Making changes: how to make them last

changesYou need to make a major change in your life. Do you make it all at once, cold turkey style, or incrementally?

Making changes is a huge thing in your life. It is not simply a case of changing a process, not eating that cake, doing more exercise, it is a series of processes that lead you on a new path. Changes are not instant, they take time, in order to properly make the impact that you intent.

What do I mean?

I decided in 2005 that I wanted to get slimmer and get fit. I could not possibly do that all immediately.

The processes I went through were:

  1. commit myself mentally and physically to the new goal
  2. change my nutrition intake, cutting back on junk
  3. learn the new way to balance my diet
  4. begin training regimes
  5. continue the above for an extended period of time
  6. set end target
  7. celebrate when I got there.
  8. continue to commit myself to the new life goals and life changes
  9. continue to celebrate my own sustained successes

In a nutshell! Obviously there was much more to it than these simple steps, but the change I wanted to instil was not immediatley ahcievable and was based on a series of commitments and life changes.

Can change be instantaneous? That is debatable, but real, lasting life changes, I believe are a series of processes and commitments. Otherwise, the change is shallow and short lived.

9 Comments on “Making changes: how to make them last

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  2. Given my up and down, wavering experience of exactly the same thing, I agree entirely with you here. There are certain circumstances where the cold turkey method works but this is not one of them (and I wish I’d listened to everyone when I started but I am me and I am headstrong and I don’t listen to simple advice). So yes, this post makes muchos sense. 🙂

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  4. As I read through today’s responses I find msyelf agreeing with the point of view that often times it is incremental change that leads to the best results. However, I don’t fully agree with this statement: “Otherwise, the change is shallow and short lived.” There are plenty of changes we can make in an isntant that are neither shallow nor short lived: quiting smoking, quiting drinking, quiting school, quiting life, etc… (obviously I was giving good changes and bad changes there). There could have been thoughts and considerations that went into making those changes – but the change itself could be, and often is, instantaneous… for better or worse.

    • I agree. In part. Quitting smoking is not necessarily instantaneous, it takes effort thought planning and will power. In fact, if you decided to quit life that does too. I cannot speak from experience of course but I doubt that such a drastic decision is a snap one? Of course there is always the chance that it could be, and there is always the chance that snap decisions can be life changing. My comment really was in reference to the example I gave – the decision to get fit and/or lose weight. Thanks for the comment, you really made me see it from another angle.

      • I figured you were just waxing phylisophical around the weight loss/getting fit point (which was a very good one). Just wanted to throw some different situations into the mix. And I agree that there are probably a lot of decisision, thoughts, choices, that go into make some of the more drastic life changes – but in the end, sometimes, they are done in an instant between final decision made and carrying it out.

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