always easier to imagine change than it is to follow through with it as life gets in the way.
Drink more water.
Get 8 hours of sleep a night.
Do your stretches or yoga.
Run or walk.
Do something creative.
These are all on my list of things to build into my life and I found myself reflecting on them yesterday. I confess that I haven’t managed everything as planned. But the good news, is that I didn’t beat myself up, and that’s progress. Huge progress.
Change equals progress and progress equals happiness. That’s where I find my motivation, through the the joy and glow that I feel on the inside.
5 Ways to Gently Attract and Create Lasting Change
Building new habits requires us to make some changes. I have found that lasting change is easier, if I finds ways to make progress and use self-compassion to support my efforts. Self-compassion unconditionally accepts us as we are, helping to take the pressure off as we work to establish new, lasting changes.
1.Break your new habits down into smaller steps
I find it easier to hit a target if I plan out how I’m going to hit it. I break it down into more achievable components, which makes it easier to achieve some progress. For example, I have a goal of drinking 8 glasses of water a day.I start my day drinking 2 large glasses of water. 2 down, 6 to go. 2 more at lunch, 2 more at dinner and 2 more in the evening.
You can also start with a smaller target, and build up from there. For example, If you want to meditate for 20 minutes a day, start initially with 10 minutes, twice a day, learning to be still. 20 minutes then becomes much easier and you may find yourself meditate morning and night for 20 minutes!
I also have a goal of running 50 miles every month. I only hit this when I plan my runs, breaking it down into miles per week, number of runs per week and number of miles per run.
2. Have a strong reason for making the change
I wanted to establish my water drinking habit not just because it is healthy for me, but because how more energised I will feel and how clearer my brain feels when I drink enough water.
If I have energy and I think clearly, I’ll be able to get my work done and make progress. Progress makes me happy. To help me make progress, I look in the mirror multiple times a day and give myself a high 5 then say “I love you Kim.”
3. Celebrate all progress
On days when I don’t achieve 8 glasses of water or hit my weekly running target, I still celebrate whatever I have achieved, a simple act of self-compassion. How would you treat a friend who didn’t achieve target? treat yourself as you would your best friend
4. Allow for a break
Sometimes, we need to take a break and that’s ok. Setbacks are to be expected, just like in recovery from addiction or alcoholism, relapse is expected at times. It’s all part of the journey. and we can learn from it. Learn to take a self-compassion break too.
5. Get support from others making the same change
When you surround yourself with others who are also trying to establish the same new habits, it’s suddenly so much easier. Self-compassion reminds us about common humanity – we are not alone. If you are on a healing journey after losing a loved one to alcoholism or addiction, join the Blossome Community.