Q: I want to commit to positive change,
but I always fall back into old habits.
Any tips?

–  Christina, 24

A: The hardest part about implementing change isn’t the change itself, but the commitment to the change. And commitment requires discipline.

I’m gonna be real here, catch me on a rough day with a BK on the way home and I’ll show you how fast discipline can go out the window… and right into my bag of french fries. BUT I will say that the tips below have helped me immensely. Each of these steps will help you let go of the old and bring in the new.

1. Focus on What You Can Do

This is a basic positive psychology tool. Focus on what you CAN do. When trying to change, our minds will often remind us of what not to do. Don’t eat chocolate. Don’t buy the shoes. Don’t text the guy who ghosts you. Don’t. Don’t. Don’t! But instead, create a mental loop of all the do’s. Do eat guacamole. Do save money. Do text your friend. It seems basic, but it really does work.

2. Stop Making What You Can’t Have Special

Our egos like to make what we can’t have special. We think that once we get the fix, then we’ll become special, too. But usually after doing “the don’ts” you’ll feel guilty, shady or ashamed. It’s totally not worth it. Try mentally taking the “sparkly filter” off of the thing you’re craving. French fries are really just lumpy, salty potatoes. You’ll probably wear those gold boots you saw on REVOLE like maybe twice. The guy who comes around whenever he feels like it is actually a constant let down… Take whatever it is that your ego has made special, pull it off of its pedestal, and you’ll instantly defuse the power it has on you. 

3. Learn Daily Discipline

Next, become a more disciplined person in general. The new daily disciplines you adopt don’t even have to relate to your bad habit. That’s actually the fun part about it. Pick something that you know you can easily welcome in like actually flossing, writing gratitude lists or keeping your car nice and clean (this one is mine RN haha). The trick here is you must do it EVERY DAY. Once you start being successful at this discipline, it will boost your confidence. You’ll prove to yourself that you can change, which will help you put your game face on for the harder habit to kick.

Also, of course, I’m gonna recommend meditation as a daily practice, too. Why? Because it makes you feel awesome, it recharges you and it alters your neuropathways. Yeah, changing your brain may help changing your life… just sayin’.

4. Finally, Approach it with Curiosity.

Once you’ve adopted a DO attitude and feel like the karate kid with all of your disciplined ways… the last tip is to approach the change with curiosity. We have a hard time committing to change because our mind will tell us, “You now have to drink green juice FOREVER and you will never have a chocolate shake AGAIN!” So then you’re all like, “Ok, just one more shake and then I’m really done… really… “

Nope. Doesn’t work. You need to trick your underlying fear of commitment. Make your new favorite slogan, “Let’s just see…” Let’s just see if I can eat more green stuff today. Let’s just see if I can do this 20-minute home workout. Let’s just see if I’ll like Bumble. Let’s just see if I can write one blog post. Let’s just see if I can save $100 this paycheck. Then, the new habit feels more like an experiment that you want to try. 

Conquering one temporary challenge after another will slowly cement change into your life.
And after experiencing how good it makes you feel, you’ll naturally be more motivated to make it stick.

So good ahead and try these steps out. I hope this helped, Christina!
Before you know it, you’ll be all…

New year, New you, Who dis?