Written by Nyomi Graef
I’m too tired. I’m ill. I don’t know what to do. Sound familiar? They are common reasons why we don’t make important changes. They can all be valid, but at times they are just flimsy excuses stopping us from creating the lives that we deserve and desire.
Move from thinking about and preparing for positive changes to actually making them. Use ideas in part 3 of this series about conquering barriers to change (below) to guide you.
Hard to break bad habits
What’s your bad habit? Sugar? Junk food? Soft drinks? Something else? Acknowledge destructive habits and swap them with life-enhancing ones. How? Read my blog post about this topic for ideas: Want to boost your chance of success? Swap bad habits with good habits.
Illnesses and injuries
Yes illnesses and injuries can slow us down and, at times, stop our ability to make changes. But don't let them get us off track for long. Let's take exercise as an example. Most of us are probably aware that the wrong types of exercises can worsen injuries and illnesses, but many problems/conditions can improve with the right type of exercises. For example, lots of people with arthritis benefit from aqua aerobics, and walking can improve many illnesses, including heart disease and osteoporosis (brittle bones). Make informed choices when choosing exercises, so you don’t worsen any condition that you have. Ask relevant health/exercise professionals, if you need to.
Low energy, enthusiasm and motivation
Overcome the underlying causes of these three elements to power through to success.
Is the cause mental/physical/emotional/spiritual/financial/social/environmental...?
Some common root causes of lack of energy include:
Maybe a visit to your doctor for a health check is needed? Or developing better budgeting skills? Or getting out and about to be social and make more friends? Do what it takes to boost your motivation and energy to make worthwhile life changes.
Lack of skills/knowledge/resources/support
If we lack any of these, then increase them. Upskill/get a mentor/gather support... do what we must do but, obviously, also be reasonable, ethical and so on.
Bad decisions and confusion caused by too many choices
Too many choices can stop us making good decisions. We are bombarded with what to think, say and do from experts, friends and family... — what is best? It can be confusing! So instead of making good decisions, we can just stick with what we are familiar with or perhaps make a hasty bad decision, even though it might be harming us.
Make informed and reasonable decisions that can lead to positive changes. If the results aren’t good, then adapt or change our strategies.
Great leaders are great decision makers. Top business people/managers, and so on, make many decisions every day. Their results don’t always work out as well as hoped, but a vital part of their jobs is to be decision makers. Be a leader of your life — make wise decisions and follow through with positive changes.
Environmental/social/other factors that hinder positive change
There are so many other factors that block change that fall into this category. What areas of your life can you adapt to better support change? Ask yourself questions such as:
Then, for relevant areas, ask ourselves what can we do to solve the problems. Find good solutions and implement them.
For us to make changes it’s important to:
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” - Barack Obama
Written by Nyomi Graef
Is something stopping you from making the life changes that you desire? Perhaps not enough time? Or lack of confidence, self-belief or self-esteem? Some limiting beliefs? Read part 2 of this series (below) about ways to breakthrough barriers to soar to success.
If we don’t think we have a problem, we aren’t going to change. Facing reality can be confronting and difficult. But to improve our lives, we must face the truth/face our problems, and make some changes. Harness our resources, get support if we need it, and go towards our goal with our plan in place.
Not enough time
Lack of time is one of the biggest excuses not to do things. Make time for making vital lifestyle changes. How? Make them a high priority, and schedule them into our lives. If we can do unimportant things, like watch mindless TV shows and waste time on social media, we can make time for important things.
Lack of confidence/self-belief/self-esteem
Do you lack these qualities? If so, boost them to fly to new heights! They are all important for success, including making positive lifestyle changes.
Read good self-help books, articles and blog posts. Listen to motivational speakers Oprah Winfrey, Tony Robbins, Dr Wayne Dyer, Bob Proctor or Denzel Washington... whoever connects with you and inspires you. Put appropriate ideas into practise.
Set small achievable goals (on their own and/or as part of bigger goals) and feel proud when you achieve them. Small successes all add up. There is nothing quite like the feeling of achievement to make us feel great!
Failed past attempts
Past failures can cause low confidence, self-esteem, self-belief and motivation. Forget the past and move on. The past does not have to dictate your future. Create a different plan. Use better strategies. Update your resources. Do whatever it takes (within reason). Just keep going. Persist!
Beliefs that prevent change
Beliefs can keep us where we are, make us spiral down, or motivate us to be better. Swap limiting beliefs with empowering ones. Check out some ideas below.
Limiting belief: I’m fat because my family is fat, so I’ll never be a healthy body weight (no matter what I eat and how much I exercise).
Empowering beliefs: Families often share the same eating and exercise habits. These habits promote either weight gain, weight loss, or weight maintenance.
Low levels of exercise combined with an unhealthy diet high in sugar/white flour/junk food/soft drinks, and so on, is very likely going to cause weight gain.
Consistently good eating and exercise habits often leads to a healthy body weight. Good dietary ideas to start with are to eat:
Limiting belief: I’m not fat, I’m big boned.
Empowering beliefs: Yes, people have different sized bones (and body frames). These range from small to large. But love handles are not big bones, and neither is excess belly fat and excess fat on and around other parts of the body. With the right goals, plan, strategies, resources, and so on, many people can lose excess weight and maintain a healthy body weight.
Limiting belief: I’m not sporty, so I can’t do any exercise.
Empowering beliefs: People don’t have to be sporty to exercise. There are plenty of exercises to choose from, some more sport-oriented than others. Choose healthy movement that we feel comfortable with. Walking, swimming, yoga and cycling are examples of exercises that don’t require us to be good at sport.
Limiting belief: I’ve tried every diet and nothing works. I have given up. I will always be overweight.
Empowering beliefs: There are so many diets around that it’s VERY unlikely that anyone has tried all of them.
Many people all over the world have lost weight in healthy and reasonable ways, and kept the weight off.
Long-term weight loss requires sustainable lifestyle changes, not a quick fix/unrealistic/impractical... diet.
Have the right mindset for weight loss. Set worthwhile goals and plans. Use the right strategies. Put in the time and effort. Persist and be patient.
In summary, to make positive lifestyle changes we must (among other things):
Read part 3 in this series of blog posts, with more barriers to change and ideas to overcome them, coming soon.