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How To Change When Change Is Hard

How To Change When Change Is Hard

We all know that making changes, even those that will benefit us are difficult. The uncertainty of it all tends to keep people right where they are at. Many people will continue to live in discomfort rather than step out into new territory out of fear of the unknown or fear of failure. I’m currently reading a book by Dan and Chip Heath called Switch – How To Make Changes When Change is Hard. It’s a great book, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to do something different with their life. In this post I will describe how their 3 factors of change can help you take control of your health and wellness routine.

1) The Rider and The Elephant – If you’ve read my past posts about the sub-conscious mind you know how powerful it is. In the book they refer to your sub-conscious mind as the elephant. The conscious mind which is important but not as powerful is referred to as the rider. Think for a moment about someone riding an elephant. An elephant is this huge, powerful animal that shouldn’t be controlled by a human at all. A rider is able to guide such a large animal by getting them in alignment on where to go. The same holds true with your conscious and sub-conscious mind. The sub-conscious mind is so powerful being filled with your emotions, belief systems, memories of past events, and many other factors, it holds tremendous power over your actions. When you get your conscious mind, aligned with the sub-conscious mind, now you have what you need to go after what you want. The rider is now in control. If the conscious mind isn’t in control, just like a rider losing control of an elephant, your sub-conscious mind will run rampant and make it difficult for you to make changes.

You may be wondering, well how do I get my sub-conscious mind aligned with my conscious mind? This boils down to what you feed your sub-conscious mind. Are you watching positive uplifting videos and seminars, or reality TV? Are spending countless hours on social media, or are you reading a book about a subject your passionate about? Are you gossiping with negative people or are you speaking life into yourself and others? What you feed your subconscious mind will be so important when it comes to making positive changes. When it comes to diet and exercise you must have a strong reason why you’re pursuing a healthy lifestyle. I talked about this several times because it’s really that important. If your goal is to lose 20 pounds, that’s great but that’s not a reason why. What happens when you lose the 20 pounds? Do you stop? Do you keep going? What if the weight doesn’t come off as fast as you want? When you have a strong enough reason why you’re making changes, you have the power of your subconscious mind to pull you towards your goals. An example of a powerful why would be “I want to live a healthier lifestyle so I can have the energy to spend time with my kids and see them grow up.” A reason like that will keep you on the grind to a better life. If you don’t have that, the elephant will take you off course.

2) Clarity – Have you ever asked someone what they want out of life? In most cases they won’t have an in-depth answer. This is why so many people just go and do throughout the day with no sense of purpose or inspiration. Others may know what they want but they don’t know how to get start or what steps to take and wind up learning from the school of hard knocks. Dan and Chip say that when you don’t have absolute clarity on what to do to achieve a goal, it’s actually draining. They argue that while most people get called lazy, it’s actually the lack of clarity that’s the issue. I agree with them because learning from the school of hard knocks is so frustrating. I see this all the time when it comes to people trying to get healthier.

To be a nutritionist you must have a degree, be licensed, and maintain continuing education credits after you’ve received your license. That said, many people still think they can write their own diet plans. The same goes with being a personal trainer. There’s a lot of education involved but people think they can read a magazine and design their own workouts. In most cases this will lead to failure. They don’t have a clue about how the body works, don’t understand proper programming, and most don’t even know how to properly read food labels. While initially they’ll see results just from being active again but they will stall really quick. I tell people all the time if you’re going to get in shape, eat right and lose weight, you must get help. Talk to a certified professional and get a plan (hint, hint). A professional can give you the blueprint where all you have to do is follow it. There is no guess-work now. You have absolute clarity for what you have to do to get what you want. Think about it. Professional bodybuilders have coaches and nutritionists helping them, pro athletes hire coaches and specialists, and even myself, I still learn from other professionals in the industry, so why would the average person think they can do it themselves? Don’t be cheap, invest the money in yourself, you’re worth it!

3) Change The Situation – This is one of the hardest parts of change for most people because you’ll have to leave some things behind, in some cases even friends. Nothing will change if you don’t change the situation around you. You must put yourself in a different environment, give up old habits, and/or meet new people in order to make the necessary changes to reach your goals.

Many people struggle with the changing their diet because they keep unhealthy food in their house. Sometimes others in the household aren’t on the same page as you when it comes to wanting to eat healthier, so they accommodate by keeping foods their family likes in the house as well. The problem is, will power only goes so far and by keeping foods that don’t support your diet in the house, at some point you’ll give in to the temptation. You’ll only be able to say no for so long. You must change the situation, do your best to get everyone in  the household on the same page as you. Let them know how important it is and how their support will mean a lot to you. The same thing goes with exercising. Many people want home workouts. The problem is the home has too many distractions and it’s too comfortable which makes it too easy to skip a workout. That’s why I always suggest getting a gym membership. Change the situation, get out of your house and go to an atmosphere that supports working out and getting better. You can’t create a situation with the same habits and mindset that got you into your current one.

When you can apply these 3 principles to your life, making changes will be much easier. You’ll be able to accomplish your goals and keep moving forward. Now I never said this would be easy. There will always be challenges but at least you can arm yourself with things that will keep you focused during the tough times. If this article meant something to you feel free to share it by clicking the social media buttons below. Thanks – Jimmy

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