How To Create Sustainable Change


Further develop that goal by asking yourself, “What do I want to see, feel, or experience as a result?” Typically, goals are bigger than the goals themselves. It isn’t really just about the weight loss, but about what the weight loss allows you to see, feel, or experience.

Courtesy of Le Vy

The best way to create change in your life is to create change in your life. But, how do you create sustainable change? Here, I will offer five ways you may not only create some change in your life, but have it be sustainable.

Seize The Gaps.

When merging into freeway traffic, it is the job of the one merging to get up to speed, seize the gap, and then zipper-merge into traffic. The driver merging on to the freeway changes to meet the flow of traffic.

Similarly, in order to create change in your life, you must seize the gaps between where you are and where you want to be. You seize these gaps by defining them. You might decide you want to lose weight. That’s great, but that goal isn’t defined. Define what you weigh now and what you would like to weigh on a future date.

Create Goals.

Create goals that align with where you want to be, and then create a plan. You might define your weight loss goal as losing 40 pounds over the next year. This goal is defined, and has a time limit, which is a good start.

Further develop that goal by asking yourself, “What do I want to see, feel, or experience as a result?” Typically, goals are bigger than the goals themselves. Weight loss often means having more energy, more confidence, and more quality time with friends and family.

You will likely need to define some action steps that support this goal as well. In a weight loss goal, this is likely going to include following a diet plan and exercising regularly. To get even more specific, you might define a calorie budget and get a gym membership, ensuring you visit that gym regularly, of course.

Develop Habits And Routines.

As previously stated, a goal is best carried out with an idea of what the goal represents, and an action plan. The action plan of eating less and exercising will require not only some specificity, but some commitment to habits and routines. Eating meals regularly, good sleep hygiene, and frequent exercise is a good start. In fact, The Department of Health and Human Services recommends about 150 minutes of exercise per week for adults, so make a plan and get moving!

Give Yourself Permission.

You will fail. You will decide you are going to eat 1500 calories per day and exercise on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Then, someone in your family will have a birthday, and only pizza and cake will be served at the party. Of course, you could work to control portions and still enjoy yourself, but you’re human. And pizza is, well… pizza. And if it’s ice cream cake, well, let’s face it, you were probably screwed going into this.

Give yourself permission to fail. But don’t make failing a habit. Giving yourself permission to be in progress gives you room to learn from failures, rather than feel guilty and dwell on the fact that you ate the whole face off of a Pikachu ice cream cake.

Celebrate Progress.

No matter how incremental, celebrate your progress. If there is a birthday party next month, and if you’re invited, there is likely going to be pizza. And cake. Again. But suppose you eat one slice of pizza and a half of piece of cake this time? That’s progress!

Change.

Seize the gap of where you are and where you want to be by defining that gap. Create goals. Develop an action plan that is supported by habits and routines. Give yourself permission to be in progress and learn from your failures. And lastly, celebrate progress, no matter how incremental it might be.