That’s it!!! Starting this Monday I’m going to…stop eating fried foods, stop smoking, stop having a drink to wind down at night, stop watching reality TV, stop eating after 7pm, stop going to bed so late, etc. Our list of health to-do’s goes on and on but they don’t ever seem to leave our agenda. The problem isn’t the list, the challenge is our mindset and how we’re thinking about making change.
When we prize Monday as the day we will stop engaging certain behaviors, we go into it with a mindset of perfectionism, with no room for error. We expect that we will fully disengage from the old, comfortable habit with no setbacks. Then, when we “cheat” or “fail”, we completely re-engage the old behavior with hopes for better luck starting over next Monday. What a viciously draining and defeating way to approach positive change. This approach is guaranteed to fail or at best, it’ll be miserable.
To give ourselves an edge on change, let’s build success into the process by planning for setbacks, because they will happen. So rather than 100% adherence, lets shoot for 80/20. Making the right choice 80% of the time offers steady progress while carving out a little room for being human. This approach takes the sting out of the perceived pain of making change consistent with who we want to be.
Rather than being perfect, try being patient.