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The Healthy Edge
What is the hardest part about making positive changes? For many it is the daunting task of knowing just where to start and what steps to take. For many this lack of clarity in making positive life changes can lead to a paralysis of indecision. So, with that problem in mind, I would like to offer you some encouragement and ideas to help solve it and help you make more lasting positive changes in your life.
When we talk about making positive life changes we are usually talking about forming new habits or breaking old ones. The removal of a destructive habit or the start of a productive habit are both positive life changes, but to say that either is easy would be naïve. Researchers have shown that it can take 70 days on average to start a new habit. The understanding that change often comes slowly is important.
Another great technique for change that applies to all areas of life is found in the book The Slight Edge. The book makes it very clear that there is great power and success in doing something small on a regular/daily basis that moves you towards your desired outcome. This applies to everything, from relationships with others, to financial goals, to improving your health. What small change can you make today?
Another approach that I have found clinically very useful is adding something to what you are doing versus taking something away. This works great in diet modification. Example: You are trying to eat a healthier diet but are hooked on chips and chocolate. The easiest modification is not to take away the chips and chocolate that your body thinks it cannot live without, but rather add something that will have a positive health effect (a carrot). Once you have established the new positive habit, you can then start to remove the chips… save the chocolate for later.
The last step that will add fuel to your fire of making positive changes is taking time to reflect on the progress that you’ve made. Success breeds more success, so celebrate any wins, as big or small as they might be.
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