How do we create change in life?
So often, I meet children and adults in every day life who talk to me about the fact that they ‘can’t change’ or that they ‘are just this way’ – even though their feelings, actions, behaviours or lifestyle are causing them upset they cannot find a way to change and feel that ‘nothing works’.
Change is an interesting concept. It is something that so many people want. They may;
- Desire to change their lifestyle to feel happier or have a better quality of life
- Want to change their appearance whether it’s weight loss, fitness or health
- Want to change their behaviours or reactions to triggering situations
- Wish to change their feelings about a past event so they can move out of the past
So, why can’t they do it?
Whilst they will talk about making a change, they find that the action to move out of it is not forth coming.
So what is the difference between those who take action and CHANGE and those who think about it but cannot take action?
Realistically there are three parts of it:
#1 – Life isn’t uncomfortable enough
In order to make a change, the discomfort of being the way we are, needs, in general to drive us crazy. We have to feel really uncomfortable about staying the way we are. We need to see the drawbacks of remaining the same, identify the potential consequences and recognise that staying the same is actually going to make our lives worst in the long term. The pain of staying the same, becomes our desire to change
#2 – Is the change that you desire setting a fire in your belly?
Whilst the change you would like to make needs to be achievable and realistic, it also needs to scare you a bit. If you know you can do it EASILY – the likelihood is, that you WONT do it. If the goal scares you a bit, means you need to dig deep and discipline yourself, then it will create a motivation inside you. Then identify do you need a support to achieve it, if so find the professional you need to help you.
#3 – Is it your priority?
Priorities are the key component to those who are successful and those who are not. If you look at your goal and think
- I haven’t got time
- I haven’t got the energy
- I cannot commit to it
- I have too much on my plate
- I need to do XYZ first
Then it is highly likely that it is not your priority and will therefore not get the energy it requires. Consider your key priorities – family, job, friends, commitments, children, health, house etc – does your goal come in the top THREE? For a change to be instigated and maintained it needs to be in your top three priorities. Consider an individual who is caring for a friend/family member, working long hours and repaying debt… they would like to exercise more – but each day the first three factors are their priority – if there is overtime at work they will choose this over a gym trip – if there is a call from a family member for help – they will choose this over a fitness class – i their priorities are high demand and focus and therefore their desired change is not a priority.
#4 – Discipline and routine
Goals are not achieved with wishful thinking, you achieve them with creating a routine that you follow every day, and then implementing it. You drive yourself with DISCIPLINE (don’t wait for motivation it is fleeting). We need to create a discipline which moves us through the day and towards our goals every day.
So how do we achieve it?
- Be honest – In order to achieve any change you need to look at your priorities and look at where it sits – list all your commitments on a sheet of paper and number them 1-10 in priority order. Now look at where your change sits within that list – if it is number 1-3 then get moving – if it is 4-10 what can be changed about 1-1 to let you get changing?
- Re-evaluate – Have you taken on other people’s responsibilities? Are you carrying any loads which are not yours? Are people expecting things you cannot offer? Are you overloaded? Are you taking on too much to please others? Can anything be moved? Can anyone help? Look at options to move the change into your top 3.
- Review – If you know that your change is not possible for the top 3, what small alterations can you make to your weekly schedule to allow you to ‘begin’ you may not make huge progress but getting started means that when your priorities shift you can accelerate forwards
Want to learn more?
Are you looking for a deeper understanding of child mental health? Our Level 4 Child and Adolescent Mental Health Coaching Diploma takes you into an in depth dive of child mental health and how you can support. You can join our Level 4 training (here).
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