Changing your habits, lifestyles and thought patterns can’t be done in a flash. There are no quick solutions on the way to your goal.
You have to do the hard work, whether it comes to getting in better physical shape (building your fitness, running a marathon) or your mental health (improving your self-esteem, working with stress or motivation).
A few days ago, Mindfit was given a very nice review on the App Store by one of our users. We think this feedback says a lot about what change entails.
Nice app! It helps highlight small pleasures and feelings of mastery when you are coping with everyday struggles, but it is not a panacea – not unless you really embrace the concept and do the work that it takes.
Tips for change:
- You must be willing to take control of the situation and be motivated to bring about change (but not everyone is able to do this).
- You won’t be motivated unless you focus on mastery, and what you can actually achieve.
- To set the stage for change, you should identify the problem, define realistic goals and then start working.
- Start small. Set yourself partial goals, so you create a feeling of mastery along the way as you work toward your final goal – it will help you make progress.
- Change takes time. It requires long-term effort.
- You have to challenge yourself and work actively with yourself.
- The process of change involves both ups and downs, and you can’t always expect to make progress.
- Anticipate the possibility that you may have downturns.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself. The fact that you have actually tried also counts as mastery.
- An essential aspect of creating the motivation to change is to keep trying, even if you don’t see results immediately.
Remember that when you are working to change, you will probably experience a little “downturn.” Don’t be disappointed with yourself, but just remind yourself that you tried and that next time, it will be better. It is important not to give up.
Set realistic goals
It is not always easy to accomplish the process of change. It depends a little on the challenges you have and where you are in the process. Some people also face such big challenges that they need professional help to turn a difficult situation around.
Changing something on its own does not necessarily mean that you can do something about all the situations or happenings you face in your life. Sometimes, the most important realization you can have is that you are doing the best you can, given the circumstances.
One reason that you give up might be that you have set goals that are too high.
You start with good spirits and good thoughts. You have set goals and made good progress with change, but then things stop…
- Maybe you give up because you feel uncomfortable?
- Or perhaps you give up because you don’t have a sense of mastery and you think bad thoughts about yourself?
- Perhaps you give up because you fail to follow the plan you’ve established for yourself?
- Or you give up because…
Here’s an example:
Let’s say you have never jogged before and decide it is time to start a new and better life – from now on, you owe it to yourself to exercise every day. Things go well during the first week, but then you aren’t able to exercise for various reasons (you get injured, you have too many other things to do, you find it difficult to keep jogging or it was simply too hard). You give up because you did not reach the goal you set for yourself.
Setting realistic goals is an important part of the work of mapping out the process of change. Start small. Imagine change as if you are walking up a staircase, where each step is synonymous with a step forward, or an intermediate goal on the way toward your big goal.
It is common for people to get stuck thinking negative thoughts about themselves
Experience tells us that many people need help turning the negative into the positive. Changing yourself takes time and along the way, it is easy to be most preoccupied with the things you haven’t been able to achieve rather than what you have.
Keep track of feelings of mastery
It can be easy during the process of change to forget all the little things you actually have achieved on the way towards your big goal. That is why we recommend keeping track of the positive events and feelings of mastery that you experience along the way. This helps confirm that you are on the right path, and you can also go back to look at all you’ve actually achieved if you have a little “downturn.