the challenge of changing behavior

written by Erica Quam

Last week, we talked about changing thoughts about scarcity.  A real shift in mindset can require a change in your thoughts, PLUS your behaviors & emotions. So, let’s look at part two...behavior.  

How to change a behavior

Have you ever started in on a new workout routine? You start out all gung ho, you begin feeling better and experiencing some of the benefits. Just when you think you’re on a roll, BAM! ’Something’ comes up and you don’t get your workout in OR you are too tired and you decide not to do it. 

The following day gets harder. Instead of doing something small - like going for a short run, stretching out, or getting in your sit-ups - you don’t do anything. You sleep in instead. By the next day, you’re just done. You’re officially off track and not getting back on. After all, it’s all or nothing - there’s no in between. You must do it right, or you just won’t do anything at all.

Does that sound familiar at all to you?

The locked gate and the key

What tends to help me - in these situations - is a visualization of a locked gate and a key.

Let’s review using that visualization. You were walking down a path, and moving forward in the direction you wanted to go. You had some momentum. And all the sudden, you run into a gate that’s locked (an obstacle).

The first step to get through the gate is awareness. Realizing that you have certain tendencies or habits that you have adopted that hold you back from living the life that you want…that you deserve!

What tends to happen to so many of us, is that once we are aware, instead of trying to find the key, we see the locked gate and just turn around and head back in the opposite direction. Then the snarky voice chimes in and says, “it wasn’t worth going through that gate anyway.”

It's the perfectionism that tells us that we have to do it right. That we have to take the right step or perfect action. 

One small step

The reality is, to keep moving forward, all it takes is one small step. That’s it. That’s the key!  Once you do, give yourself a high five or a pat on the back. Acknowledge the forward progress.

Accept that you won't do it perfectly. You won't always do it right. You don't have to make a total change. You don't have to have it all figured out.

Instead of allowing one obstacle to completely block your path and lead you into a downward spiral, take one positive action. Take one positive step. That one step…is enough.

What behavior holds you back? What one step will move you forward? I'd love to know what it is for you. Share your comments below.