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How to make lasting change.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Good morning! First of all I'd like to say, Do you have any idea how awesome I am?? I am SO resourceful. Before I joined the Gym, I had found 15 or so classes I could attend, most of them FREE - here in Christchurch and I know if I can't afford the Gym next year, I'll still have every chance to succeed. And! I did something very cool today! I found a WICKED article on how to change ourselves. It's the best I've ever read on it.

I'm gonna paraphrase it but I recommend reading the whole thing. especially the part about Making change Positive.. here is the link

(It's two pages)

How to change:
1) Divide and Conquer! Dividing each part up increases the probability of success.
For example lets say the goal is to start cooking healthy meals.
You'd need a food shop day, meal planning , mass cooking , lots of recipes, a way to calculate those recipes into the calorie requirements.. There are lots of parts.

2)Make it SAFE. change is scary so we must make it safe. evaluate the consequences of not cooking healthy food (high cost, poor health) and the consequence of the new change (good health, savings $, self worth).
Let those around you who will be affected know about it and gain their support, they wont do so unless asked. and make the goal REALISTIC. eg, I will cook healthy every night from now on, is not realistic.. making it grand = making grand failures.

3) Make it POSITIVE. There are three types of motivation, intrinsic (enjoying the act of cooking) Extrinsic: admire the outcome (take a photo of your pretty cooked meal) and Extraneous: a reward system (put 5$ into the "new cookbook" savings fund for 3 meals made) as an example.

4) Make it Easy. Studies show when a goal is broken into 5 sequential smaller steps, success occurs. Make it simple and free of complication. Prepare for problems to come up and adapt. For example, I decided to make the recipes a thing on it's own and I made a recipe book for it and made it beautiful and inspiring, I didn't prepare for my printer breaking down. and now the goal is paused. a way to adapt, is to put colour ink into Kelvin's printer so I have a backup.

5) Make it Slow. You must allow time for the task to become automatic (which is a min of 21 days) Make the task calm, focus solely on it, e.g. not too much noise or interuptions. and appreciate every part of the new behaviour. E.g. say to yourself "I value Taking care of myself and my health and I appreciate that I can do that"

6) Analyze. Monitor new behavior with a daily journal, (eg, How often you are cooking a meal, why you didn't achieve task or did). Request feedback, eg ask your partner or friend to compliment you achieving a goal of cooking a meal. You would possibly be tempted to ask them if the meal was okay, but that would break the goal of making the change positive, so I would suggest only positive / supportive feedback on the result, And instead "honest"feedback on how often you are cooking, or researching recipes etc. (whatever part you've asked them to help you with)

7) Build Structure. Success isn't possible without it. Review all the tasks and activities of the new goal, and find out what's helpful/neutral/unhelpful, eliminate the unhelpful and make the neutral positive. Review the changes daily, and make sure the tasks are sequentially logical and have enough time and energy to do them eg.You need the proper amount of time to plan the meals and shopping list for the week, and not to rush it.

8) Practice. To make it an automatic behaviour, ask for peoples help such as reminding you. and practice in different environments, such as on holiday, and unable to use spices.

9) Protect the new behaviour. It's new and easy to forget! so use memory aids such as a poster or a text reminder, control the environment to achieve the best result

10) Celebrate Small Successes. Map your successes in a journal. Focus on the next step rather than the big picture. e.g. I made 3 meals this week! woohoo! can I make 4 next week? Reward each step such as putting $$ into an account for travel.

(I think a couple ideas of these repeat,. but in short.. Set it all up, keep a journal, make it enjoyable inside, at the end of the event,(like a vision board) and with a reward, list all the tasks and activities involved in it and see what works, what doesnt, and change approach.. give it a long time and only move step by step until it's become automatic).
I recently watched a documentary on being overweight, and a girl that lost 60 pounds, discovered that making small changes was the only way to get it done.. for her first week her only goal was to get up. get dressed. drive to the gym.
Once done so, she'd drive home. the next week was to add a 5 min walk on the treadmill. And on and on it went until she worked out 2 hours a day... heh.

Yay. I've learnt a lot from reading this article, Hope you do too and break it down and apply it :D

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