January – Time For A Change?


January – traditionally the month where we decide;

‘This Year, things are going to be different’.

Whether it’s the usual, I’m going to lose weight this year, get fit or be more organised, it all starts with making a change to your routines and your habits.

Change; Always sounds easy and in theory it appears to be easy but in reality the statistics show us that by February 87% of New Years Resolutions have already failed.

So what is it about Change that is so difficult?

Partly it’s due to our brains.

We’re hard-wired to keep safe and so any change, be that environmental or physical will result in messages being sent to our Amygdala, which is part of our Emotional Centre in the Limbic System.

Change in our normal habits results in hormonal changes; messages get sent to the brain telling us that something is different. (That’s why we feel pain, discomfort or unease when we’re trying to change a habit.)

These messages result in other hormones, neurotransmitters and chemicals being produced which will then lead to things like, cravings, anxiety, and discomfort in the body. Messages that are telling us to STOP what we are doing as we are in danger!

The good news is that once we become more aware of the ‘feelings’ then we can choose what to do next.

Whilst we can’t override the bodies natural reactions (you may well feel anxious or crave certain substances), just by starting to become conscious of what’s going on in your body, being aware of the feelings, you can accept them and decide how to react to the discomfort.

It’s obvious that if you start exercising (especially if it’s been a long time since you last did), your body is going to ache, you will very likely suffer some muscle pain and discomfort.

Personally, I actually enjoy the feeling when my body is showing me that I’ve worked hard and that I have some stiffness and aching. I’m almost disappointed if I workout and don’t really feel I’ve done anything!

The aches and pains are proving that your body is working, that your muscles are growing stronger, that your heart and lungs are expanding and becoming more efficient and your body is burning off the excess fat.

Surely that’s a positive and something to celebrate?

Over time the aches and pains get less and you can work harder or longer AND of course, you start to look and feel how you have visualised it.

(Just as a side note, you should never experience intense pain, if you do then you must stop.)

With all Change, the trick is also to track how far you’ve come AND to celebrate your achievements. (No matter how small ).

The voices in your head may tell you, this is painful, stop now and then the classic, ‘you’re going to hurt yourself’ but ask yourself is it really true?

If you’ve started a program that’s been designed by a professional or you’re getting advice from someone you trust and you’re taking things at a pace that is sustainable then it’s unlikely you’ll hurt yourself.

You’ll probably do yourself MORE harm by not doing anything….

This is where the second element of change awareness comes in and in my opinion the greatest way of making sure you take action.

If you’ve decided to make a change (and my tip is here is to focus on ONE change only) start by writing down a list of all the positive outcomes that you will have once you have made this change.

When I ……….….. I will feel / look / sound / …………..

Use words that exaggerate and make you feel amazing. If you can picture yourself in your mind or even try drawing it down! that will help immensely!

Then, and this is important, flip it around and look at all the negatives of staying the same.

Make this list really, really detailed. Look at the worst-case scenario, what is the worst that could happen and again exaggerate it.

For Example:

If I don’t lose weight I will become a Type 2 Diabetic which may lead to me having to inject insulin up to 4 times a day. This could then lead on to Glaucoma and me losing my sight and issues with my circulation. If my circulation is poor then it could lead to me being unable to move as well which would then make the circulation worse and I could end up having to live in a wheelchair or even worse having a limb amputated.

Yes I know it sounds dramatic, but if you make your current situation look and feel the worst it could possibly be then you have a much stronger reason for making the change that you want.

If staying the same is ‘OK’ then your drive to change won’t be as strong. When the going gets tough, you’ll talk yourself out of it, as staying as you are is not really that bad after all. If staying the same is awful then you’ll be more motivated.

Write this down and fill in the gaps:

If I don’t …….. then I will feel / look / sound………..and this is what could happen…………..

Remember that Change in life is inevitable and Change in life is your teacher. There will be obstacles and it won’t always be easy but if you understand that your brain is partly responsible for these obstacles it makes it a whole lot easier.

Nothing ever stays the same so embrace change, ALWAYS and Go For It!!

I have a free ‘Changing is Easy Worksheet ‘ that you can download by clicking the link below.  This will help you to focus on that One Thing, keep you focused and allow you to be aware of the obstacles and patterns that may have held you back in the past.


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