Are you making real changes in your life or just talking about making changes? In January, people love to create resolutions or goals. But many struggle to implement changes that hold and create a positive difference in their life. Let’s explore 5 steps to make real lasting changes in your life!
5 Steps to Make Real Lasting Changes in Your Life
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It can be a subtle difference. Setting our life up in a way that is more conducive to making real changes is often more about a shift in our thinking. So as we walk through the steps be aware of your mindset or old patterns of thinking that may be roadblocks in your life.
Look Forward in Order to Make Real Change
Always look to where you want to go. We can find plenty of reasons to stay where we are. There are a ton of people in the same boat and even more behind us in worse situations. However, if your goal is to grow and stretch yourself then you need to look ahead to where you want to go.
For example, when I worked at an agency that helped victims of domestic violence, I led various court ordered groups for men and women who had been charged with domestic violence. Often in the group, I would hear comments like, “I would never hit my spouse like that person does.”
Yes, you can always find someone else that is doing worse than you. We can make ourselves feel better by focusing on another person who eats worse than we do or disciplines their kids less than we do. But that is not helpful.
Congratulating ourselves on what we are NOT doing just keeps us comfortable and stuck where we are. If we want to make real changes, we need to look ahead to what we want to aspire.
Be Honest with Yourself as You Make Changes and Set Goals
As you begin to make small changes, be realistic about your current status.
Have you ever talked with someone and they say something like, ” I don’t smoke anymore,” when they literally just stopped smoking 3 days ago.
We should be excited when we take the first step toward change. But being honest with where we are in our struggle will help us to keep more alert.
Watch this Amazing Video from Brilliant Business Moms about taking an honest look at how last year went (Printables too!)
When I was a single mom, it was hard not to yell or become easily angered. One, that is part of my natural tendencies, and another it is exhausting single parenting. So change was hard…even brutal. I had to get real about my struggle and learn my triggers. I even wrote down phrases that I told myself I no longer had permission to say. And I had to be honest that this was a struggle of mine.
Sure, I could easily find someone who yelled more than me or congratulate myself on not yelling that week. But I knew that I wanted long-lasting change so I had to take a hard look at my struggle AND to stay vigilant about making changes.
Find Great Mentors to Motivate Lasting Habits
Who in your circle is doing a good job at what you want to accomplish? Or who has accomplished BIG goals in their life even if it is not in the same area?
Find mentors or people on the same path that are a little further down the road. If you would like to become more disciplined as a mother, look around for a mom that sticks to the consequences she sets for her kids. Interact with her, and watch how she handles various situations. Ask her some questions, or share a recurring problem you are having.
Now, more than ever, it is easy to find positive mentors. Yes, people are busy so it can sometimes be hard to find one on one interactions, but we have access to podcasts, blogs, Instagram accounts and books. There are so many ideas.
Pick just a few mentors. And choose ones that help you remain positive and grow. Some great advice I heard last year was to stop listening to social media feeds that make you feel overwhelmed and bad about yourself. Even if there is nothing “wrong” with the person it is OK to unfollow people.
Pick mentors that make you aware of what you desire to change in your life but also help you to feel hopeful as they offer great tips on how to improve your life.
Change Your Environment to Create Real Change
One of the best decisions I made as a young mom was to get plugged into a local church. There I met so many great people. As I became involved and shared of my life they shared their life with me too. I met so many people who would encourage and guide me as I parented, dated and later became a wife and homeschool mom.
When I slipped into old negative habits, I had more motivation to get back up quicker since I knew I would not just let myself down but my mentors and friends.
Take a good look around in your life. Who are you spending time with. Are they pulling you forward or encouraging you to grow? Or do they just want you to stay the same person you have always been?
Build Habits from Your Goals
Slowly pick one or two goals. Create a plan around those goals, with a start date and detailed steps. Then take that goal and make it into a habit.
Be specific about what you want to do, how often a week you are going to do it and what steps you are going to take each week or day.
Instead of saying I am going to eat healthier in 2019…which is completely unclear and overwhelming, start small.
For instance, you could say I am going to create one new habit a month. In January, I am going to switch out pop and other sugar drinks for water, Monday through Friday. In February, I am going to eat a healthier breakfasts by picking 5 simple breakfasts and alternating.
By March, it will be more of a habit to reach for water and to have a healthier breakfast. As you seek to continue to improve your eating, it will be easier to still reach for water and eat a good breakfast since you created a habit around your goal. You won’t have to think about it so much.
5 Steps to Make Real Lasting Changes in Your Life
Look Forward in Order to Make Real Changes
Be Honest with Yourself as You Make Changes
Find Awesome Mentors
Change Your Environment
Build Habits Around Your Goals
What step causes you the most trouble? Do you have an area in your life that you really continue to struggle with? Comment below!