We've all been there. Fed up with the current state, visualizing the new you, maybe even takng a few baby steps. A new body, cleaner desk, healthier habits, more savings, etc. The first two weeks or so you are chugging along just fine and you wonder why you didn't do it earlier. Then, a hurdle or distraction appears. Usually, it's a relatively small one - visitor from out of town, unexpected repair, business trip, family obligation - you get the picture. But it is enough to disrupt your flow or discipline and before you know it, you've lost your steam and your resolution is goes off the rails.
The odd thing is we all already have plenty of experience with successes and failures in this area. But what distinguishes between them? The other day I came across a helpful formula for change that offers an insightful perspective.
On one side of the equation is a) dissastisfaction with the current state, b) visualization of the desired state, and c) first steps toward the goal. On the other side is d) the resistance or pain involved with making the change. Meaningful and sustained change happens when a) x b) x c) continue to be greater than d). The thing is, most people focus on the change/goal side and not the pain side.
When we better prepare for the inevitable resistance or pain, we have a greater chance for success. Prepare means having plans to counter the resistance, which is often predictable. So if lack of time to practice may become a problem, block off and commit to x minutes a week or have a contingency plan for busy days. Or if you know you have a vacation coming up that will disrupt your exercise schedule, adjust for this by staying at a place with a free gym. If stress will trigger a setback, how can you plan to defuse the stress through healthier alternatives?
Finally, you already have the best tool for this - your experiences. Think about how you have dealt with making changes in the past. What works? What doesn't? What has derailed you in the past? How did you overcome obstacles to succeed? Taking some time to reflect on the past will give you great fuel for your current endeavors.
Check out the link to the Forbes article and happy transformations for 2015, EZPZ style!