By Julian Hayes II
CREDIT: Getty Images
From exercising to writing and with my internal dialogue, changing habits has been difficult for me. As I learned, motivation can be at max capacity–and that still isn’t a guarantee for self-improvement.
Changing habits feel impossible often times due to a lack of knowledge, skill, or experience. If you’re one of those people who is having difficulty changing habits–even though you know you need to–here are four simple ways to make the process easier:
1. Remember that growth isn’t linear.
Long ago, I embarked on a fitness journey–and when I first started, I expected to instantly morph into a new body. While I did make progress, it took longer than expected because the journey to transformation isn’t going to be smooth sailing. The majority of people (including myself at the beginning) think of success and change as happening in a linear fashion.
But that’s not how the world operates. The trajectory of success and change is filled on a graph with a myriad of curves going up and down but still steadily going up as long you continue to show up.
As you’re on the road to creating change, expect it to be filled with high and low moments.
Review the goal that feels hard right now and re-frame your thought process.
As you go about your day, jot down the little things that went well throughout the day for you and your business. At the end of the night, you’ll have a list that serves as proof that you’re making progress even if it isn’t at the rate that you desire.
2. Place all your attention on the process, not the outcome.
Someone at the beginning of their health journey is most likely fixated on losing all their weight. Someone at the beginning of their business journey is most likely intoxicating themselves over thoughts of seven figures.
While visualization is great and necessary, solely focusing on the outcome at the beginning can also be problematic.
Where you currently reside compared to where you want to get to is most likely a huge gap of separation which is going to take time to close. If you’re only thinking the outcome, you become blind to the little wins which are essential for momentum to keep moving forward.
Not to mention, you can’t control when that exact dollar amount arrives in your bank account. But you can control the everyday actions and choices that best put you in position to achieve that feat.
For example, you want to make $1 million in sales this year. You can’t fully control if you’ll make $1 million. But, you can control the number of calls you make on a daily basis to put yourself in the best position to make that goal a reality.
3. Avoid the “all or none” mentality.
When I first started my health journey, if I went off my eating plan at lunch, I would immediately label the day and myself a failure because of one mistake. I missed the big picture that one event doesn’t equate to a failed narrative.
Many clients I’ve coached along with other entrepreneurs I shared conversations with have at one point or another dealt with this cognitive bias.
While ambition and motivating yourself for change is great, the “all or none” mentality isn’t ideal because you become rigid and lack variety along with failing to recognize incremental progress. Instead, adopt big picture thinking which–will help add perspective along with being less judgmental toward yourself.
For example, when reviewing your week, you could say, “I had some good things happen and some things weren’t as good” instead of labeling the week as a failure because you didn’t bat one-hundred percent. This keeps you rational.
Lastly, if you’re quick to label something a failure, ask yourself why multiple times to get to the root cause and you’ll often discover that your thinking patterns are illogical.
4. Don’t let your emotions navigate you.
We’re humans, not robots, so it’s natural to be emotional. But, letting emotions serve as the ruler of your daily decision making is a bad recipe that leads to undesirable results.
Often times, you won’t feel like writing those outreach emails, making those phone calls, or even going to sleep early so you can be refreshed for tomorrow. However, the goal isn’t to feel great. The goal is to grow.
Growth often doesn’t feel good. That’s why it’s essential to take current feelings and emotions out of the picture and see the long-term ramifications of the situation. Be aware of your emotions, but include logic and reasoning into your decision making.
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