better than ever in 2023

Don’t be a quitter this year!

11 strategies for changing hard to break habits

Change takes courage…

Changing old habits is hard, it is not for the faint of heart, it is for the committed and courageous. Why? Because change kicks us out of our comfort zone and into uncertainty, risk and exposure. This is why the old way of doing things dies hard. Hard to break habits have two very powerful forces as their allies—fear and resignation.

So instead of  submitting to fear and resignation, we invite you to dare to try these 11.5 strategies and rise strong all year long (we added a .5 for fun).

Are you prone to any of these comments? If so, it’s time to kick them to the curb!

I know I should do XYZ, but it just isn’t the right time. I’ll wait until I can fully commit.

Doing XYZ is like looking up at Everest. I don’t have the energy. It’s just easier to punt and find a convenient distraction.

“What’s wrong with me. I always seem to slip. I have no will power!”

I’m not ready for this financially, I have to hold off until I have the freedom to take the risk.

I’ll start tomorrow… next week… next month… next year.

Now is your chance to:

  • assert yourself and NOT hold back,
  • kick a habit that continues to control you,
  • be productive and stop procrastinating,
  • change something about yourself and NOT quit,
  • dare to try something risky,

Okay, the New Year is behind us and you’re leaning into a new rhythm. But have you completely embraced any significant life changes or habit shifts? If not, we get it, it’s hard to make serious personal changes, even when you are absolutely convinced the change will make your life better. Change takes more than a statement or a resolution, change takes courage.

You are not alone if any of the bullets above resonate for you but you have not fully committed or made the shift. Consider New Year’s resolutions; a revealing indicator of how hard it is to change. According to U.S. News, 80% of well-intentioned people give up on their New Year’s resolutions by the second week in February. And, whether it’s a small, relatively simple habit to change or a major life transformation, many people don’t even make it that long. Strava, a social network for athletes, calls January 19 “Quitters Day” because after analyzing over 800 million user-logged activities in 2019, the research showed that most people are likely to give up on their New Year’s Resolution by this day.

What follows is some added insight into why we quit, why change is SO hard and a fresh take on regret. So, don’t hold back and don’t find comfort in the stats above. Instead, we invite you to rise strong, start today and borrow from any or all of theses 11.5 strategies for making change stick, not for a day or a month or even a year, for a better you and a more enriching life.

Why change fails:

Our failure in achieving New Year’s Resolutions is not because:

  • we don’t have well-thought-out plans,
  • we don’t have good advice or coaching,
  • we don’t have the right resources,
  • we don’t have the ability.

Our failure is in executing plans, advice, resources and ability. Ninety percent of our resolutions fail from a lack of willingness and poor execution.

Poor execution is where good intentions die.

What Makes Personal Change So Hard?

  • The disruption, discomfort, and discipline required is immediate. The pain and sacrifice are in the “now.” Yet the pleasure is out there over the horizon, the actual change and reward is in the future,
  • To reach the goal, you have to change your lifestyle, shake up your current habits, create new routines, and dig in to do the hard work required,
  • You have to choose courage over comfort, and muster up the stamina, and stick-to-itiveness required to embrace the new routine and not give in to comfortable temptations,
  • Many people find this too taxing. Intentions are easy. Actions are hard. When you start a new program, be warned, you’ll get sucked into the hardship of change, and quickly realize change doesn’t happen immediately, it takes time. It’s tempting to give in. Or, go on to a new diet program, a new get-rich-quick scheme, a new workshop, a new flavor of the month because the old one didn’t work,
  • It’s fun to talk about the money you “want” to save for something big, something special, it’s stimulating, inspiring, and energizing. However, having the discipline to say “no” to temporary pleasures is hard. Creating a budget is easy to do. Yet it is significantly more difficult and requires day to day courage to stick to a budget by saying “no” to daily conveniences and the pleasure experienced through instant gratification.

This article is intended to help you rise strong and let go of your hold-back, hard to break habits.

One way to do so is become fully aware of a common quitters pattern: you try a little, face the hardship, succumb to temptation, give up, and then repeat until totally frustrated. Avoid the quitters pattern…  know the pattern, name the pattern and tame the pattern. Try this instead…

Remind yourself, change is a one moment, one decision, on day at a time journey. Buckle up. Be courageous, create a success pattern: dare to try, face the hardship (it is temporary) shift your focus (envision your goal, deep breath, think success) stay the course, repeat and rise strong.

What if we feared regret (woulda, coulda, shoulda) more than we fear the difficulty of change?

The only thing standing between you and a more enriching and fulfilling life, is the fear guided stories you keep telling yourselves about why change is so difficult, why you’re not enough, why you are not ready or why this isn’t the right time.

What if you were willing to embrace the disruption, discomfort, and discipline associated with change because it is absolutely unacceptable to be in the very same place next year that you are in right now? What if you were an exception to the New Year’s statistics cited above? What if you say “no” to quitting and instead, rest, regroup. re-imagine and lean into a courageous, none quitter mindset and do so one choice at a time?

“Almost everything you want in life is on the other side of what scares you.

The truth is, fear and resignation kill more dreams than failure ever will.”

Here are 11½ STRATEGIES for being courageous and making change stick:

  1. Get to the Root Cause of Bad Habits

“New” requires you to dig deeper and evaluate why you do what you do. This means you have to be willing to have an honest look in the mirror, literally. What do you see? This is your chance to be brave, what do you see and what do you want to change?

