Client challenge: How to make change stick

make change stickI’ve tried to make changes over and over but it’s just not working.

I really want to become better at _________ but after a few weeks, I just give up. What’s the point?

I’ve made the same New Year’s resolution for the past five years and can’t seem to get it done.  Aaaarrrggghhh!

Every last one of us can do better than give up.
>Cheryl Strayed

If you’ve failed in the past, try these steps:

1. Just start.

Don’t be overwhelmed, to focus too much on being successful or the (possible) opinions of your families and friends. Just take the first step.

2.  Take small steps regularly.

Emphasis is on the words small and regularly. Don’t make this hard. If it’s too difficult, you will give up easily. Consistent action, more than achievement, is what’s important.

3.  Celebrate your wins.

When you’ve taken the first step, make sure to celebrate. Give yourself a small reward. Drink a cocktail. Buy yourself some flowers.

Identify milestones. Once achieved, give yourself another reward.

4.  Be kind to yourself.

There will be times when you will backslide. It happens. Don’t beat yourself up by talking negatively to yourself.

Be your own cheerleader. You are your most powerful one. Compliment yourself about how the step you took today is one step further than where you were yesterday. You can say, “You’re doing such a great job.” “You’re awesome.” “You’re fabulous!” It sounds a bit silly when you first start doing it but why are we so open to listening to negative self-talk but so closed off to hearing positive things about ourselves?

If you had a person in your life treating you the way you treat yourself, you would have gotten rid of them a long time ago.
>Cheri Huber, There is Nothing Wrong with You

5.  Be devoted.

If you are making this commitment to yourself, then be devoted to it. If you want it, own it. Despite being gentle, despite taking small steps, there will come a point when it will become hard (as change always is) and you will resist taking this step and want to head back to safety.

Take the step anyway. Devote yourself to it anyway (as you have devoted yourself to what’s safe).  You will be surprised at where you end up, at what can change. You will be pleased by what consistent, steady progress can do—despite fear, despite resistance, despite difficulty.

When you’re experiencing peace, it’s coming from within you; you’re ‘doing’ peace and this is true of anything else you might be looking for. Love, happiness, contentment, well-being come from within. Nothing external needs to change for you to have what you want…..If you want to be happier – be happier. If you want to be more relaxed – relax. If you want more friends – be friendly. Sounds simple. It is.
>Cheri Huber

6.  Check in with yourself over and over about why you want to do this.

Go back to your reasons why. If they are meaningful to you, if this is what is calling you, if doing this makes it look like you’re living your best life, then go back to that space.

7.  Track your progress.

Make checklists.  Use an app that tracks your habits.  Or make a home-made habit tracker.

What propels the action is the intention.

This is an excerpt from my workbook, Your Heart-Crafted Life, which you can download for free by subscribing to my e-newsletter here.

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