One of the biggest problems people come across when it comes to making positive change in life is the maintenance.
It’s easy to lose weight; but can you keep it off?
It’s easy to start going to the gym; but can you keep it up?
It’s easy to quit smoking; but staying off them is not so easy!
Why is it so difficult to keep up the positive habits once we have installed them?
Here are some of the reasons people find it hard to maintain the flow
You don’t have your motivations clearly defined
You have decided to start a new positive habit, you want to become more productive or you want to lose weight. You’ve tried it before but didn’t succeed. Why was that? When you decided to lose weight the last time were you clear about your motivations? Did you want to lose weight for health reasons, for personal confidence, to attract a partner, or maybe all of the above? The reality is there will be one dominant goal. You may want to be healthier and it would be nice to find a new partner but underlying it all your real motivation may be to give yourself more confidence in all areas of your life. It is important to be clear about this. In the moments of temptation or when motivation wanes, it can be great to have a focus point. Sometimes you will need to be reminded why you are doing this and if you are clear about what you will gain by achieving it, success will come easier.
Maintaining the Flow: Know your goals
You try too much too soon
Change can be difficult, human beings naturally resist change. We tend to prefer the status quo, the familiarity of our habits and routines even if they are negative or no longer serve us. Our comfort zone is hard to break through, even harder if you try to break down too much at once. Changing habits involves a rewiring of the brain, a rework of all that is familiar and known therefore the common advice out there is to stick to one habit change at a time. Start small and persist with that small change until you feel you have made it part of your everyday life. People who try to change too much at once are more likely to fail.
Maintaining the Flow: Change one habit at a time
Set yourself up for failure from the outset
Are you one of those people who reluctantly takes on a new habit? Do you say you are going to do it but inside you don’t really believe it. A lot of people have set themselves up for failure before they have even started. Deep down they don’t believe they can do it. Are you one of those people? Do you think you can or think you can’t? Your beliefs will generally determine the outcome so don’t waste your time if you don’t really believe it can be done.
Maintaining the Flow: Believe in ability to achieve your goals
You fall at the first hurdle – and don’t get back up
And here is where we lose most people, at the first hurdle.
Here are some powerful words that I heard at a weight watchers meeting from the leader Mick:
“You are going to fall, but that doesn’t matter, what matters is how long you stay lying down.”
Every one fails, it is part of life, the important part is your reaction to this failure, do you stay lying down or do you jump back up to try again. So if you are starting a new habit know that it’s probable that you will stumble but plan to get back up again quickly.
Maintaining the Flow: Plan for the fall and get back up swiftly
You won’t always achieve what you want to achieve first time, but with a little bit of perseverance and a positive attitude you will get there.