Sitting on the couch is comfortable. Going through the drive thru to pick up dinner is comfortable. But when you notice that you’re out-of-shape, tired, sick and your clothes no longer fit, you realize that what makes you comfortable is not in align with what would make you happy.
You want to see something different when you look in the mirror. You want to fit into a certain size of jeans or just experience your day with more energy and excitement. The current condition of your life causes you pain, be it physical, mental or emotional. To escape the pain you are feeling, you know that you need to make changes to your habits that keep you stuck in your current state. But why is it so hard to make the changes you know that will help you achieve what you want?
I want to lose weight but….
I want a six pack but…
I want more energy but….
The statement that follow’s the “but” is often a situation or habit you are comfortable with. You want to lose weight but don’t have time to cook healthy meals. So it’s much more comfortable to go through the drive thru instead of trying some new recipes. New habits often require a learning curve and a bit of extra time in the beginning. It also takes courage and energy to establish new routines or seek out help.
Setting out to achieve your goals requires change. Making changes to establish new habits that support your goals and dreams can be uncomfortable. Life, as you know it, will be different. Knowing that fact can be scary, but so can staying in your current condition. So I’m asking you to take a risk and get uncomfortable so that you can achieve your goals.
Realize that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit. I believe it takes triple that amount of time to really make a new habit stick for the long haul. So for 21 days, you’ll experience some discomfort while you make changes to your old routine and habits. Depending on what you are changing, discomfort could mean feeling tired, moody, or even withdrawal symptoms. However, the longer you stick to your new habits the less uncomfortable you start to feel. The first week is always the worst, but then it gets easier.
Making it through the uncomfortable times requires staying focused on your goals and not caving to your immediate feelings or desires. I encourage clients to focus on why their goals important to them. This reason or burning desire to change will help when old habits, cravings, or situations call you back to your old ways.
Use a tracking and a reward system to stay on track. Grab a calendar, journal or index card to check off or note your daily successes. Shoot for consistency and not perfection when trying to make changes. I encourage my clients to use the 90/10 principle of change and apply that to their goal tracking system. New clothes, a massage, or a day me-retreat are just a few examples of rewards you can use to sticking to your tracking system. Pick something that really gets you excited.
Getting support system in place can help you feel more comfortable with being uncomfortable. Hiring a coach, joining an online support group, or recruiting family and friends can be very helpful when making big changes. With a support system in place you are not alone in your discomfort. You’re network is there for you to reach out for help, knowledge, accountabolity or camaraderie when you feel frustrated and isolated.
I’ve helped hundreds of people change their bodies, health and lives of the eleven years I’ve worked as a trainer and coach. I know it’s hard, but I also know that if they can do it, so can you. You just need to step outside of your comfort zone and take a risk. Don’t let fear create uncomfortable feelings that keep you stuck in your old ways. Take that first step and enjoy the journey of reaching your goals and dreams.