When Should I Start To Change?

By now, if you have been following my posts, you would know that our brains are reluctant when it comes to making changes in our lives. If we are in a pattern of behaviour, it is very difficult to change because of neural pathways. These have been described as superhighways that funnel all of our thoughts in a single direction making them stronger.

Additionally, because your brain doesn't like to change its pattern of behaviour, it will try and delay you in making any change. How often have you said - "I'll wait until after Christmas", "I'll start on New Year's day", "I'll leave it until my birthday", or "I'll change when..."

You then continue with the unwanted behaviour, now even more so, knowing that you are going to make a change at a set point in the future. When the time to make the change arrives, it is now even more difficult to change because you have increased the strength of the neural pathway.

Our brains are crazy aren't they? Not really, they just want to help keep us safe from the unknown, to look after us.

Significant events such as holidays, festive events, and the beginning of the year are good start-lines to commence change. They focus our thoughts to a single point-in-time, get us mentally prepared for what is coming, and give us motivation on which to leverage off.

How about this for an idea, start right now, today, as soon as you finish reading this post. Wouldn't that be something to surprise our brain with, not knowing what is coming, sneaking up on our stubborn brain. Starting now has one big advantage over delaying the change; by the time the usual milestones of holidays, a new year, birthdays, or other 'when' comes around you will already have a strong start.

Know that your brain will try and trick you at 21 days, it will tell you that you have made the change, achieved your goal, got close enough to it, and to relax. Don't believe it, it's a trick to get you back on the old superhighway. It takes 60 to 80 days to change a habit let alone reach a goal.

While on the subject of goals, always have a goal. If you reach it, then extend it further or set another one. If you don't/can't reach your goal then alter it. Goals are kind of like eating chocolate - you desire them, work hard to get them, feel excited when you get them, feel empty when they are gone, you want more, so you work hard to get more. And the cycle keeps going.

I read somewhere that you should never achieve your goals, if you do there is nothing left so you will die! A bit extreme but mostly right. Goals are what motivates us, keeps us going, excites us, drives us. "There is always another 'mountain' to climb" is a quote to ignore when it comes to goals. Goals are not mountains, mountains are inanimate, set in stone. Goals are flexible, boundless, endless, changeable, renewable.

Don't wait for the 'when', don't wait for the right time, don't procrastinate. The time to change is now, right now. What are you waiting for?

Let's talk!