We’ve all had it happen. Spring hits! Windows open. Air is warm. Everything is good again. You are making changes. You’re drinking water. You’re working out. Everything. Is. Good.
Its hard! You forgot! Life happened!
Changes can feel so empowering and exciting. Noticing when we don’t keep up with those changes or when we feel like we are just back to our old habits can be demoralizing. Sometimes the feeling of disappointment in ourselves for not staying on track is enough to keep us from getting on any track at all.
So what's the deal with making sustainable, lasting changes to improve our health and wellness? Starting is often the hardest (but most important) part! We all hate to fail. Feelings of failure and shame can go deep and it can be incredibly hard to hold those emotions while also empowering ourselves to feel motivated and confident.
There are two important factors to mastering sustainable changes.
Failure is the only option
Flexibility is key
Unfortunately, we can’t avoid failure. Like- at all. What we can avoid is ending the story of our change too soon. Having something not work out, like a new work out routine or plan for meal prep is a hard hit to our psyches. It’s also powerful data and a key to our future success.
We have to be flexible in the change process with how we meet our goals and timeline, but we don’t have to have any flexibility on whether or not we meet them! If we can look at what didn’t work for us and why then we can reassess our goals and plan better for tomorrow.
Often times we get caught up in the rigidity of our goals (ex: Wanting to lose weight for an event or work out 5x per week). When we don't meet these goals, rather than exploring what didn't work for us, we often assume WE didn’t work. To be successful in making changes, it's important to embrace failure- not as something we love or enjoy but as something that teaches us more about ourselves. Maybe that workout routine wasn’t fun so you didn’t want to do it! Find a funner one! Maybe you have limited time in the evenings so meal prepping at night isn’t the best time- try morning instead. The goals you have are good! If we can be flexible with what they look like and HOW we meet them, we give ourselves the hope that we can keep growing without the pressure of having to be perfect right out of the gate.
It's hard to make changes. It will keep being difficult but remember- You can do hard things!