Change Means Action

“Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator. And change has its enemies.” – Robert Kennedy

Change does have enemies and Robert Kennedy knew that truth and paid for it with his blood. Change can be dangerous. That is why our natural instinct is to stay the course; stay put; avoid trying something new; leaving well enough alone; being safe; and I could mention another twenty or so excuses.

If you are the type that wants to stay in your comfort zone, you will never experience the immense joy that comes from living. In order to succeed we must take risks and that means we have to change. Robert Kennedy said this in the context of politics. He referred to making progress as a nation. The only way to make progress as a nation is to change our point of view, to change the way we govern ourselves, to change certain laws that are unfair, and change the way we deal with the bad guys.

But his words can apply to any aspect of life, not just politics. In my career as a trainer I can say that change is the one thing that is needed the most and done the least. I have seen people go way out of their way just to avoid change. I trained adults in job readiness skills. Let me tell you that there were times I couldn’t even get an adult to change their seat after 20 minutes of being seated in class. That is how ridiculous we can get about change. We all need to train ourselves to be more open. But it goes further than that.

Change is an action word and that means we need to act if we are going to progress. Change is not a theoretical practice of the mind, it implies real physical movement. For example, we may say that we have changed our attitude towards someone, but unless that is followed up by an action towards that certain person, they are only shallow words. Change means to repent. I instantly scare people away as soon as I say that because of the religious overtones. Well you can apply this to religion if you like. All I am saying is when someone says to you to repent, it simply means to change what you are doing. Change requires 3 things. The first is to recognize the need to change. The second is you actually do the action that is required. The third is you maintain the new course of action. Those happen to be the same three things involved in repentance. They say that recognizing that you need to change is half the battle and that is so true in my experience. The changing part is actually a lot less difficult to do than the first part which again is recognizing that you need to change. The final part is easy. It just requires that you keep on doing the new action over and over again. The second part in the middle means you must turn around and do something different to prove that what you recognized as needed to be done will be done. Change is empowering no matter how small it is as long as it is positive. Today, why not give change a chance and perform an action that you know needs to be done in your life. You will be gratified and empowered when you do it!

5 Tips to Overcome Your Resistance to Change

Change is hard! Whether it is an organizational change that needs to occur in your work, a change in your personal or family life or a change in your behavior to achieve a healthier you – you may face…

Change is hard! Whether it is an organizational change that needs to occur in your work, a change in your personal or family life or a change in your behavior to achieve a healthier you – you may face resistance.

Resistance is defined as “anything that slows or stops movement or keeps movement from happening.” When it comes to changing your behavior to live a healthier life – there will be people, places, things, feelings and emotions that will slow or stop movement from happening. Can you do anything about it? Absolutely! Acknowledging the reasons for resistance and addressing them will help you get the movement towards change you desire.

1. Notice your objections.

  • I don’t have time. Time is the number one reason people claim they do not make some of the healthy behaviors they desire – meal planning and cooking to eat well, exercising, getting adequate sleep. What is the real cause for this objection? How can you make changes to your schedule or your focus so time becomes available for healthy choices?
  • It won’t make any difference. What the absolute outcome of a change may be cannot be known with certainty. There is plenty of research to support that eating well, exercising regularly and getting adequate sleep is good for your health. But for you personally, do you feel confident that making a change is going to improve your health or reach other health goals you may have? Spend some time thinking about the benefits you will attain from the change you would like to make. Then decide what habits need to be put in place to allow that change to happen.
  • I have tried to change before and have failed. Of course if you have made similar efforts in the past, it is easy to think this will be just another failed attempt. Reframe the past attempts. Recognize what was different then from where you are now.

2. Identify what’s in it for you. Not developing heart disease may be what’s in it for you, but that may be too far away to grasp. Consider what shorter-term benefits there may be from the change. Am I going to feel better? Will I have more energy? Will I look better? Am I going to be able to wear the clothes I haven’t worn in ages?

3. Accept that you will have an emotional reaction to change. It is normal to feel emotional about making changes to your behavior. It may mean a change to your social life? Perhaps there will be people in your life who don’t support the changes you desire to make. You may have to give up something you enjoy doing so you can make more time for adequate sleep or regular exercise. Pretending that these changes will not bring up emotions is counterproductive. Start by acknowledging the emotion, accepting it and working through it rather than avoiding it.

4. Prepare the best you can. Change that leads to great health and improved wellbeing will not happen overnight. Start by taking one step to create an environment that will make change easier. Set aside a time in your schedule for taking a first step. Consider starting a Pinterest board and start posting recipes that appeal to you, or talking with a friend about activities that you can do together that will help you reach your goals.

5. Connect the change to the analytical and emotional portions of your brain. You may think logically that the change is good – reduced risk of heart disease, Diabetes, or weight loss. But there is the emotional part of the brain to consider as well. How will your improved health make you feel? Will greater energy allow you to feel happier in your family life?

When you know change in your lifestyle is necessary to achieve your best healthPsychology Articles, address your resistance to change. When you can first identify your resistance and take action to overcome those barriers you will be closer to the healthy lifestyle you desire.