Making change in your life is no easy task, but I believe honoring your life and your strengths means honoring your day-to-day actions and the personal choices you make with your time, energy and creative power.
You can do all the visioning, desiring, action planning and big-hairy-goal-setting you want, but without the daily choice, habit or ritual to support those endeavors you are no closer to your vision.
The day-to-day can be decidedly unsexy. I get this.
But for those of us who geek out on self-awareness, systems, experimentation and personal transformation —
The process of sustainable change (of using our day-to-day in honor of a larger goal) is fascinating!
I want YOU to take your dream of writing a book, healthfully losing 50 pounds, being joyfully present for your family, discovering your goddess, getting your side hustle off the ground, starting to date again, or connecting to your higher power and actually make it happen.
Maybe not perfectly. Probably with some bumpy starts and stops. Definitely with some twist and turns and revisions.
But I want you to make it happen.
I want you to make it happen consciously and deliberately. With your own personal mix of flexible grace and edge-pushing. Kindness and ass-kicking. Big leaps and little actions.
I want you to experience your day-to-day in a way that feels empowering, sustainable and just fucking good.
Making Changes in Your Life?
Here are 4 Things to Consider.
Whether you know it or not, habit loops automatically unfold in your daily life.
At one point, all of these loops of cue-choice-reward were deliberate decisions you made. But most of the day-to-day action in your life has faded to a stimuli response as the choices become familiar.
Some of these habit loops are helpful.
The driving engine and greatest challenge in any long-term creative endeavor is to act daily, especially in the face of great uncertainty, fear, risk and anxiety. — Jonathan Fields
Some of these habit loops are not.
You don’t want to be a passive observer in your own life — letting things happen to you at a whim, without feeling like you have choice or control. Unfortunately, that’s what has happened to many of your daily routines. You act out dozens of familiar loops each day that take you in the opposite direction of growth and change, and instead keep you stuck in the same old, same old.
It takes conscious reprogramming to change these loops and make different decisions.
It’s not impossible, but it does require attention.
You must get actively, perhaps uncomfortably, involved in personal choice to use these loops to your advantage.
Kate Courageous: What’s your commitment: to overwhelm, or to change?
Mara Glatzel: Spring Cleaning
Chelsea Latimer: On habit-breaking, tough love, and hard sh*t that looks like easy sh*t
Amber Rae: How Letting Go Leads You to Discover What You Really Want
Joel Runyon: Better Than a Lab Rat
Here at Stratejoy: Self-Care vs Self-Comfort. What Do You Really Need?
Whether you know it or not, your deep-seated beliefs about your capability and worth affect your ability to change.
As cliche as it may be, your belief in your own capacity to transform predicts your success and your susceptibly to self-sabotage.
Do you believe you can make this change? Do you believe it’s possible for you to achieve your end goal?
What would it take for you to get on board with this new version of you?
What I like most about change is that it’s a synonym for hope. If you are taking a risk, what you are really saying is, “I believe in tomorrow and I will be part of it.” — Linda Ellerbee
Luckily, you do control your internal belief systems and can shift them with enough self-awareness, guts and work.
You may need to find mentors who believe in you. You may need to practice doing things that scare you. You may need own up to the ways you’re holding yourself back. You may need to extend your deadline by 6 months, by 2 years even.
But whatever it takes, claim the belief that change is possible for you.
Nicole Antoinette: It’s Only Impossible Until You Do It
Sally Hope: Rage Against the Machine. And How to Create Long Lasting Change.
Sarah K. Peck:Why You’re Not Getting There. (Clue: It’s You, Not Them)
Sean Ogle: The Year of Confidence
Here at Stratejoy: 12 Rules of Inner Confidence
Whether you know it or not, willpower is a muscle that can be strengthened through practice.
The ability to make decisions and take action in support of your greater goal (instead choosing short term satisfaction) must be practiced.
It’s that simple.
