A 30 day Challenge for Change
A 30 day Challenge for Change.
Today’s post is all about what you CAN do. Showing you how you can make a successful change in just 30 days.
How often do we say to ourselves, ‘I wish I could have said No to doing that’ or ‘I wish I could lose a bit of weight’ ‘I wish I could be more organised, or tidier, or make myself understood ‘
Well, the good news is – YOU CAN
And very often we start a new year with good intentions. The problem is often too many intentions. We enter January with a list of things we will do or change. And by February or March they have all fallen by the wayside.
‘If we expect of ourselves more than we can achieve with kindness then we find ourselves confirming our failures’
In effect, we are being very unkind to ourselves. We are perhaps hopeful, but unrealistic.
Its understandable, perhaps life is a bit of a mess, things are not going too well, confidence is low, we hate our job so we eat too much; we let others demand too much of us and more.
We want it all to change. But starting with a long list and trying to tackle everything is just being unkind – to ourselves. And when we stumble and fall we have more evidence of our failings.
I’ll talk more about measuring ourselves and kindness in another post. But here, I want us to step back.
I want you to see yourself a full of possibility. And show you another way.
This is quite a long post, so give yourself time to read.
‘Being kind to yourself changes the way others see you, and changes how you see the world’
So think back to that list you made. Many of the things you are doing are habits. And some of those habits are damaging. Lets’ take a simple example.
Here is Mary’s list when I first met her at the start of 2018 (I have shortened and abbreviated to illustrate)
- Lose weight
- Be able to say no
- Be more confident
- Learn to use IT better
- Find a new job
- Generally get myself together and feel better
- Be more positive
- Get fitter
- Make some friends
- Learn French
- Earn more money
Phew! A long list, and to try and put even a part of all that into practice was destined to fail.
The way to tackle changing habits, is to identify the unhelpful habits first. So, if you wanted to lose weight, is chocolate or biscuits a habit?
If you want to become more confidence, do you find yourself often apologising when there is no need?
Take one habit, not a feeling, but the habit that supports or produces the feeling or situation.
Now think about how you can change that habit. What new habit can you create to replace one which is negative or unhealthy?
You will need to think about the habit you want to adopt – your replacement habit very clearly. Get a friend to help you with this.
Use the SMART technique to be completely focussed on this one new habit.
You will need to ask yourself questions in the following areas
- SPECIFIC Be clear about what you want to achieve. You may even need to break the new habit (your goal) into smaller steps – that is OK, small steps will usually work best. Be Kind to yourself
- MEASURABLE How will you know when you have achieved your goal (new habit)? What will you be doing, and what will other people notice you doing? What will be different? What will you know be doing differently?
- ACHIEVABLE Make sure you new habit, your goal is achievable. Be Kind to yourself. Doing anything less than setting a realistic goal is setting yourself up to fail and compounding negative feelings. Smaller goals are OK – you can then celebrate success when you achieve them.
- REALISTIC AND RESOURCED Do you have the resources to achieve this? Think about what you will need. Is there anything else you could get, any support which would help you.
- TIME LIMITED This is your 30 day challenge. So don’t set a goal which could take several months to achieve. For this challenge, identify a new habit or goal which is not going to need months of work (you might not learn a new language or find a new job in 30 days). Be Kind to yourself and be realistic.
So now you know what you want to do.
As a member you can download my SMART Goals help-sheet from Tools and Resources page.
You can also download an easy 30 day Challenge worksheet to help you from the same section.
If you are not yet a member click here to join.
And then, when you reread this and you have completed 30 days, reflect:
- Decide how the change has made a difference to your life.
- Did you make your way through 30 days
- Is that new helpful habit now embedded
And finally, commit to keeping up that habit – it will become part of you, and second nature. Then, you can start with another small change and another new habit – for the next 30 days.
Small steps that make big differences.
Let me know how you get on