No one needs to be told exactly what their flaws are, or what habits they should change. Every single one of us already knows. We are all well aware of our imperfections and shortcomings, in fact we are the ones that have deal with them everyday.
There is an abundance of information out there telling us what to do, how to act, how to live, and how to be basically anything but ourselves. And this is where the problem begins.
After reading Blogs and books, watching Podcasts and documentaries, we acknowledge our bad habits and decide to put in honest efforts to change them. Sometimes we succeed and other times we don’t. Our success, or lack thereof is often attributed to willpower and discipline, which is definitely not the case. The reality is that we all have flaws, bad habits and shortcomings, every single one of us. The sooner we can accept and admit this, the sooner we’ll have confidence in owning our bad habits, rather than fighting to change them. We can take those parts of ourselves that we dislike, and try to hide, and finally just accept them. Owning and acknowledging our poor habits or behavior does not magically turn them into good habits or provide justification for us doing them. Instead, acceptance provides peace of mind knowing that we are okay with the flaws God has given us, whether we decide to change them or not.
Only once we have genuinely and truthfully accepted ourselves, flaws and all, will we have the necessary power to make required changes. Being completely okay with our imperfections gives us the self-awareness we need to honestly decide if the changes are really worth it in the first place.
So how do you know if you are really ready to change a habit? Here are some steps to follow and things to consider.
- WHY? First of all, you must answer the question why? Determine exactly why you want to lose weight, go to school, get a job, or start meditating. If you don’t have a solid reason for doing something, all of your efforts will be half-hearted. Also, knowing your true reason for making a change will provide motivation and incentive on days when you don’t feel as strong, or want to waver on your commitment.
- HOW? Once you have established a strong reason for changing a habit, you might want to look at how you are going to do it. Now this does not mean follow someone else, look up ideas on Google or copy someone else’s success. This means looking within your own heart, at your own personality and your own situation to determine exactly what would work specifically for you. There is no one size fits all; every single person needs a completely different approach if they are going to be successful.
- ACT! After identifying a reason, and possibly a method for the changes you want to make, you must get to work. A great quote by Joyce Meyer went something like this, “action will always outsmart planning.” So you will not learn or grow or change without doing something- anything! In fact, this step is SO important that you could probably skip the previous step and just get straight to doing. All the planning in the world will never make up for inaction.
- FAIL! Yes, you must expect to fail. Accepting and acknowledging possible failure allows you to take greater risks without fear. After all, no one succeeds right off the bat. There are countless stories of successful people who had nothing but failure in the beginning, but this shows how badly you want something when you don’t give up despite the setbacks and failures.