Behavioral Change: 4 Reasons why you’re Stuck
Behavioral Change is no joke.
Have you ever tried to learn a new, healthier behavior only to feel flummoxed when you can’t seem to sustain it? This happens all the time. It can be really frustrating because we don’t understand why we can’t just “figure it out.”
Am I getting some head nods right now?
Ok, so I’ve identified 4 reasons why this happens which I’ll list below and then I’m going to direct you to a free mini-training on habits that I put together. I hope you’ll find a lot of value in it!
Why its so hard for you to change!
1. You’re not on board with the “why.” – Many of us feel like we “should” do something because we’ve been told it’s healthy for us or because other people we respect are doing it. But, if you cannot understand for yourself the specific benefits you’l get from doing this behavior, you’ll have a hard time executing it for the long-haul
2. You’re not willing to do it – Again, you may feel like you “should” be drinking 80 ounces of water per day, for instance, and yes, you know and are on board with the benefits but when it comes down to it, you’re just not willing to put in the work or deal with any of the potentially unsavory consequences (peeing all day long!)
3. It’s a logistical problem – OK, so let’s say you’re on board with the why, and you know you’re willing to do this behavior. Another reason we struggle is because it’s just not built into our routines. We can’t figure out the logistics as to how this will work. Let’s use the water example again. To drink 80 ounces of water per day is no small task. You will need to figure out logistics like bringing a water bottle with you to work, drinking first thing in the morning, creating some kind of water-drinking schedule etc. The details can be both large and minute and sometimes any small glitch in the plan can send you back to square one or back to what is comfortable – i.e. not drinking water. See what I mean?
4. You’re self-sabotaging yourself – Let’s say you’ve got all the 3 other components in place. You’re willing, able, understand the why’s, and got a schedule down pat. Another reason why you may not be following through is due to self-sabotage. This may not always be conscious, and in fact, often times its not but it can do a whammy on you in terms of stopping behavioral change. Self-sabotage is our psyche’s clever way of keeping us safe and comfortable. So, you may procrastinate, talk yourself out of doing something, or do myriad other things just to prevent you from creating the change you know you really need. It has to do with fear, on a base level. Because, what will it mean if you actually do the things you say you will? If you attend that really hard step-aerobics class, and it sucks but you’re on board, you’re willing, you’ve got the logistics down, now you actually have to follow through! We have to truly own the decision we made and make it sustainable and that is hard! So we cleverly design workarounds in the form of self-sabotage to keep us in our comfy, albeit unhappy bubbles.
Action step: Think about a behavior you’ve been trying to change and write down these 4 reasons. Which one of these resonates for you? Which one (or more!) is stopping you from reaching those goals. Hit reply and let me know. I’d love to hear back from you.
And if you’d like to take a deeper dive into changing habits, here is the link to my FREE mini-training on habits. Enjoy!