Have you ever felt like making a change was almost impossible?
I have, but I’ve discovered it doesn’t have to be.
For many years, my beverage of choice was Diet Coke. Yes, I was addicted. I drank 4-5 cans per day and not much else. I always had more then enough stocked in the house, and if I was ever in a situation where I wasn’t going to have easy access to one, I would panic. Looking back, I shake my head at myself and how sad the situation was.
I knew it was bad for me. I knew I should be drinking water, but I didn’t like the taste. I didn’t have the internal motivation to want to make the change.
One day, I was reading an article (not the first mind you) about how bad aspartame was for you and how drinking Diet Coke (or other diet pop) contributed to weight gain. They were all reasons I had heard about before. This article packaged the information a little bit differently. It talked about how the combination of aspartame and caffeine created an incredibly strong addiction. For some reason, this particular information is what connected with me and I determined to stop drinking it.
I took some steps. The first was to start drinking caffeine free Diet Coke. Then, I switched to a carbonated, flavored water that still had aspartame in it. The next step was to drink flavored sparkling water without any sweetener. Then, I switched to just plain sparkling water. Now, aside from a morning cup of coffee and the occasional juice, I almost exclusively drink sparkling water (I like bubbles).
I haven’t had Diet Coke in a very long time, and I no longer even crave it. I even once tried it again to see if I would still like the taste, and it tasted awful to me! I’m so glad that I made that change!
Here’s what I learned from making this lasting change that can help you in making changes you want to make!
- You have to want to make the change. If someone else wants you to make the change, or it’s more of an “I should make this change” type of situation, it will be difficult to stick to. It’s important to keep working on your internal motivation and have a strong conviction. You can do this by asking yourself your reasons for wanting the change and developing your self-talk around those reasons.
- Break down the change into smaller steps. I made my change in stages. In the past when I would try to make changes with “all or nothing” type of thinking, those changes didn’t last. List out some logical steps you could follow in making your change.
- Don’t beat yourself up. Having moments of “relapse” are normal and a part of the change process. Just because you slip up doesn’t mean that all the work you’ve done until that point is no longer valid. Just tell yourself, “slip ups are normal, it’s not the end of the world,” and get back on track with making your change.
- Celebrate your success! Find a way to validate yourself, reward yourself or get positive feedback from others when you have made steps toward making a lasting change. This helps to keep the momentum going. Success builds on success and feeling positive keeps you motivated to keep going.
A lot of times we make “change” out to be a big obstacle in our minds. This type of thinking can keep us stuck. Remind yourself that change doesn’t have to be so hard and follow these suggestions to help you in the process.
If you are in the process of making a change and would like to get some FREE online coaching, join the Finding Your Possible Private Facebook Group! I spend time each weekday offering help! Just post your questions and I will connect with you!
Have you made a lasting change in your life? Tell us about it in the comments below. Let us know what helped you in making your change! I look forward to hearing from you.