Ch-ch-ch-changes. When it comes to changing your ways, being prepared and weighing up the pros and cons could be the answer to staying motivated.
Consider this for a minute. If we had major surgery planned, we’d plan ahead. We’d arrange to have the support of our friends and family, we’d mentally prepare for the challenge, we’d choose a time, if we could, when nothing else would get in the way.
Why not give just as much attention to changing our habits, changing our behaviours, given the impact change can have on our mental, physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing?
Start by asking yourself a few questions to help you find your feet.
- Why do you want to make some changes to your lifestyle/habits?
- Is there anything getting in the way of you being able to change?
- Do you have any ideas about how you could overcome these barriers?
- What are some things that could help you make this change? What’s helped in the past?
Write a list of the pros and cons to making the change. Seeing the list of potential benefits next to the cost of staying the same can really help boost your motivation if you’ve been lacking that drive to start.
Let’s take an example. Say you want to kick your daily biscuit/chocolate/afternoon slump snack habit (listen, we’ve all been there!) because you know its impacting your weight and harming your health. Let’s consider the pros and cons of changing vs staying the same.
If I stay the same, eating a pack of biscuits a day:
Pro: I’ll continue to enjoy the treat I love so much
Con: I’ll keep gaining weight
If I change, and eat less biscuits:
Pro: I’ll feel more in control of my eating habits
Con: I might feel deprived
Looking at things in this way can really help us see how the changes we make can lead to the results we want. You might even find it easier to push through any barriers standing in the way of you making a change.
So before you commit to change, prepare! Gather as much information as you can about what you want to change and why. Write a list of pros and cons for the change. Consider your motivations.
In practical terms, here’s some things you could do to prepare. Stock up on foods that might make eating well easier. Enlist the help of friends and family. Get a good pair of trainers if you want to start running or walking more. Make a plan for what you’ll do if life gets in the way and your plans go off track. Preparing can be invaluable when it comes to succeeding!