How to Permanently Change Your Life For the Better

Transform Your Habits: How to Change Your Life for the Better

 

Most of our habits are operating beneath our conscious awareness. As we grow up, we develop patterns of relating to the world which help us to function well. But as we get older, our habits often remain the same, and begin to cause stress in our lives.  So, if you want to know how to change your life for the better, then this is a good place to start.

 

Want to change your life for the better? Here's how...

1 - Set a clear objective.

It's surprising how often we can decide to change something in our life, but don't ever really sit and think about it, or know how to reach our destination.

For example, it’s just too vague to tell yourself that you want to eat less. What does that mean? How many calories is that? What is the breakdown of macronutrients? How often are you going to eat?

It’s important to be specific. If you remain vague about what is not working well, and do not define precisely what needs to change, then you are unlikely to improve your life.

Creating change requires precision insight and a defined path from your current way of being to how you want your life to be. You cannot change what you do not acknowledge. The more precisely you can achieve this level of insight, then the greater your likelihood of success.

So, in the case of improving your diet, a few specific examples might include:

Eat fewer than 2,000 calories per day. Drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. Eat five whole fruits each day- apples, bananas, oranges, or berries for snacks.

You might also want to address any emotional habits which are contributing to your eating patterns. For example, you could sit down and work out why you have a tendency to eat if you feel sad, to identify any emotional triggers, and to create a plan for how you will respond to these instead.

The idea is to be as in-depth as you can, to set timeframes, clear goals, and to follow these through.

 

2 - Be consistent

You can’t create a new habit with a single effort. You haven’t quit smoking because you refused your urge one time. You don’t improve your cardiovascular fitness just because you’ve been to the gym once. Repeating a behaviour over and over again is necessary if you’re going to make a lasting change. It has to become a new habit.

The less time and effort you put in toward your new goal, the more likely you are to have a relapse and return to your old habits. So, remember that consistency is important.

 

3 - Reward yourself for long-term success.

New habits are more likely to last if there’s a reward for doing it. There has to be something to get you through the short-term discomfort of change.

Consider most healthy habits, such as incorporating exercise into your weekly schedule. Perhaps going to the gym, or taking a daily walk.  Avoiding the activity is actually rewarding in the short term - you get to sit on the sofa in a nice warm house.  But not exercising is harmful to your long-term wellbeing.

Giving yourself an immediate reward for exercising can help to consolidate this healthy practice into your everyday life, before you actually experience the long-term benefits. Just make sure that the reward is not counter-productive to your goals.

 

4 - Start small.

Each New Year, many people set personal goals which will change their life for the better. But for most, even a few weeks later, these are a distant memory.

One of the main reasons that people fail to reach these goals is that they set unrealistic expectations of themselves. So they focus on the final long-term outcome that they want to achieve, instead of focusing on small and consistent steps, which is more likely to be successful.

If we take meditation as an example of a practice you want to integrate into your life... Perhaps you want to eventually meditate for one hour each day.

If you try to have long sessions of one hour at a time from the outset, it will be more difficult to fit into your life, making it less likely to be achieved. This length of time also requires a higher level of willpower to sustain as a long-term practice. You are less likely to find success in creating a new habit than if you start small, and meditate for just five minutes every day, building the time up gradually as you become accustomed to it.

It's also important to focus on just one thing at a time to prevent overwhelm, otherwise you will be running into similar problems.

 

5 - Track your progress.

See how many days you can perform your new healthy habit in a row. Keep track of your results - the weight you lose, money you save, pages you read, or minutes that you meditate for. Something tangible for you to see your progress.

Also, make sure that you also track the wellbeing benefits you notice as a result of changing your habits. The less tangible, but ultimately more important aspects of change. Like dealing more easily with a stressor, or feeling more confident in a new social situation. After all, these feelings are the real underlying motivation for changing your life for the better.

 

6 - Be persistent.

There will be plenty of bumps in the road. It’s imperative to stay the course for as long as it takes. Regardless of how many setbacks you endure along the way, you simply must keep trying. How could you possibly fail in the long-term if you never gave up?

View obstacles as opportunities - a chance to show how resilient you can be, and how determined you are to make this new habit a part of your life.

Create an action plan for dealing with any obstacles that you  may encounter, so that you are more prepared, and less likely to revert to previous ways of dealing with the problem. Get support from friends or family for times when you might be feeling low.

 

Moving forward...

Remember that if you want to change your life for the better, you will need to apply consistent action in the direction that you want to go.  In order to do this, you first need to set clear goals and objectives.

Here's the challenge... Many of our habits operate on a subconscious level. So they are effectively invisible to us. To get through this hurdle, get a practitioner to help you recognise the beliefs, habits, emotional triggers, and responses, which are keeping you stuck. It will save you a lot of time, energy, and stress.

Then, simply be consistent in your approach to change, until you have a life which you love...