Kimberly Englot sheds light on why we have difficulty making changes in our lives, plus actionable steps for creating the happy we desire.
Today I am so excited to welcome my first guest blogger, Kimberly Englot. I asked her to shed some light on why we have difficulty making the changes we want in our lives. So many of you have shared the desire to finally get your homes organized and decorated beautifully, yet there’s something that always seems to get in the way.
Is it really about time and money or does it go a little deeper?
Why Do Things Never Change?
Consider this: You intended to start a new lifestyle regime 10 months ago on January 1, 2011. You were going to lose the last 10 lbs, switch to vegetarian, and train for a ½ marathon. You were going to ride in a hot air balloon, go on a romantic vacation with your husband, and learn to play the violin. Yes, on January 2, life was looking good. You had stayed on course a full two days with your zumba and running and you found a nice vegetarian cookbook. You were only watching 30 minutes of tv a night, reading more, journaling and flossing your teeth. You even found time to clean out your closet and toss the Cosmo magazines circa 1998. Life was good and you were on the right track!
Face it. You have good intentions, but somewhere between January 2 and October, you completely lost your enthusiasm and failed to keep up with even one goal!
You still haven’t lost 10lbs (in fact, you’ve gained 2). You still eat meat 5 times a week, you never exercise, didn’t go for a hot air balloon ride and it still sounds like cats fighting when you play the violin. So what happened?
Two things will stop good intentions EVERY TIME:
1) It’s not that bad.
When things get hard, it is so much easier to settle back into the comfortable routine and think to yourself, ‘Well, I don’t really need to lose weight. There are people worse off than me.’ Or ‘You know, I don’t really want to run a marathon, that’s just something on everyone’s bucket list.’
And that gives you automatic permission NOT to change a thing because you’re already gloriously happy, just as you are.
Except you’re not. It’s your brain tricking you into think that you are.
I’m not arguing against being happy where you are, totally the opposite! If you are truly, 100% happy at your current weight, fitness level and musical ability then you do not need to change a thing. But don’t fake it and use it as an excuse to remain the same, because that definitely won’t make you happy.
2) Inertia: what got you here will not get you there.
I know that most people think there is an innate drive for success and happiness. This is a total lie. There is only an innate drive for ‘more of the same.’ It’s a matter of high school physics: An object in motion remains in motion unless another object interjects.
You will not lose 10 lbs or learn to play the violin by thinking about how much you want it. You have to fight the inertia and take action. The same is true with every goal. If you want to make more money, you have to do something different. If you want a better relationship with your spouse you have to do something different. If you want a beautiful, organized home you must do something different!
What got you here, will not get you there. You have to take purposeful, strategic action to change your life. Consider this happiness flow chart.
So how to battle the desire for comfort and ‘the same’, and actually create the happy life you really want?
- Get Honest. Create a life plan. Is this something you really want? Or is it an obligation or expectation from someone else? Once you’re honest it is much easier to take goals seriously.
- Create a plan. Pick the easiest goal on your list and break it down. This will inspire you to keep going because achieving it will be relatively easy and pain free.
For example, don’t make climbing Everest your first goal. Make your first goal to walk for 30 minutes a day for the next 5 days. That’s it. Fairly simple. Stress free. No scary long-term commitment that will freak out your brain and cause it to reset you to “comfortable.” Then set a new goal, maybe you walk another 5 days. Maybe you sign up for a 6 week zumba class. Maybe you give up red meat one day a week.
Slow, baby steps will change your inertia AND expand your comfort zone.
It’s easy to set goals, but the secret to happiness and success is to actually complete them!
©2011. Kimberly Englot
Kimberly Englot is the President & Founder of The Center for Authentic Self Development and author of “The NOW of Happiness: Your Official Happiness Formula” and the Amazon Best Seller “Success Rituals 2.0: winning habits of highly successful women, how she does it and how you can too.” She works with women & heart-centered entrepreneurs who are willing to say ‘Yes’ to happiness and success, and ‘No’ to excuses. With a B.A. in Psychology and a background in counselling, she pulls from many areas of expertise to design the perfect program for her clients and delivers results. When you work with Kimberly, you see every area of your life improve.
After reading Kimberly’s article submission I noticed that I had a little more pep in my step over the weekend. We finally hung the train rack in our bathroom that’s been sitting in the garage for a month and adjusted the shelves in my office. Both seemed like simple tasks, but something got in the way of completing them.
Crossing them off “the list” did so much to lift our spirits, that we cleaned out the master bedroom closet the next day and took 2 garbage bags to charity.
What are you going to do this week that you have been putting off?
Wishing you the best,