5 STEPS TO CHANGING YOUR LIFE AND YOUR HABITS
It has been said that “if there is no battle, there is no advancement.”‘Frederick Douglass’
We all endure problems. Some of them seem to be completely insurmountable. The size of the others, including mine, is rather modest.
It doesn’t matter how big or little our challenges are; what matters is how much we grow from them.
My journey started when I was attending university in London. My life was turned upside down when I relocated from my rural hometown in the Welsh valleys to the hustle and bustle of the large metropolis.
Being a true mama’s boy at heart, I struggled to adjust to living so far away from my family and friends.
I’m an introvert who didn’t participate in the party culture that was prevalent at my university, so I didn’t have many friends when I first started out.
In addition, the task was demanding, and I could not find any inspiration in the material covered in the class. I had never given much thought to the purpose of my existence before, but I immediately realized that collecting rocks and being good at complicated arithmetic were not among its components.
Despite this, I kept going, partially due to the fact that I am a stubborn person, but largely because I was terrified of failing.
As I’ve said, the challenges I faced weren’t really significant. My first-world troubles seem laughable when put next to those of other people, but at the time it was difficult to look beyond them.
I had the overwhelming sensation of being caged.
I went to my safe haven, athletics, as a means of dealing with the stress that I was feeling. Anything that gave me the opportunity to temporarily switch off my brain, such as weight lifting, football, or martial arts.
What began off as a way out rapidly turned into something that was harmful. The fact that we were working out up to three times a day was just making the situation worse, and in the end, everything came to a head.
It became tough for me to speak and eat once I began acquiring severe ulcers in my mouth on a daily basis.
In addition, they were accompanied by spells of exhaustion and stomach troubles, and one of the more severe episodes resulted in a trip to the hospital.
After undergoing a series of exams and blood tests, the results indicated that it was very probable that I had Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory ailment that may manifest itself in any section of the digestive system (from the mouth, to the other end).
The symptoms of Crohn’s disease may be quite distressing. Patients may face a lifetime of medical treatment, which may include both pharmaceutical and surgical procedures.
I was aware that it was not the way I wanted to go. Regardless of whether or not I had Crohn’s disease, I made the rash decision then and then that I would prevail over this challenge on my own.
I distanced myself to have a better look at the bigger picture.
My perspective was that I had developed these behaviors that were contributing to my illness and kept me on a course that I did not want to follow.
Changing my routines was all that was required to steer me in a new direction. If if everything were that straightforward…
Changing one’s routine is not the most simple activity, as I discovered the hard way very quickly.
After several unsuccessful efforts, I kept coming back to the same question: how can we develop habits that are long-lasting as opposed to ones that go away after a few weeks?
In the end, after a process of investigation and investigation, I was able to find a few answers, and I gradually started the process of improving my life.
I switched to a plant-based diet and adjusted the way that I was working out, both of which contributed to an increase in my energy levels.
Because I read more, worried less, and meditated on a daily basis, I was able to lower the amount of stress in my life, which in turn let me see more clearly the path I wanted to pursue.
Things were not quite as good as they are right now, but fast forward a few years to the current day. Even though I still have health problems on occasion, it is much simpler for me to cope with the symptoms now.
I have had a number of examinations and blood tests, but I have not yet been given a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease.
It’s possible that the first diagnosis was too optimistic, or that by making certain lifestyle adjustments, I was able to avoid a potentially serious problem.
Regardless of the outcome, I am glad that I persevered through the challenge. It provided me with a wealth of knowledge and opened doors that enabled me to build the life I am leading now.
Applying these five crucial lessons about building habits that I’ve learned might be helpful to you if you’re feeling a little confused right now or if you’re having trouble implementing changes.
I’ve learnt them throughout the course of my life.
1. Begin by Learning to Accept Oneself
The vast majority of us are able to love our closest friends and family members without conditions, in spite of the imperfections that we see in them; nevertheless, it is uncommon for us to demonstrate the same kindness toward ourselves.
Instead, we criticize ourselves over every single error that we do and every single imperfection that we have. Our large bellies, our poor eating habits, our sloth, and our incapacity to bring about change are all to blame.
