So you want to lose weight, clean your house, write a book, start a business, get out of debt or something else. You want to make some life changes or get rid of a bad habit, but like an unwelcome guest, it never quite leaves.
Why is change so hard?
Whether you feel stuck in a job that no longer suits you, getting over a relationship that’s ended, adjusting to a new baby or something else, change is not always easy. In fact, it can seem downright impossible.
Sure, we want things to be different, we really do. But whether you use the word change, alter, modify, vary, transform or revolutionize, we often resist the very things that could help us, heal us or make our life better.
We resist change for myriad reasons:
· because we like things the way they are,
· because it takes effort,
· because we have no motivation or incentive,
· because we don’t think it’s in our best interest—or even if we do, we feel selfish, lazy, or we lack willpower.
Sometimes we simply don’t want to attempt to change because we think we may fail, or we don’t have the energy, time, money, resources or ____ (fill in the blank with your excuse of choice).
Bottom line? Nothing changes if nothings changes. Yep, we've all heard that before. Here are seven helpful things I’ve learned about altering my life:
1) Do something, even if it's a small thing. Change often comes in baby steps. Just do ONE THING differently today, and then build on that momentum. Like eat a green vegetable with your French fries. Add healthy food to your diet, then takeaway the bad stuff. One thing.
2) Get motivated. I’ve heard that the two main motivations in life are FEAR and DESIRE. What motivates you to make changes? Who can you ask—a trusted friend or family member—to help you stay accountable to making the step-by-step changes in your life?
3) Get inspired. Chuck Swindoll once said that self discipline is “doing what you don’t want to do, to get what you’ve always wanted.” Hmm. I may not want to walk, go to the gym or eat a lot of green stuff, but I really want to be healthy and have more energy. It’s like the old saying “short term pain for long term gain.”
4) Choose wisely. Actions have consequences. If you don’t send out resumes or make phone calls, you’ll never get another job. If you don’t move your body and get some exercise, the shape stays the same. Someone I know once told me, “Everything is a choice, so choose wisely.”
5) Pray! Give your struggles to God and ask for the power of the Holy Spirit to help you. He is the only one who can make real and lasting changes in your life. When we are weak, He is strong in us. Prayer is the most important thing you can ever do to change your life.
6) Take a risk. Behold the turtle who only makes progress when he sticks his neck out.
7) Get perspective. Take a long view. The growing pains of change may seem hard, but they won’t last forever. It’s like being “under construction” in your life. When a road is being repaired, workers put up signs and orange safety cones. It looks like a total mess for a few weeks or months. But eventually, the work is done; and when it’s over, things run a lot more smoothly.
Moment by moment and choice by choice change happens.
And then you start seeing positive results, and you feel really good. Success! Victory! Things really can be different. Even for you. I can almost see it now…just stay connected to the One who never changes and see what He can do.