Last week I invited each of you to ponder your relationship to abundance and/or scarcity and make a commitment to making one change in your habits every month.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll continue the discussion with a focus on the challenge of making our changes stick and to support you in being successful with the new habits that you are committing to.
Many, of us including myself, have lost faith in ourselves to make long-term, lasting changes due to the number of failed attempts at forming new habits.
As you take this journey, I would love to hear from you about what is working for you in making your commitments to change stick.
This is part 1 of the 3-part series on Making Change Stick by Diana Gabriel, Certified Strengths Strategy Coach.Why aren’t more people successful when we know more than ever before about how to make or break habits? Click To Tweet
When was the last time you promised yourself you’d make some changes, maybe breaking a habit or making a new one? How long did those changes last? So, you know how difficult it is to make change stick.
Changing habits can be one of the more challenging things to do. Once you commit to making changes in your daily language, in your saving habits, in your giving habits, in what you horde, in your relationship to the greater world’s needs or to lose weight, quit smoking, get fit, or do anything differently from your current status quo, it takes a lot of focused effort and persistence before your changes become a habit. Anyone who tells you it takes just 30 days to acquire a new habit doesn’t understand the depth of human nature.
Many of those who have been successful at making major lifestyle changes report that it rarely comes as steady upward progress. Instead, it’s often two steps forward and one back, with intermittent relapses, surges of resolve, and a lot of learning along the way. There are a few people with certain strengths like discipline or consistency that find it easier to stick to their commitments but they certainly are not the majority of us.
For example, one has only to look at the obesity problem in the US and other affluent countries to see how hard it is to make behavioral changes that stick. Despite growing evidence that being overweight contributes to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and premature aging, people struggle to lose weight, start exercising, and choose a healthy diet. The obesity rates are not getting better, they’re getting worse.
And yet we know more about how to make or break habits than ever before. Behavioral scientists have conducted extensive research into how people make lasting changes. So, why aren’t more people successful?
Knowing Isn’t Enough
“If you want to make a change you need to know why you’re making the change―but for that change to really last you need more than knowledge. When it comes to change, our minds don’t work rationally.”— The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer, Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn and Dr. Elissa Epel, Grand Central Publishing, 2017