Change can be easy.
Much is written about change.
Lose weight. Gain weight.
Find a better job. Improve things in your relationships.
Reduce stress. Get outdoors more.
Start that new hobby.
We all want our lives to be even better, but we’ve been told that change is difficult.
That it requires discipline, determination and commitment. We need to make sacrifices.
Filled with this notion, our mind sees change as an effort and a struggle. So we find ways to procrastinate or distract ourselves from this perceived difficulty.
What happens if this story is not true?
What if change does not have to be difficult or require sacrifice? What if we can live an even more kick-ass life, and do so with ease and flow?
I believe both these statements are equally relevant and available to all of us.
Consider three common change scenarios,
1. Things are going really well in an area of your life. Maybe you’re really fit, healthy, or your job, kids or relationship are going great. If anything, they require only minor changes to work even better.
2. Things are OK in an area of your life. Some parts are working, and some are not.
3. Some aspects of your life are bad. This can make you feel that your whole life is shit.
When something is working well, consider making very minor changes that lay an even deeper foundation for sustained success in that area.
If your health is already good, eat even better, improve your sleep even more.
If your relationship or job is going well, be grateful more regularly.
Be proactive in doing smart stuff to sustain the success. Do a little more of what works, and a little less of what doesn’t.
Making small improvements in areas that are working is almost always easy and fun to do.
It’s in the second area that many people get stuck.
Here some things are good and are working, but there’s not enough drive to make any notable changes.
The areas where things are not working causes us stress but it’s easier to shut these things out. We comfort eat, get lost in screen-time, shop, exercise, socialize or turn to that extra glass of wine.
Unfortunately some of these avoidance tactics compound the problem and can cause others.
This scenario often happens in jobs and relationships.
As with scenario one, consider making small and easy changes, specifically in the areas where things are good!.
Make changes to those areas that you are in control of. Most notably the ‘big five’ in terms of health – what you eat, what you drink, how you sleep, exercise, and by calming our mind. The latter can be done via things like healthy-dose exercise, breathwork, meditation, mindfulness or yoga nidra practices, engaging in creativity, and quality connection with loved ones. Guided yoga nidra has long been a go-to of mine, via any number of meditation apps or Youtube.
Making small and easy improvements in these areas deliver results relatively quickly. Remember – the healthier you are, the more energy, clarity and confidence you bring to solving problems.
Most people don’t make changes until the third scenario arrives.
This stage might require far-reaching change which can sometimes be challenging in the beginning, but almost always very rewarding in the medium to long-term!
I believe the most important ingredient is COURAGE to make the change. We all have it in abundance. And we’re all smart enough to know when we need to make a change. Tap into your courage and knowing – with ease.
We all have our natural motivational flows, strengths we were born with, and personal preferences. Ours are all unique.
When we make changes that align with these, it generally happens with ease and flow. As opposed to when we make changes away them – which can happen when we change to suit someone else’s agenda.
If I am asked to spend a little more time in the ocean, eat a little healthier, do a bit more exercise, it certainly doesn’t require sacrifice. I love it, it fuels me – so it’s easy.
What I do need is the awareness to keep doing more of the things that are currently working. And the courage to say no to the things that are holding me back or getting in the way.
And through all this, to remember that life is about cycles, and that things are in a constant state of change in flux. Sometimes when things aren’t working, it’s not about changing what I’m doing, but changing my attitude to knowing and accepting that life can be difficult. When I fully accept this, then life is no longer difficult.
When you do decide to make a change, in any area of your life, regardless of size, go easy on yourself!
It’s OK if you procrastinate a bit, and it’s OK if you fall off the wagon. Both are quite normal, and quite human.
Simply go back to the desired change, and try again.