As we are still at the beginning of the new year, I thought that this would be an appropriate topic. Many of us are starting the year with new goals. We want to be better people and that is great. But you’re setting yourself up for failure. Yes, I said it. I don’t mean to be a Debbie-downer. But, stop trying to change everything at once.
What do I mean by stop trying to change everything at once?
When we want to change something, we get so excited that we want to become better, now! But that’s not how it works. You have to be patient. That’s the only way you can make lasting changes. You need to be able to build a consistent routine. And what better way to do that than to start slow.
Don’t just start running 3 miles a day when you are used to running 0 miles per day. Start by walking for 10 minutes. Then alternating between running and walking for 10 minutes. Then, start to increase your running time and speed.
You’re going to wear yourself out too quickly and get tired. Your body isn’t used to it. Soon you’ll find yourself taking an unscheduled break because you’re tired.
You’ve overworked yourself too fast. Then, you’ll struggle to get back to your running and drag your feet to get out of bed in the morning because you didn’t give your body a chance to getting used to running or even just getting up so early to achieve your 3-mile run.
Soon enough, you will have stopped getting up to run and you won’t even realize it. Six months later you’ll be wondering how and when you stopped running. If only you continued to run. But you were just not disciplined enough or motivated enough.
But discipline and motivation are not even half of the equation. You need to start off slow. Stop trying to change everything at once. You don’t have to be perfect or complete right now. Taking your time to achieve your goals and making a gradual action plan will help you to keep your new and better habits.
How to Stop the Urge to Change Fast?
Remember that you don’t have to be perfect right away or even ever. You’re doing this for you. Slow and steady wins the race. Anything you’ve learned and kept with you has been learned over time. Your first language was learned over time with trial and error. In fact, you’re still learning new words today.
When you learned to dance, you learned slowly. It took you a while. The same with writing, reading, and singing, and drawing. Everything that you have learned and kept with you today, you’ve learned over time. The habits that you have now, you learned over time.
So, what makes you think that you can change yourself in a day and keep the habit forever? This will take time and effort. And that is okay. We are all a work in progress. It’s okay to go slow. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
And so that you don’t lose patience when you feel things are going to slow, keep track of your progress. Sometimes we don’t see how much we’ve changed because the changes are subtle over time. But, the difference between a week of running versus a month of running can be drastic.
Some days, you will have days where you feel like you’ve backtracked. But as long as you are getting better overall over time, you should be proud because that’s all that matters.
Every day will not be perfect. Every day will not be a win. Sometimes it’s a loss but you just have to keep on going and hope for a better tomorrow. Keep a journal, keep a record, or take photos if applicable to your goals.
There’s no need to be in a rush to change yourself. The fact that you want to become a better person makes me very happy for you. I’m proud of you. Take your time and the changes will stick. Your new habits will be with you for a lifetime and make your new year resolution more than just a goal on paper.
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