It is motivating and, at times, a challenge to maintain a change of habits in life. We have heard of the 21-day technique. In this article I explain an effective method that I often use in mentoring with great success. Are you up for it?
A hamster spinning on the wheel
Do you have the impression of rushing everywhere? Think you’re like a hamster spinning on its wheel? Have you been wanting to change things in your life for a long time without success?
Stay with me as I want to tell you how to stop the “wheel” to take the first step to change the routines in your life that bring you little value.
One of the most desired changes among the professionals I support is to exercise. A life full of meetings, travel, home office and various obligations makes it difficult to find the right time. The will to take action increases when back pain or heaviness in the legs can no longer be masked by painkillers.
Join the gym, buy the necessary equipment, set an alarm on your cell phone to leave work earlier. We do everything we can to change our lives. Even so, 80% drop out within the first two months. In other words, only 20% achieve change. Better yet, only 20% incorporate a new habit into their daily routine. We will return to this idea later.
The question is, what is unknown to 80% of the people?
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step” Lao-Tse
From sedentary lifestyles to almost elite competition, we ask too much of ourselves. As soon as we realize the logistics, planning and courage required, discouragement floods us. During the confinement, sales of treadmills and elliptical bikes grew by 453% in Europe. How many of them are now sleeping in garages and storage rooms!
Those who succeed in changing their lives take into account the following:
- They have the necessary motivation and skills to achieve this.
- They make small changes that require little effort and celebrate them.
- They define a simple “trigger” to incorporate that small change into their routine.
- Appreciate failures as part of learning for change
Introduce small changes in your life that do not require a great effort.
Let’s continue with our example. What if working out didn’t require going to the gym? Starting from a sedentary lifestyle and home office, walking 20 minutes a day is already a success. And, what’s more, it can be done at a time of day that is effortless. One of my clients decided to take advantage of her lunch break to eat in 30 minutes and walk another 20 minutes. Before, she ate and checked her social media.
And therein lies the key to success: Make a change that is so small that there is no room for excuses. Small, achievable changes increase the likelihood of becoming lasting change.
It required no equipment, no need to leave work early, hardly any effort.
In addition, by activating before resuming their day, their ability to concentrate improved. Walking for 20 minutes after eating became a daily routine, which was activated after a daily habit such as eating.
At this point, I would like to point out that it is not that radical changes are bad. They are simply more unlikely to last over time, because the effort is such that any obstacle will make it unfeasible.
And every time she came back from her twenty minutes, he celebrated that small success. Because making it memorable triggers other positive changes . She doesn’t remember what she saw on her social media, but she does keep in her memory the chat with a colleague who joined the walk, or the music she listened to, or the park she walked through.
For those who love to become elite competitors, 20 minutes of walking will be embarrassing. But as we know, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step. And, besides, the bigger the obstacle, the more unlikely it is to last, so stick with it, better 20 minutes than none at all.
The secret: find a trigger that will make your change last.
Here’s the big challenge: Once we have the motivation, we start with a small, effortless change, how do I make it last? How do I make sure that there is nothing to prevent it at the slightest unforeseen event?
Introduce your small change just before an action that you do on a daily, mechanical basis. My client, when she finished eating, would stop by the restroom, brush her teeth and look at her Instagram. Now, she finishes eating, takes the walk, and then brushes her teeth. You know you have to do it to get to the next task that is part of your routine.
Anchoring small changes builds self-confidence
Every small success has a positive effect on your motivation and confidence. Something that until yesterday was utopia and that today is integrated into your daily life, is the best ally to undertake the next small change that will lead to another and then another. And little by little, you will see that there are fewer impossible things and you will do things you would never have imagined you could do.
If you want to go deeper into other success stories, I recommend you watch this video:
And you, are you encouraged with the first small change that will lead you to a better version of yourself? By clicking on Free coaching session you can start renewing habits in your life today.