Make Change Easier

We are creatures of habit. We like to have stable and predictable surroundings. But there are times when we find ourselves trapped in bad habits or miserable realities which we have to change. When we find ourselves in such situations, shocked and embarrassed at our circumstances, we feel tempted to revolutionize our lives over night.


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And that’s what makes change so difficult sometimes. We try to jump from one extreme to another too suddenly.


Jumping from one extreme to another, change


When we realize that we haven’t been exercising enough, we look for the most strenuous exercise program and convince ourselves that we will follow it religiously. When we find that we have not been spending enough time with family, we suddenly plan a long list of vacations and weekend activities that will clear all our past sins. While it’s comforting to come up with such extreme plans because they make us feel better about ourselves and our situation, they seldom work.


It’s because of such leaps that many people find themselves trapped by their bad habits again and again after trying to change. Leaping from one extreme to the other makes it more likely for you to relapse because the change will seem too difficult. From fitness habits to smoking habits, relapses are plentiful and they make us lose hope in change.


Most of our bad habits are caused by faulty thinking. When we try to change too suddenly, we don’t get time to analyze and alter the thought patterns that led us to the bad habits.The thoughts are usually redeeming. Maybe you thought hard work was the key to happiness and success and that’s why you couldn’t spend enough time with your family. Maybe you only fell into bad eating habits because you thought that food could fill a void in your life. Discovering the thoughts that led you to your bad habits should be the very first small step you take towards change.


Niels Armstrong, when he stepped on the moon, said “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” When you take the first step towards change and discover the thoughts that led you to the bad habit, it will be one small step for you but one giant leap for your life. Understanding your thoughts will help to heal the shock and shame that you may feel when you realize your habits are less than perfect. So then it won’t be so tempting to want to revolutionize your life over night.


Permanent change takes time and it’s usually a succession of small steps.


After you have understood your thoughts, you should ask, “What is the smallest step that I can take towards change?” Try to think of an easy and maintainable step. Along with that ask yourself, “What setbacks will I face when I take this step?” and “How will I overcome the setbacks?”


Your road to change should be a repetition of such questions. Find the answers to them and take the small steps. Once you feel comfortable with a certain small change, then you go on to another small alteration.


Change is difficult, but not impossible.


And as always, cheers to life!Quote on changing bad habits

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