Living Life on Purpose: How to Make Lasting Change
Nothing lasts forever, change is inevitable. It happens to everyone and everything. But some people are so adverse to change they push back against it trying to sway things to their favor. They're comfortable in their current situation and don't want anything to shake that up. Problem is when we rebel against change it doesn't do us any favors. Not all change is bad. Change helps us to grow and discover different aspects of ourselves. That's not to say change is easy, it's not. Even the most positive changes in your life can be difficult to navigate. This includes changes to career (promotion); family (new baby); or health (diet change).
The question to ask is not how to avoid change but how to embrace the process.
Areas of Change
Once you understand that change is nescessary the focus then shifts to which changes need to be made. Here is how you can go from fearing change to taking decided action towards it. In other words, you're now stepping into the changes rather than running from them which is empowering in and of itself.
Most of us want to improve one of these four areas of our lives: 1. Relationships 2. Career 3. Health & Fitness 4. Finances
These changes each have a direct effect on the other areas. To really find success in change is to achieve balance in all areas. To do that we need an effective way of creating lasting changes.
Steps to Lasting Change
Creating positive changes will make a big difference in your everyday life. Maintaining these changes is possible for anyone with the right approach. The first thing to do is decide on a goal you want to achieve then you work backwards to uncover the steps you need to attain it. For example, let's say the goal is to improve your health. Some changes you can start with to reach this goal would be:
Diet - An audit of what you're eating and how modifying it to include more nutritious offerings is a great place to begin with a health improvement goal. You could eat more vegetables, drink more water, and remove excess sugars.
Exercise - Movement not only attributes to the success of weight loss goals but it also improve mental clarity and emotional well-being. Integrating some form of exercise into your day is another step towards a healthy change.
Write it Down - We get busy and caught up with our day-to-day that we don't want change interrupting it. But, when you pencil in some of the steps as outlined above into your day then you know what's expected of you by you for that day. A journal is wonderful way to track your changes so you know what needs to be tweaked.
Get a Routine - Now that you have your daily focus journal you can start to implement a routine to follow through on. This doesn't have to be some rigid regiment set in stone. Allow yourself some flexibility but don't veer too far off course. The purpose of a routine is to get you into the habit of making these deliberate changes so that soon you don't even think about doing them. They become second nature and soon after you will start witnessing the results that come from consistent effort. The addition of routines will help you achieve that balance for your life we discussed earlier.
Stay Positive - Eliminating the negative thoughts, circumstances, and people will take the most work but it's the most important piece when it comes to lasting change. There will be those around you determined not to let you reach your goals. They fear change just as much as you do so they want to keep everything where it is in its own little place...that includes you. Their negativity will breed into your mind and soon it will derail you from the positive changes you're trying to implement. As much as it might hurt you'll need to distance yourself from these people. The same goes with a toxic environment. If you live in a stressful home situation or you work a job you hate it's time to make the biggest change of all. These sources of negativity are doing nothing to help you. You can always find a different job or another place to stay that will suit your needs better.
Chunking - Overwhelm is one of the biggest deterrents from making lasting change. We think we need to tackle everything at once and then we get overloaded. Instead, make smaller goals within your bigger goal so you can focus on one chunk at a time. Checking off boxes provides a great sense of accomplishment that makes you want to continue onward. Do this with each change your looking to implement.
Commit to your reason - Goals are good to have but the reason why you want to achieve them is even better. For instance, improving your health brings you a better quality of life so you can play with your grand-kids. Being in a relationship amplifies the moments in your life when you get to share them together with someone you love. Having a grasp on your finances relieves you of worry and allows you to focus on things you want to pursue like owning a home or starting a business. These are generic reasons, I don't know what your why might be in these situation but you want to anchor any goal or change you're after with a strong reason so that when you start to falter (and it will happen) you can look back on that reason for strength to continue.
Be Flexible with Change
Life is not meant to be stagnant. It’s full of ebbs and flows that constantly change direction. Once we think we have everything figured out is the time when you're met with something that completely changes your course on life. When those rivers start to steer you in a new direction don't try to build a dam to cut them off, do as Bruce Lee suggested and "Be Water, My Friend." When you become the water, and embrace the change, it will move you in a direction you never thought of but now you wouldn't have it any other way.
As an author I see this all the time when I'm writing my novels. I start out the story in one direction where I think the plot is heading and then all of a sudden it takes a sudden turn into another direction and it makes the story that much better.
Embrace the change of direction of your own story, it will no doubt lead you to your happy ending.
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