Your willpower muscle gets tired, worn out, stressed, and out-of-shape if you refuse to acknowledge it’s existence or learn it’s quirks.
The muscle model is at once reassuring and discouraging. It’s nice to know that not every willpower failure reveals our innate inadequacies; sometimes they point to how hard we’ve been working. But while it’s comforting to know that we can’t expect ourselves to be perfect, this research also points to some serious problems. If willpower is limited, are we doomed to fail at our biggest goals? — Kelly McGonigal
Luckily, like any muscle, your limited resource of willpower can be built up through proper training.
That training can include small challenges of self-control related to your larger goal, becoming aware of risky willpower times of day, tuning into energy depletion and learning the difference between mental resistance and true exhaustion.
Really understanding the research on willpower + true dedication to the “why” behind your goal + daily action = a powerful combination of success factors.
Nicole Antoinette: The Myth of Motivation
Mara Glatzel: Motivation and Permission to be Human
Shenee Howard: How To Deal with the Fear of Sucking at Things You Love
Here at Stratejoy: A Love Letter to Fear and Courage
Whether you know it or not, love is more powerful than fear.
Feeling compassion for ourselves in no way releases us from responsibility for our actions. Rather it releases us from the self-hatred that prevents us from responding to our life with clarity and balance. — Tara Brach
Critical self-talk, undermining ourselves, or using punishment as motivation are all ways you use fear as the whip. It may have short term benefits, but condemning yourself goes against the very idea of true transformation.
True transformation means engaging in change to become more ourselves, to shine more vibrantly, to engage in our own life with more meaning, purpose or joy.
When fear is the motivation, you are treating yourself as broken, bad, or wrong.
And none of this is true.
The whip can provide enough scary consequence and guilt to make change, but fear-based motivation isn’t sustainable in the long run. Change born from clenched fists and shame spirals will never blossom into transformation because it’s not in your best interest to align with fear.
And trust me, your highest self knows this.
Practicing love and self-compassion through the inevitable ups-and-downs of change gives you permission to keep moving forward, no matter what failure, distraction or road block occurs.
Here at Stratejoy: Self-Love: I am Enough. And Also, You are Enough.
MORE FREE RESOURCES
General Awesomeness on Change
(also Creation, Habits and Willpower)
Ash Ambirge: Faith. All it’s Cracked Up To Be.
Jenny Blake: Be Agile & Antifragile: How to Find Strength & Happiness from Chaos
Rachel Cole: A Sweet Middle Path
Alexandra Franzen: Keep Marching
Marthe Hagen: Dealing with Change: How to Hold On When the World is Spinning
Susan Hyatt: Trying to do too much, too fast, too soon?
Chelsea Latimer: On Habit Breaking, Tough Love, and Hard Sh*t that Looks Like Easy Sh*t
Jennifer Louden: 15 Radical Ways to Get Unstuck
Sean Ogle: Why You Should Stop Working at Noon Everyday
Andrea Owen: 6 Reasons You’re Afraid and What To Do About It
Sarah K Peck: Less is more, imperfect is perfect, and done is done
Joel Runyon: A Beginner’s Guide to the 80/20 Principle
Michelle Ward: How to Really, Truly, Actually Initiate Change
Here at Stratejoy:
Personal Stories of Change
Nicole Antionette: How to Change Your Life
Liz DiAlto: Getting Naked and Falling in Love
Mara Glatzel: Who I Am, Today: Change + Radical Self-Responsibility
Tiffany Han: Confession. My Dreams Changed.
Mike Hrostoski: Sex, Booze, Masturbation and Cold Showers
Nisha Moodley: How to Hustle Through Heartbreak
Michelle Ward: I Quit My Day Job. Are You Next?
Parrish Wilson: How to Destroy Your Family (and then fix it)
Meg Worden: You Need Love Like You Need Oxygen. It’s Fundamental.
Hoping these concepts gave you something to ponder in your own world of activating change, honey!
To your beautiful life, beautiful self, beautiful goals, beautiful habits.