What is the best way to inject some confidence into ourselves when making what could be a pretty significant lifestyle change?
The first thing is to start with changes which are so easy, it’s almost impossible not to make them.
What do you need to do this week to take you a step closer to your overall goal? How confident are you that you CAN do those things?
Note that there is a difference between “I can do that” and “there’s no real reason I shouldn’t be able to do that”.
If you’re not completely convinced, step it back a bit until it feels ridiculously easy to achieve. Set yourself up to succeed.
Let’s say you’re a bad vegetable eater, and you’re aiming to improve your health. Of course, eating 8 portions of veg every day is going to get you closer to your goal. But that feels like a really big commitment which you’re not sure you could make long term. How about including one vegetable with each of your meals this week? If that is a step forward from where you are now, but seems so easy you couldn’t fail, then you have your starting point. If it still feels like too much, don’t be afraid to step it back even further.
You’re aiming for guaranteed success, which leaves you feeling good about yourself. Once you’ve had a positive interaction with your goal, you feel more confident you can reach it.
Next week, you might feel like it is so easy to get one vegetable with each meal, that you feel totally confident you could actually increase to two vegetables with dinner every night. Other times, it might take longer to get really comfortable with the change before you’re ready to move on.
Often, the slow route is the route which leads to the longest lasting changes.
With our vegetable eater example here, perhaps this person won’t ever get to eight veggies every day of the week, but by taking steady and consistent steps to getting there, they’re likely to make changes which last for the long term. And what’s better – eight veggies a day for a week or so, or five to six every day for the rest of time?
Be kind to yourself. Take things slowly and celebrate each victory, however small, along the way.