Let’s admit, we have ALL been there: come New Year, spring or a milestone in our lives and here we are, ready to make the big change in our lives. Perhaps we recognise we should finally ditch the junk food, get a grip and get on the newest diet that helped that celebrity like nothing ever before or we get the courage and sign up for the gym with the best intention to be there 5 days a week, nothing less.
And it all starts great, motivation is through the roof, we are smashing it, and yet somehow, every morning it gets just that bit harder to not press the snooze button, you swear cardboard starts to look tastier than another meal from the new diet plan… and, bit by bit, we are back to where we started, only now feeling even more defeated and shaming ourselves for not seeing it through.
So why does this keep happening? We KNOW all the good reasons we should be eating better or exercising more, we UNDERSTAND the importance and how it may improve our lives, yet here we are.
Why do we fail despite our best intentions?
The reason lies in how our subconscious mind perceives those new changes we want to implement. You see, we have evolved to survive, not to be happy, and our brain seeks familiar patterns to keep us safe and alive.
We are fed up with having gone through numerous diets only to gain all the weight back… but we survived! This is a familiar pattern and it is deemed safe to be repeated over and over. Whereas, 5 days in the gym all of the sudden is not familiar at all, our subconscious perceives this as a potential threat.
The sense of fear and discomfort are the first physiological signs that our subconscious has been activated. It almost screams at us, I DON’T WANT TO BE DOING THIS, let’s go back to the way the things were. You are probably thinking, that is exactly what the voice in my head has been telling me. And now we know the reason why.
But how do we make the change to occur?
The secret is in STARTING SMALL. Begin with the changes so tiny that it would not cause any mental resistance from your subconscious whatsoever. Few minutes of exercise at home to begin with or an extra glass of water every day if you have barely had any, will seem way less of a threat to your ‘safe to survive’ patterns. And as this behaviour becomes more and more familiar, doing more of it will be so much easier.
Let’s not forget the sense of achievement and pride in ourselves for sticking to a new routine that will only fuel the motivation going forward.
And trust me, I truly get it, starting small just may not sound exciting. Results do not come as fast, it does not feel life changing or grand enough. But then again, if we look back, how did diving to the deep end work out for us? Not so great, either.
This is what me and my clients focus on working together. Starting small may not get you there as fast as you would like, but it gets you far.
Now, let’s get to the action part, because just knowing or understanding will not get us anywhere. What would be one small thing that you could start today and easily continue for the next 30 days to improve your health? Write it down, make yourself accountable and watch the magic start happen.