Here is the final part of this series aimed and helping you make successful changes. I think it is the hardest, yet the most important.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this series, here are the areas we’ve covered:
• We’ve gone deep to really work out WHY you’re making a change
• You’ve broken down your goal, in detail, to figure out HOW to make your change
• You’ve set up your accountability and know WHO is going to help you change
And today is all about WHEN you’re going to make the change. This is way more involved than just setting a date on the calendar.
In all of this I’ve encouraged you to put aside how other people make changes and to do what you know is right for you and you alone. Change is hard, or at least it can be easy to start with but sustaining it is really difficult. Hopefully my methods will mean that the changes you’re making are meaningful, considered and therefore long-lasting. For that to happen however, you really need this last step.
It’s all a question of when
It’s well known and evidenced that behaviour changes are more successful when they’re made at a time of life transition. This could be on losing (or gaining) a job, the start of a new school term, being diagnosed with an illness, hitting perimenopause, a child going to university etc. There are events happening in life that put you in a different routine or mindset. These can be great opportunities to set new habits and make a change.
You could argue that if a change is needed and important to you then it shouldn’t matter when you make it. New Year’s resolutions are a perfect example. Why wait until the turn of the year before changing something you know you need to do? Just start now. While I agree with this, I believe there is a crucial thing you have to do before you set your time to change…
Here is my key to this whole issue:
You have to believe you deserve the change.
I’m not talking about earning the right to make a change, no, this is about self-love. If you don’t believe that you are worth the change, you won’t keep it up. Respecting and loving ourselves enough to want to make the change for us alone is what is important. And many people are far away from this position. They know they don’t like where they are now, they want to be different and know they need a change to get to that point. How can you persevere when it gets hard if you’re doing it for someone you don’t truly love and respect? And that means loving yourself now, loving your imperfect self. Not loving the person you want to be in the future. That person is still you.
Try this exercise…
I encourage you to stand in front of the mirror and really look into your own eyes. Be comfortable with who you are now. Tell yourself that any change you are making is because you are worthy and deserving, as you are now. You deserve to nourish yourself with healthy foods, to feel strong, to spend time in nature, to enjoy yourself. You don’t need to earn those things. You are enough as you are now.
This can feel uncomfortable (and you might feel a bit silly) at first but I honestly believe it is key to making meaningful, long term changes.
Yes, use a transition to help you, use all the tips I’ve given you in the first three blogs in this series but you desperately need this fourth step. You don’t have to be perfect. You can be a work in progress. Loving yourself is not always easy. We tend to see our weaknesses and the things we don’t like about ourselves. Just take some steps to give yourself the credit you deserve. Tell yourself that you love yourself enough times and you will start to believe it. It does take practice. You can ask others what they like about you if you are struggling to come up with anything at all. We are our own worst critic. Make a change for you, because you like yourself, because you are worthy of it.
Changes coming from a place of love and made because we truly believe we deserve them will be the most successful.
Perhaps the first change we need to make, before we do anything else is to learn to love and respect ourselves.
If you’re unable to love and respect yourself, then I encourage you to seek some expert counselling to uncover why that is. You may have a lot to unpick in terms of past life events and need and expert to help you do that.
I’m now offering one to one menopause and midlife coaching (not counselling). I can help you identify what you need to change and how you’ll do it. Reflecting with others can make all the difference to your success. If you’d like to explore this possibility, then just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get in touch with some more information.