Step one: Be committed to the change you want to make
These are 3 basic rules for making a change. Step one shows itself when you begin making the change. How often have you decided on a change you want to make and before long, it gets difficult and you want to stop? Sometimes, in order to make the change you must get up early or you must adjust your schedule and it gets too difficult. You thought you were committed to the change. But once it became hard, you discovered, you weren’t as committed as you thought. So under step one, there will come many small challenges to that commitment.
Are you truly committed to that change? If not, you will find out in a few weeks. Then your commitment level will either increase or it will vanish as you decide you are not ready to pay the price necessary to make the change you thought you wanted to make.
A diet is a prime example of this. It is a major change and affects many areas of your life, especially if you make the family meals. Sometimes, the commitment level you need is higher than what you have to give.. At times, you may need to recoup your losses and break down your change into smaller pieces. Maybe instead of going on a keto diet, you need tomato healthy choices increments. The first step might be to start drinking water with your meals instead of drinks that add calories or making sure you start drinking x amount of glasses of water day. That is quite a commitment to make when it comes to changing habits and it is definitely a good, healthy habit that will stand you in good stead. Another healthy habit would be to get into a regular exercise regimen. Either of these healthy habits would be a huge step in the direction of moving you toward develop8ing a healthier lifestyle. Then, if you went on a diet, you would already have some healthy habits in place, and it wouldn’t be a huge change.
Sometimes, people try to change too many things at once. They start a new exercise and a new diet all at once. Some people have a very high commitment level and can do that, but others many need to start incrementally. They may need to get used to the diet first and make it part of their life first. Then, once they are adjusted to it, they can start the exercise. For some, too many changes throw them off. You know yourself and what works best for you. Just be aware that if you “fall off the wagon” on a given day, you can always restart where you left off. Also, try to keep your changes simple rather complicated.
Step two: Plan the change into your life over a 3-6 month period until it becomes a habit.
For step two, realize that giving yourself plenty of time to get the habit ingrained is helpful rather than to start many new habits over a year, it is much better to start 3 or 4 new habits that become a part of your life than to half-heartedly start many changes but not get them all ingrained. Some changes can be incremental where you start simple and build on the new habit. There are aspects of organizing that work that way. You work on a room at a time or a category at a time…like papers or books or whatever kinds of categories and adjust from there. Some of the deadlines may change from your original plan, but the goal is to have the new habit more ingrained. In fact, to prepare for the change, you may need to read up on what is involved in the change so you are prepared for the challenge.
Step three: Continue to reinforce the change in your life when you are tempted to relax it or ease up on it. (Review/Reassess)
Under step three, you need to think of ways to complete areas you are trying to change. I have loose ends left over from some areas I have tried to organize when I moved. I’m trying to get them under control over the next few weeks. They include finishing up some walls that need things hung on them, finishing up some corners that never got emptied of clutter, etc. I just ignored them thinking I would get to them and it never happened! The longer they sit that way, the less I notice the eyesores.
Now, the months have passed and some rooms are still not quite done. So I’m finishing up a few projects. It’s a bit like going back over a job to recheck it. This also happens if you are working on memory work. If you don’t review it, you forget it. So part of the habit change includes review or reassessing.
Change: keep it simple!
I tried to keep this very simple. I could add many more steps, but to some degree, it depends on the kind of change you are making as to the number of steps. The key to your success relates to what your commitment level is and if you find out your commitment level wasn’t up to par, that can always change!
As a Christian, you always have the Holy Spirit and prayer to help enable you to have the power to make a change that is needed and that GOD wants you to make. We can never say, “I can’t change.”
But there may be times when the timing of a specific change is not wise…unless GOD is calling you to do it right then. (examples: major life changes when you have a new baby, major life changes when there has been a lot of upheaval in your marriage or family life. It is usually wise to let life settle a bit before stirring the pot. Some habit patterns may need to change in the middle of all that confusion, however.)
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness,
through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,
by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises,
so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature,
having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
II Peter 1:3-4 ESV