Focus On What You Gain.
I would be lying, and it would be an over-simplification of the behavioural change process if I said mindset and focusing on what you gain from a lifestyle change will mean success over failure. There are many other factors at play.
However, focusing on what you gain with making a lifestyle change will result in the process of change feeling easier. The human mind likes and persists with things that feel easier as evolutionary development has ensured that where possible we take the path that will conserve energy.
You need to think carefully about the “gain” and ensure you identify something that is meaningful to you. For instance, a large number of the lifestyle changes I have made have been to stabilise my mood and to improve my energy levels day-to-day.
This has meant the gains I have focused on have been along the following lines;
- By eating less sugar I gain more balanced energy and mood throughout the day, I don’t experience the fatigue that comes with a sugar crash.
- By drinking less regularly and less alcohol when I do drink I gain better sleep and better energy levels day to day. I am also a better mum because my patience levels aren’t negatively impacted by my hangover and I’m able to manage my emotions better.
- By waking up 10 minutes earlier and meditating I have more mental space, am calmer and have the ability to make better decisions. This results in a happier home with less conflict which I love.
So, find a piece of paper or if you have a journal go to a new page and move through this process;
- State the lifestyle change you want to make.
- Outline the loss that you fear this change will result in.
- Determine the gain(s) to your life that this change will bring, list them.
- Sense check the gain(s) and ensure they are powerful enough to eclipse the loss. If not, keep working on your gain or spend your mental energy elsewhere as the change may not be worthwhile at the present time.
Move through this process knowing that if you focus on the loss you will experience with change, you will remain tied to your current lifestyle. Fear of loss makes change harder. If you can visualise the benefit of change, you will step more easily into the actions required to bring about change and the improved lifestyle you seek.
Let me know how you go, drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comments, I’d love to hear from you.