Updated: May 17
Are You Ready to Make a Change?
“I am struggling to balance work, relationships, chores, and other responsibilities.”
“I feel overwhelmed and like I am just going through the motions.”
“I am stressed out.”
“I feel like the challenges I am facing are insurmountable.”
Does any of this sound familiar? We all have moments in life when we feel like we have reached a threshold - something needs to change. We are getting through our days, but we want more out of life than to merely survive.
Perhaps you are struggling with a health complication, unhappiness in your relationships or career, financial instability, or any number of circumstances that life has thrown at you. You ask yourself questions like, "What is going to happen to me if I don't take better care of myself?" or "How do I start to make changes that will help me feel better?" Sometimes the fear of what is happening to us, or what will happen to us if we don't make changes, that initiates our desire for change.
While fear can sometimes be a benefit because it motivate us to take action, and the presence of fear when undertaking a big goal tells us that we are stretching ourselves beyond our comfort zone, it is unlikely that fear alone will inspire us long enough to reach our goal.
The question becomes, "How do we stay motivated long enough to create sustainable long-term change?"
Establish an Unshakeable Foundation for Change
There is no one-size fits-all approach to improving your life. Whether you are trying to lose weight, improve your finances, change your career, manage a health obstacle, or reach any other goal that you are striving to achieve, what worked for someone else might not work for you. You are an individual with your own unique blend of physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual components that come along with your own obstacles to overcome.
There is no question that change is difficult, and the first step to success when making changes in life is to establish an unshakeable foundation. Life consistently delivers challenges, but how you respond is entirely in your hands. A solid foundation will provide you with the strength to handle everything that life throws at you.
When life gets busy it is often our basic needs that are set on the back burner. We don't have the time to prepare healthful meals, so we eat on the go. We fall into bed late, exhausted at the end of the day. When we are caught up in our day-to-day activities our basic needs fade from the forefront of our thoughts, and before we know it the day is over and we haven't even come close to meeting the basic needs of our body.
When you are ready to make a change in your life, it will benefit you tremendously to take the time to build a solid foundation based on your basic needs. How much sleep do you get at night? Are you hydrated? Do you feed your body with enough nutrients to keep you feeling your best? How much exercise are you getting?
Establishing a healthy daily routine might take two weeks, or it might sake six months. There is no right or wrong amount of time to spend building your foundation, but it will be the cornerstone of your long-term success. Take the time to evaluate your basic needs, like nutrition, hydration, sleep, and you will set yourself up for success.
Life constantly places obstacles in our path, and no matter how solid the foundation that you have built is, it will be beneficial to have resources that you can access when things become challenging.
One of the best tools that you have at your disposal is education. Knowledge is power, and in today’s world we all have the ability to educate ourselves. Be your own advocate. Whatever obstacle you are facing one of the best things that you can do is to reach for the resources that are within your grasp. The more you understand whatever challenge you are facing, the more coping mechanisms you will become familiar with. Seek out a professional, attend support groups, read books or articles, listen to podcasts. Whether you are struggling with nutrition, managing a health complication, trying to establish better financial health, or another obstacle, educate yourself.
Managing stress, anxiety, and depression are some of the most common obstacles that we face. According the American Psychological Association at least eighty percent of us have reported feeling stressed in the last month, and that study was done before COVID, so that number has only increased over the last few years. The pandemic affected our emotional, physical, mental, financial health, and created new complications for people that were already struggling. Today it is even more important for us to have strategies that we can access to overcome the stressors that present themselves in our lives.
There is a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips. If you take advantage of it obstacles won’t seem so overwhelming, and you will be better able to manage anything that life throws at you.
It can sometimes be difficult to take accountability for our own actions. It is often easier to place blame outside off ourselves, but nobody is going to be able to implement positive change in your life but you.
Remember that self-care is essential and all relationships in your life will flourish when you are healthy. You will have more to give and will have a more positive impact on the world around you.
We all have our own circumstances to manage and obstacles to overcome, and some of them are more challenging than others. However you always have a choice. Find what is within your control and make the choice to improve your life.
You deserve it!
Director of Wellness and Recovery Services
S.T.E.P. by S.T.E.P., Inc.