Quite often we think about changing a behaviour that will improve our health and wellbeing.
We may start to cough in the morning and tell ourselves, “it’s time to quit”.
We may try on our favourite jeans, and remind ourselves “to cut back on the take away food”.
Or we run after the bus, feel out of breath and think, “it’s time to exercise”.
There are many reasons we consider changing our behaviour, but making the change is often difficult.
So what gets in the way?
Below are the most common reasons…
1. Lack of want, or strong desire to change
This is often the key to successful behaviour change.
How much do you want to change? Rate your desire out of 10 and reflect on your reasons why. Is it so you can feel healthier? Do you want to change because you want to save some money? Or is it because you want to be a good role model for your children?
When your desire to change is strong enough, it creates commitment, and when there is commitment, you’re more likely to put in the effort to make the changes that are necessary to achieve your goal.
At the end of the day, changing a behaviour is your decision, and is one that says, “I want to!” more than, “It would be nice.”
2. Lack of knowledge
Some people however want to change, but don’t know how to change, or what to do.
If you’re not sure which strategies will work for you, seek out the information you need. You may wish to access a health website or speak to your doctor. Or you may decide to speak to people who have already achieved what you desire to change, to get their perspective and some new ideas.
Knowledge is power, so if you don’t know, find out! Once you have some information, it is important to then take some action.
3. Lack of action
Unfortunately most of people want results without taking any action. They want to change and they want the results to be immediate.
Long term change however, requires time and consistent action. It requires being consistent every day with a new habit or a new routine. Without such consistent effort, successful behaviour change is difficult.
What we’re ultimately aiming for is routine and natural behaviour that becomes part of our daily life.
4. Lack of belief in one-self
Do you believe that you CAN change? Do you believe that change is achievable and possible for you?
When you don’t believe that you are capable of achieving the change you desire, you are less likely to make the change in the first place.
Henry Ford summarises this quite nicely, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”
Change your mindset, believe in yourself and move forward with confidence.
Change is possible
Most people make numerous attempts to change. This is a normal part of the behaviour change process and doesn’t mean you have failed.
Whilst you may feel that returning to your former behaviour is not what you had hoped for, it is important to learn from the experience and start again. Think about what led you back and what you could do next time.
With perseverance and repetition, you CAN successfully change your behaviour.
Take regular steps every day towards your goal, and in good time, you will achieve what you desire with satisfying results.