Dr Peggy Marshall
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Regaining Momentum for Change

Regaining Momentum for Change
By Dr. Peggy

Peggy MarshallIt’s the middle of March and many of us have lost momentum for the changes we wanted to make in 2012.  How are you doing with making lasting, sustaining changes that improve your life?  Have you developed any new habits/rituals that are working for you?  Did you find that some were a perfect match to the behavior change while others were not even close?  If you are struggling with the behavior change you decided to make in 2012 it’s time to explore alternatives and experiment with new rituals and/or examine why you might be stuck.

People get “stuck” for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes the goal is really not something they want for themselves-rather they are doing it for someone else.  Other times obstacles are in our lives which leave us drained and without energy.  In other situations, unanticipated events take our focus and attention so that we find it difficult to keep our commitments to our goals.  The following list identifies ways for us to think about how we might be blocked energetically and recommendations for renewing our momentum towards our goals.

Don’t compare yourself with others
There will always be some people who have it better than you and/or do things more easily then you and others who have it worse.  Focus on your uniqueness and the best ways to express it regardless of how others do something.

Avoid judging yourself negatively
You will weaken momentum if you repeat negative phrases about yourself and your abilities.  Judgment damages your sense of being and prevents you from relishing in the small gains that you are making.  By the way, I have always said that the worst judgments are the ones that we make towards ourselves-however it’s important to not take on others’ judgments of us as well.

Avoid perfectionism
Perfectionism blocks your energy and keeps you from attaining your goals.  Make sure that you give yourself permission to make mistakes-forgive yourself and move on.  All of us are working on some area in our lives and we need to be gentle with ourselves.  When we find ourselves missing on our goal, the best thing is to start back in-possibly in smaller steps.

Surround yourself with positive, supportive people
Whenever possible move yourself away from people and situations that are negative or toxic. 

It is difficult to sustain momentum when constantly experiencing people and situations negatively especially when these individuals are unsupportive of your goals.

Affirm yourself-have gratitude
Wake up every morning with a positive affirmation.  You might even want to write them down and post them on your mirrors or other places that you see them often.  Consider keeping a gratitude journal for all of the things that you are grateful for-many people do this routinely on a daily basis.  When you find your momentum slipping-go back through the journal to read about how great your life really is.

Pay attention to what inspires you

It’s hard to get unstuck if your days are spent in work you find uninspiring and/or passionless.  Even if you cannot change your work, you can determine the kinds of leisure activities you are involved in.

  Try to devote leisure time to hobbies and activities, which you find stimulate your passions and rewarding.

Be true to yourself
As stated in the last blog, if you’re making changes based on getting approval from family or friends, you aren’t being true to yourself and it will be difficult to maintain momentum.  Focus on what is most important to you.

Free yourself from “shoulds”

I have personally found behavior changes which are based more on  what I “should” do rather than what I “want” to do are more difficult to sustain.  Most of our “shoulds” produce guilt for us.  They are the little voices in our heads that nag us for not doing better, being better, etc.  Even when there is something that we need to do for ourselves, i.e., lose weight, get more exercise, take time for ourselves, until we come from a place of wanting to do it, we typically are unsuccessful which produces even more guilt. 

Take baby steps-but take action

What is the one minor change you can make to take action that doesn’t drain your energy and keeps your momentum flowing?  Be patient-small changes lead up to big results.  If you are trying to lose weight, eliminate one unhealthy thing that you eat regularly from your diet, i.e., ice cream for desert, candy, sugary drinks.  If you want more exercise, think about alternatives to the gym-what are exercises you can do at home while watching TV?

 

So if you find that you have lost some of your momentum, try a few of these ideas out to see if you can get yourself “unstuck”.  As always, we look forward to hearing about success stories from readers.  If you have one you would like to share, please send it me at this website.

 

To your success!

Dr. Peggy