Why is Change So HARD?
Why is it so hard to change a habit, especially at 50 plus?
It should be so simple.
We have all this knowledge. We have all this life experience.
We have the internet to tell us the HOW in so anyways! We can research anything, there is an app for everything to track progress, and there is knowledge everywhere. Yet we struggle.
We all have our own reasons that we resist change.
Telling ourselves it is so, makes it all the more true. There is more to change than this, but change does really start in the mind. Your mindset is everything.
I told myself so many things, that I believed were true. I told myself so many negative things, that I believed about myself.
They just weren’t true.
I bet they’re not true for you either.
Who are you on the road to change?
An “I can do this person”?
Or a “No Way, that’s not gonna happen”person
Whatever you tell yourself, you will be.
That’s just one piece of the 1000 part jigsaw puzzle of change. I’m not telling you this to discourage you. I want you to be successful. Sometimes we need someone to acknowledge that change feels uphill, that’s for sure.
Look, we sprinkle our eating with guilt. This is why Mindful eating is so hard for some to grasp.
It was created to diminish this guilt struggle with food. We aren’t used to that. ESPECIALLY if you’ve been exposed to the diet mentality for years like me.
We’re trained to want to change our body.
We wait for January to come and we are ready and primed to get back on the change wagon, only to find ourselves struggling 3 or 4 weeks in.
When we look at change in general, what happens when change doesn’t come easy?
Maybe you just weren’t ready.
Change takes a bit of decision and prep. If you’re not ready, that’s ok. You CAN ready yourself for change.
You have heard that change takes conscious decision and consistent effort. There’s all sorts of planners, and advice on how to structure your day, what to eat, how to meal plan … right?
Yes we need planning.
I encourage people who want to attempt to quit smoking, to create a quit plan. In this plan, they may set a date to quit, and prepare for that day by getting rid of smoking items in the car, or home. They may tell all their friends and family that they are attempting to quit and want some accountability.
Being ready is the first thing on the road to changing. In the book, Changing to Thrive, by James and Janet Prochaska, the authors use the Stages of Change to help you evaluate where you are at and MOVE you to a place of readiness and action.
Try to think of and write down all the things that you think will propel you forward. They don’t have to be perfect. They have to be uniquely you.
2. You are scared.
Change is scary. Thinking about eating Mindfully or Intuitively brings up all kinds of fears that lurk deep inside of us. I won’t be able to stop eating XYZ food.
Your brain works hard to keep you safe and protected. Sometimes we listen. Sometimes we don't, and this is where we get scared.
Scared? Try this:
Journal out your fears. Seeing them out in the open can help you sort them out.
Talk to friends, the ones who have your back.
Find a friend, counsellor or coach that can help you strategize toward moving past those fears.
Look at your beliefs. What do you believe about yourself?
3. You don't believe you can “do it”.
We buy into old stories that tell us who we are. Even if they're not accurate. I love my mom, but I could never own any accomplishment exclusively. I loved art in my early years. If I drew something magnificent, I'd hear, "You got that talent from me." She was a talented creative, who had to let go of her passions for many reasons and she was resentful. Life was hard for my mom.
What I got out of this inner critic message was:
“No matter what, whatever you accomplish, it will never be good enough, because you cannot take the credit for it. You don’t own it, you are not enough on your own”
I spent way too long second guessing myself due to this belief, and making choices based on others opinions!
Take a moment and take a few deep breaths.
What are you telling yourself about your own abilities? Write them down, and create a new belief.
WRITE THAT NEW BELIEF OUT. Just be sure that you actually BUY IN to the new belief. If you don't, feel it baby, it won’t work.
4. You made it too hard for yourself.
If change was a snap, none of us would be buying all the books out there, promising some kind of transformation come January!
Change comes two steps forward and one step back. This process just doesn't follow our worlds QUICK FIX mentality of wanting the change NOW. This is another reason that people find Mindful Eating hard. We are trained to want a quick fix, and a fix that tells us what to do instead. We don’t believe we can guide ourselves.
We also believe we are failures when we cant stick to the plan. Mindful Eating isn’t a plan. It’s a way of being around food and a way to make conscious choices that honour what you want, and let you have it without feeling guilt.
5. You have no emotional tie.
Connecting the dots with how you want to FEEL, and creating a deep emotional tie, can be a profound basis for change.
One of my most memorable emotion moments was imagining how my family would be, if I had died. I was in a workshop with a husband and wife speaker team, and they had us doing this profound visualization exercise. Morbid? Maybe.
But it created a real emotional tie to who I wanted to be, and helped me remember why I wanted to be this person in the first place.
Try a visualization exercise and write that stuff down.
ACCEPT WHERE YOU ARE AT.
Do a little Self-check. Do I want to change for me or for someone else?
Be realistic. Most of us can’t change everything overnight. Well, and have it be lasting.
Becoming AWARE of yourself, your beliefs and what you CAN do, (not what you THINK you can’t) is a fantastic foundation too making some changes in your life. I use my Mindful Eating Miniseries to explain this.
It all starts inside. It starts with awareness and is fuelled by emotion.
Above all, weave some fun into your change process.
And for goodness sake, please recognize that there ARE some bumps on the road, and the bumps are NORMAL.
YOU ARE NORMAL.
YOUR BODY IS A BLESSING.
YOU ARE RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE.
Maybe you want to be in my Conscious Community of women, looking for a more holistic menopause?
We build our Menopause, long before the pause hits us.
Be well, and be HAPPY.