Because of our fixation on these issues, we squander a significant amount of energy that might be put to better use in other contexts.
Accepting yourself for who you are, with all of your quirks and shortcomings, is perhaps the first and most significant step towards altering habits. These flaws are what distinguish humans from other animals as human.
Try to be kind to yourself and treat yourself as you would a loved one rather than putting yourself down. Try to be forgiving, and understand that it’s alright to be wherever you are at this moment in time.
It is far more likely that you will be successful in making changes in your life if those changes originate from a position of self-respect rather than from a place of self-hatred.
2. Determine Your Values
It is so simple to get distracted from the things that are really important to us. We continuously judge ourselves based on how we stack up against others.
We receive a well curated look into their life on Facebook, and as a result, we develop an unrealistic ideal of perfection that we believe we should strive to achieve.
The next thing we do is make a bunch of adjustments in an effort to become more like that person, but we don’t ask ourselves why.
It causes us pain and dis-ease to create objectives that are not in line with our values; but, we never commit to pursuing these goals over the long run because we do not place a high enough priority on them.
Be yourself and not a mediocre copy of someone else’s identity. To begin, you should define your values by having a conversation with yourself about a few topics.
What would you do if you didn’t have to worry about money? Where do you exhibit the highest levels of organization and dependability? Who or what do you put yourself in close proximity to?
Some individuals place the most priority on their physical wellbeing. Others are more concerned with their families, earning a lot of money, or any combination of the three, depending on their circumstances.
You should develop objectives that are aligned with whatever it is that you value the most.
For instance, if you want to eat healthily but your top priority is taking care of your family, how might you rephrase that objective so that it aligns more closely with your priorities?
Eating healthier could make it possible for you to spend more quality time with the people you care about, or it might make it easier for you to take better care of them.
That is your compelling reason “why,” the one that will motivate you to take action and get you excited about the future.
3. Begin on a Low Scale and Work Your Way Up
When we are trying to create habits, we should try to avoid drawing on our willpower as much as we can since it is not an endless supply of energy.
I’m prone to being too enthusiastic and attempting to make a lot of significant changes all at once, but in my experience, this approach almost never results in success over the long run.
The only way to make improvements that are going to last are the ones that include a lot of little steps being combined together.
Plan your next few steps in the general direction of your objective, rather than fixating on the final goal itself, and then carry out those plans.
If you want to eat healthier, you should probably begin by modifying just your morning meal and not anything else. When you are completely at ease with it, you should probably start making adjustments to your meal.
Take your time, and resist the urge to take on more than you are capable of handling at this moment. Make a commitment to seeing things through to the end rather than searching for a short cure.
It’s a more fulfilling process overall, and with each modest step you take, you develop your self-esteem and your capacity to generate greater change in the world.
4. Establish a Group of People Who Can Help You
My default mode has always been to see if I can figure out solutions to issues on my own. I had the misconception that seeking assistance was a show of weakness, but in reality, the reverse is true.
Developing meaningful routines requires a commitment to a supportive community. When I began including other people in the process, I finally started to see some results.
Tell a trustworthy buddy about the next few steps you’re going to take with your new habit, and ask them to keep you responsible by requiring weekly progress updates from you.
You could even start offering incentives. This may provide you with the additional push you need to achieve your goals.
5. Embrace Failure
Many of us go through childhood terrified of being a failure. We are not taught the appropriate way to cope with setbacks, despite the fact that we are aware that they may sometimes be beneficial.
When most young people fail at anything, they respond with phrases like “Oh well, better luck next time,” which are not very motivational.
They are left with an empty sensation, a lack of self-esteem, and nothing to act upon as a result.
Attempting to alter your routines will probably result in more than one setback for you, just as it did for me (and still do).
First, you must acknowledge that it is OK. These humps in the road are necessary components of the education process.
The second step is to look for the lesson. When we experience failure, it teaches us what we can do to develop as individuals so that the next time we do something similar, we will be better prepared.
It’s possible that this will need you to adjust your objective in order to make it more manageable.
Make the necessary modifications, pick yourself up, and get back on track to pursuing the things that really excite you.
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