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How to take the overwhelm out of change

12 April, 2022

Are you feeling overwhelmed before starting a big change in your life? 

It’s common to feel motivated after deciding you’re going to start a goal, and it’s even more common to feel stuck on taking that first step. I’m coming from personal experience and helping my coaching clients overcome this hurdle.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you keep running over in your head that you’re going to change your lifestyle, and it starts tomorrow! Then, tomorrow comes, and for one reason or another, you don’t start and then declare, ‘I’ll start Monday!’ Then Monday comes around, and you have no idea what to do to make the changes you’re trying to achieve? Followed by the fleeting thoughts of ‘what’s the point? I’ll never stick to it anyway…’ completely reconfirming your belief that there’s no point in starting as you’ll most properly fail? 

I’m here to tell you – this is normal and natural! As a human being, it’s natural to avoid hard things and to sway towards what’s easy – it’s how we’ve done things since caveman years. So, what we want to do is to make the lifestyle change feel easy. We need to take the overwhelm out of change, so it doesn’t feel so hard to do. 

I’m sharing 4 suggestions from my coaching toolkit to help you take the overwhelm out of changing your lifestyle so you can start today: 

1. Get super specific on what you’re trying to change 

Vague goals lead to vague actions, whereas clarity with what we want to change helps us see the steps to take. To help you get clear, I suggest writing down exactly what you want in the particular area of your life you want to see a positive change. Then, if you can claim it by articulating what you want, you can claim it!

2. Make sure you’re focusing on one priority at a time.

You might want to change everything all at once, but trust me when I say this, trying to do it all at once will not lead you to the success you want. The all-in approach leads to a couple of days, sometimes weeks of progress until the one unexpected thing happens in life, and then all the work, action, and motivation stops. 

Starting with your number one priority helps you stay focused on what’s important. It relieves the pressure of changing everything all at once and allows you the headspace to process what you are doing, meaning you can see what is working and what is not throughout the process without needing to fall off the wagon completely. 

3. Reduce to the ridiculous 

‘Reduce to the ridiculous,’ a term coined by John Assaraf, a leading behavioural and mindset expert. He states that taking micro-steps – think, the smallest step you can take towards your goal – will lead you closer to the positive change you want in your life. I agree. This approach helps you stop bad habits and ingrain new good habits and routines easily that, over time, will positively transform your life. 

4. Accept you’ll fail ( life isn’t perfect, including you)

It’s inevitable that things will not always go to plan, that you will fail along the way to changing your life (in whatever area of life you’re focusing on!) As there is no way around this, take control and accept that it will happen, and be prepared for when it happens. Start by writing down potential barriers and challenges you can envision and reword these as problems you can solve!

For example

GOAL: I will exercise 5 times a week.

Barrier: Time.

Problem: If meetings run over at work, I’ll miss the gym classes I have planned to attend.

Solution: When meetings overrun, I will go to the local park and go for a run instead.

It’s easy to fall into the mindset trap of ‘if I can’t do it the way it ‘should’ be done, or ‘if I can do it perfectly, there is no point in even starting.’ By taking out the pressure of doing it all, you will be able to start making positive changes in your life. Most success in life comes from consistent small steps over a long period. So use the points above and start positively changing your life today.

 

1-2-1 coaching is ideal when making a change in your life

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