Ever tried to change everything at once (only to end up back where you started a short time later)?
Worried about not having enough Willpower?
Here's my thoughts on how to change that.
When we first take action, on a decision to change, we're often filled with determination. There's a fire of motivation within us.
You know how it feels, when you first decide to lose weight or to get fitter or to make a change in your life to strive towards a new skill or a new goal. We get very excited, we're determined, we're fueled up, ready to do anything.
Ever found yourself saying "that I'll do whatever it takes, this time I'm doing it for real. This time is the time I'm going to succeed". Then, after a little bit, you make a mistake. In fact, you make the same mistake that you've probably made many times in the past. And that is, you try and make all of the big changes. We try and do everything at once. And that's understandable. You know, we want it to happen - Now! We want to get it done. We want it, in our past, right? We just want it to be there. The trouble is, we fall into the mistaken belief that the motivation that we feel right now is going to last, that it's going to fuel and sustain those changes for the future. But motivation has a half life. It won't.
Big change requires big willpower. And the trouble is that in a real life, real life willpower waxes and wanes. Life will throw us unexpected events or unforeseen obstacles or other, more urgent seeming priorities might come up.
How often have you tried to do everything? Or get it right? Or be perfect? Only to find yourself getting overwhelmed? How many times have you attempted to do it all and ended up doing nothing? Probably a lot of times. And if you have, I have so much compassion for you. Because I know what that's like. It's what we all do. Certainly what I've done in my past. But it doesn't work.
So if you are joining me live, hello, everyone who is, thank you for commenting in the notes, give me a like, give me a follow up, make sure you have a reaction. And of course, if you're watching on YouTube, that you hit that subscribe button, so you get notified of every new video when it comes out. If you're watching on my website, make sure you subscribe to my mailing list. You'll not only get the video every week, but other hints and tips and ideas as well.
Here's why I don't think we should do that. I don't think that we should set ourselves really big goals and then try to accomplish them overnight. We don't have big change and try and do it straight away. Why we don't try and do everything, take on everything at once. Because every time we do we kind of set ourselves up for failure, right? And we end up reinforcing the mistaken belief that we're no good, that we can't do it. It's too hard. Maybe you found yourself saying things like "it's just not the right time? I'll get around to it. Eventually."
We all know that that never leads us to our results. When we feel like a failure. We feel like we're not good enough. We're putting it off until later, it tends to not actually happen. So how can you minimize this reliance on willpower? How can you take it out of the equation? Or at least mostly out of the equation? My answer, make smaller changes.
I believe that big, long term sustainable change comes from accruing many, many small changes that we can live with no matter what's going on. Let me say that, again. It's very important. Big, long term, sustainable change comes from accruing many, many small, easy, incremental changes you can do, no matter what's going on.
It's such a powerful secret, if you like the Kaizen principle, the idea of continuous quality improvement. But what I like about it, is that if you can ask yourself a really important question that when you decide to change, you can ask "what is the smallest change I can make that moves me towards my goal?", "What's the easiest change right now that I can actually act on?"
Because the easy changes, to getting ourselves into action, is how we produce results. It's how we find out what works and what doesn't. It's how we make progress.
Is there a change. Is there a change you could make that doesn't really rely on what's happening with your willpower? Actually, it's useful to find that change, right, find that change that is so small that you can actually scoff at it. Yeah, I love it when people go, "Brian, of course I can do that."
Okay, good. Do that.
Look for those changes that you can make themno matter what. Even when you don't feel like it, even when you're busy, even when things are crazy. Because doing so, actually taking those actions, will prove to yourself that you can commit to doing. That you can change, no matter what's going on. No matter (was) where your willpower's at... or not.
You can start to create evidence that you can do things that you can say you do. And you start to accrue a stockpile of of that evidence, if you like. To have a history, a legacy, of going "look at all the things I can do, look at all the things I have done."
And I think you'll find that such a much more powerful, empowering place that moves us forward, it helps us build momentum, because it builds on our capacity to succeed, and our capability in the skills that are necessary for success. Because we're trying things out, we're learning. Because sometimes we're failing, sometimes we're falling over, we're finding out what doesn't work. But we're building the strength, we're building the resilience, so that we can go on.
What I love about this whole idea of small incremental change, easy change is that so often, when you set that goal really small, you'll often go on to do more than you thought possible.
So just take a moment to compare that to what happens when you set the goal when you try and strive to be perfect or to do everything. Notice that when we do that we get overwhelmed, we feel like it's too much too, too hard, we end up doing nothing.
So although it can feel like, you know, I hear so many people say that "ah but that little change won't really make a difference". I disagree. Even if that one little thing on its own, does not have an amazing immediate impact on your results, on the weight on the scales, on your fitness level, on your income, whatever is - your goal you're striving for. But doing it, achieving it, getting into action, changes your belief in yourself, changes your momentum. And so in that way, it does have an impact because it leads you to the next thing and the next thing and the next thing
When you make this a habit, you will realize that often you can get things done and achieve your goals. And never have to give willpower a second thought, whether it's there, or it's not. Because you've been smart enough to realize I'm going to set myself actions don't require it didn't require very much. Smart.
So I'd like you today, if you're interested, or if you're in the process of change, to start with the assumption that you will succeed that you can do it no matter what. And start to explore - allow your brain to explore the possibilities of how this might be true for you. Then think about what is the smallest change you could make, to your actions, or even to your thoughts, that proves it. That actually gets you moving towards your goal.
Know that it's possible. Discover the smallest change, get into action. Do this until it becomes your new default habit. Because then you'll know the you're ready to change the next thing, and the next thing and the next thing. Because you're in the habit of showing up for yourself, for acting, no matter what. For getting it done, regardless of the circumstances. And then you'll know how to achieve anything.
I'm really excited to hear what small change you could take action on, right now, today, this week. What is the smallest step that could reinforce your belief in your ability to succeed? I'd love for you to let me know in the comments. Of course if this has been useful, make sure you give me a like, give me a follow. And if you're watching on replay, make sure you type replay in the notes - it lets me know that, that this has been useful, that you've seen it. And of course, please let me know what change you'd like to make.
Now, if you are interested in making big changes at the moment, you're looking at reaching weight loss goals or improving your fitness or health and well being have some great free webinars coming up next week about the three mental breakthroughs that you need to achieve your goal, to sustain it, to live your life at goal. It's powerful stuff and it's free. So look out, I'll be posting the links on the Facebook page here, and I'll put them down below for the webinar registration page. I'd love to see you there.
And I'd love to help you to continue this conversation. To help you achieve your goals. I'll leave you with a little quote from named Callaway who says "Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life."
I love to see you make that true for you.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
After losing my 50 kg I've made it my mission to help others transform their minds, overcome emotional eating and create the life they want to be living.