Change can quite often be very painful, especially when it comes to making changes in the area of physical addictions, like making the change to give up smoking, drinking, eating favorite snacks, and so on. When we want to go about making many different changes in our lives, those changes are often going to require us to consistently make the desired action again and again, but without seeing immediate rewards from doing so. And because we might not see rewards immediately, it can be discouraging and keep us from wanting to continue with trying to make the change. We might feel like there is no point or that we aren't getting anywhere, if it takes us too long to see results from our actions.
When the change is causing us too much discomfort then it isn't any surprise that we would backslide and end up unraveling the progress that has been made. This is why behavior experts suggest that it's more efficient to break down the habit or behavior that you want to change into different stages and to then tackle them one at a time.
It can be overwhelming to think about the end goal of what you want to achieve or change and sometimes that big end goal can be daunting and appear so far away that it discourages us from trying to move forward and make the changes to achieve it. This is why it's been suggested that it is better to break down the desired change into smaller and more achievable steps, small goals that can be achieved on the way to reaching a bigger one.
Breaking down the goal like this is going to help to simplify the process and for many this will make it seem easier to achieve.
Some change can be very quick and relatively easy but other changes sometimes take a very long time and a decent amount of continued effort.
Changing your appearance or re-organizing your home for example is going to take a lot less time for some than it would to do say getting themselves out of debt or accomplishing some other long-term goal for themselves. Focusing on the big overall goal can be overwhelming, breaking it down and focusing on smaller steps can sometimes be more efficient especially in the way of reinforcing you to move forward after you accomplish every smaller goal.
Researchers suggest that reinforcement is going to greatly impact the effectiveness of trying to go about making any changes. And this reinforcement can be either intrinsic, extrinsic, or extraneous. In other words, when you make progress you should take the time to celebrate that progress that you have made and it might further influence you to continue making the necessary or desired changes that you want to make.
Mindset also has a lot to do with change, many who study human behavior have suggested that a person must first change their way of thinking before they hope to see desired results and real changes in their life. For example, before a person starts to make better eating choices, spending the time to educate themselves on what the are eating or the reasons and benefits for making the changes might offer them a better chance at being successful in following through with making the changes.
When people adjust and evolve their personal views and life goals, then they are going to be more likely to change their behavior in order to compliment their personal life views.
When it comes to going about making life changes and changing our habits, researchers suggest that we should:
- identify the area we want to change
- think about what we are getting (benefit) from making the change
- think about what we want to replace that habit with
- consider any possible triggers that prompt that unwanted habit to arise
- constantly visualize success and imagine yourself making the change.
Psychology experts insist that we are likely to be more successful in making desired changes if we can make those changes something that are easy to do and if it's something that can easily be incorporated into our already existing daily routine.
It's common to fail many times when trying to make changes and we shouldn't let those setbacks discourage us from continuing to try and move forward with whatever desired change we would like to see in our lives.