So, in part one of our series, we talked about why it’s best to go into “stealth mode” when you decide you are ready to make a change in your life.
That way, if you want to eat a donut, you don’t have to explain it to everyone who is “helping you” track your weight-loss progress.
Our next mistake is in our startup approach – we start off way too enthusiastic about our decision to change.
Perhaps, we decide to “get fit,” so we join that Weight Loss program and buy a whole new yoga wardrobe with matching headbands and such.
Next, we sign up for a $1200 annual membership at the cool yoga studio across town. (It’s so much cheaper than just paying as we go for now.)
We swear to ourselves that that is the best investment. After all, we are going to be yoga-ing EVERY DAY from NOW ON, ’cause, as we figure it, we need to feel peaceful and centered and be in shape EVERY DAY, so – when you look at it THAT way – the annual membership is BY FAR the very best investment.
Except, we don’t even know if we like yoga.
We just went that one time cause everyone’s doing it. And, even though we say this kind of stuff doesn’t matter, the truth of it is that, in some ways, we kinda sorta like being a part of that “everyone” crowd.
So, we sign up for the full year. And then we go a couple of times.
But, one time, on the way to yoga, we really don’t “feel like it.” We really really don’t. So we war with ourselves about going or not. Ultimately, we decide to continue our reverie at the donut shop – to hell with that diet.
And the thing I want to share with you – beautiful dear friend – is that that is all COMPLETELY OKAY.
It really is.
The donut is not the mistake. The skipping yoga is NOT the mistake.
The mistake was our decision to rip out our whole current life in one fell swoop in some wide-eyed belief that we could actually make changes that stick that way.
And, though we may not allow ourselves to realize this or not, that choice to go back to the donut killed something important inside of us. It made us doubt ourselves. It made us distrust ourselves. It helped us justify giving up on ourselves.
We stand befuddled.
Where did all our self-discipline go? We used to really be able to get things done.
Like, remember that time, back in college, when we could get the grades and work that job, and go to parties . . . .
Oh, we were 20 then.
And, we’re kinda sorta not anymore.
When you were 20, you were probably a whole hell of a lot less encumbered than you are these days. Plus, you didn’t have a couple of decades of overextending yourself as the shaky foundation for what you want to build next.
Brace yourselves, but I’m thinking that this might be true: We just may be past the age when GREAT BIG shifts are gonna work for us. It’s just too hard to make those changes STICK.
Lordy, did it take me forever to accept this.
You all know that Life After Tampons was actually my Big Dream twenty years ago. I tried EVERYTHING to get that dream to flower. (Well, actually, every third year or so I’d get sick and tired of being sick and tired and then I’d try a BIG thing or two before giving up.)
Finally, defeated, I discovered the miracle of “micro-shifts.”
If you want to change something about your life, do NOT get on the Internet for four hours looking for ways to do it.
Think of each day as an experiment that will yield important data about what you really really want.
Try this instead: think of one thing that you can do that seems like it advances your goal — one tiny 15-minute task – and go do it.
Just one thing.
Go do it now. We’ll wait.
. . .
. . .
. . .
Welcome back! And congratulations!
You just did it, girlfriend. You just changed your life!
Now, if you want to change your life some more — tomorrow, when you wake up, commit to one tiny 15-minute thing you can do. And go do it.
One day at a time, just for today, commit yourself to just one QUIET (see mistake #1) shift and go do that thing.
When you wake up, check the calendar. If it is today, then do your one thing that you do each day.
Slow. Quiet. Micro-shifts.
That’s the answer, love. Or, at least one good part of it.
Next time, we’re gonna talk FEAR. Cause, by now, I’m sure you’re feeling some. In the meantime, share your best “whole hog” reinvent yourself mistake in the comments below. We’ll all have a good giggle.