Are you trying to make positive changes in your life? When we want to do something differently, say, to stop smoking, curb our temper or exercise more frequently, we often start with enthusiasm. But habits are hard to change. After an initial burst of energy, it’s easy to fall back into old patterns of behavior.
What we too frequently ignore when we try to make changes is what is happening around us that either enhances motivation or encourages us to slip back into the status quo.
When you are trying to make changes, what happens as soon as you act in a particular way has an impact on whether you will stick it out. Say, for example, you’d like to exercise more often. We all know the long-term benefits of exercise, but what happens as soon as you make the decision to exercise?
Do you have to pull yourself away from the TV or out of bed? Do you think about what you’re missing by exercising (lunch with friends or quiet time to yourself in the evening)? Does someone in your life encourage you to skip it, just this once?
By CHRISTY MATTA, MA at PsychCentral