Your way of being doesn’t just magically develop all by itself.  And it is not coded into your DNA. Most of us don’t wake up one day and say, “I think I’ll be overweight” or “I always dreamed of being a negative person” or “I love disappointing myself and others.”  Usually, there is a story behind the story; a wound, a trauma, a stressor, a comment from a bully or an arrogant boss, or an identity that tempts us to medicate with an unhealthy habit. Or maybe it’s being stuck in an unfulfilling job, an unhealthy relationship, a health or financial problem, or a spiritual void. Whatever the case, you go for the comfort food, lose yourselves in work or on social media, engage in some unnecessary retail therapy, or binge-watch a series. All are wasteful and empty attempts to soothe your soul.

If you want to break a bad habit, start by identifying what’s causing it in the first place. Then, figure out what triggers the habit you want to change. For example,

  • Does your need for acceptance cause you to capitulate when someone disagrees with you?
  • Did an influential person in your life make you feel inadequate, so you armor up with bravado to show the world you are somebody?
  • Does coffee and a pastry on the way into work help you transition from home to a dead-end job?
  • Do you crave a snack because you are bored?
  • Do you turn to social media every time you feel neglected or unappreciated by your partner or because one or two “likes” feeds your appetite for affirmation?
  • Here is the really tough question. Does an anticipated change require so much emotional and physical energy that it causes you to settle into what you know, even though not changing is not good for you?

What triggers the bad habit or the fear? If you can name it, you can stand up to it.

As an example, our friend continues to moan about knee issues that inhibit an active, comfortable, healthy and fit life style. There is always an excuse why surgery is not a good idea. The the truth is, the root cause is fear of surgery and the recovery.  And that fear has lead to resignation. Our friend lives in an ongoing pattern of committing to getting fit and healthy every new year yet the pain (without surgery) leads to quitting.

Fear and resignation have led to another year of ongoing pain, same complaints, more weight gain, less wellness and no life style change. In this case, what is in our friend’s control?

  • Talking to people who have had the surgery and have risen strong.
  • Knowing the success stats and knowing the plan for pre and post success.
  • Flexing a courage muscle, kicking fear to the curb and scheduling surgery.
  • Then leaning into the post surgery physical therapy, surround yourself with advocates and assistance, and…
  • Say each day, “I can do hard things, this is bootcamp, it is temporary and each day will get better.”

Reality check: If you can name the root cause of a bad habit or a choice you’ve made, and you continue to allow it to control you then, the pain isn’t bad enough. So adjust your perspective, live with the choice and stop moaning. Change requires moving not moaning.

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.

2. Identify Your Why Before What and How

Don’t beat yourself up, if change were easy, we’d all be successful at it. We’ll say it again, change is not for the faint of heart, change requires courage! So, what causes you to slug through the hard things when the demons of doubt and temptations come calling? What determines whether you stick with it or quit? The answer is passion. Passion fuels the fires of perseverance, and passion comes from being clear about WHY you’re making a change or doing something hard. What inspires your intentions? What is the big, new shift—what is the reason why you are changing?

Debating which weight loss program or piece of gym equipment to buy is irrelevant if you lack the will to slug through the disruption and discomfort of making the new solution work. If you are unclear about why this change is essential, the discipline to make it happen will elude you.

Remember, the pain and hardship of change will NOT last forever, even though it feels as though they will, but if you want to change, it is in your best interest to anticipate the difficulty and be sure to mentally and spiritually prepare for it.

Before you start, ask yourself:

  • WHY do I want this?
  • What habits am I really prepared to change, for a day, two days, a week, 30 days, permanently and forever?
  • Which lifestyle changes am I really willing to sacrifice and suffer a bit for?

WHY gives your change purpose. For example, why do you want to get fit? What’s the story behind your desire to be fit? Is it because you want to be relevant to your children or grandchildren by being able to keep up with them? Do you have a medical history that concerns you and fitness is a preventative measure? Is it to expand your capacity, have more energy, clarity, and focus to realize your WHY? Are you doing it to be more attractive? Is it because you know it is easier to stay in shape than it is to get in shape? The point is, the motivation has to come from a big, bold why within you.

For us, there is a spiritual/relational anchor to WHY. Our belief and experience has shown us that, as good as these strategies are, God is the ultimate Source of transformation–to the freedom and life we seek. For us, when the going gets tough, it’s not about grinding through it. It’s about asking God for his empowering presence to fill us with the courage to redirect and stay the course.

A compelling WHY:

  • doesn’t put up with excuses,
  • gives you a reason to push through limitations and constraints,
  • is what causes you to lean into the uncertainty, risk, and exposure of trying something new.

3. Reframe shame–replace it with guilt

Flawless execution is rare. Most of us fall, backslide, have setbacks and make mistakes. That’s when shame steps in and takes your imperfections and mistakes and tells you, “you’re incapable, weak and hopeless.”  If you buy into shame’s dark and destructive whispers, it creates an intensely painful feeling that you’re flawed, not enough, and unworthy of the changes you desire.

Then, you become discouraged and immobilized and you… quit.

Shame is a soul eating, spirit killing pervasive emotion. The key is to call it what it is, stop it in its tracks and kill it in its infancy.

Become your own defense attorney. Challenge the whisper by demanding the evidence. Have you made your share of mistakes? Yes. Do you have weak moments? Yes. Yet, look at the big picture, consider your life as a whole, we’re willing to bet you’ve had many strong, successful moments as well.

Consider the difference between shame and guilt. Shame says, “you are weak. You’re not capable, you might as well quit.” Shame is permanent and pervasive. Guilt is temporary and contextual. Guilt says, “You had a weak moment, you are very capable, rest, regroup and reset.” It’s far better to replace shame with a temporary sense of guilt than allow shame to win and quit the journey completely.

“Most goals are not a destination but a journey of routine behaviors or habits. 

4. Think Journey and New Habits Not Destinations and Goals

People who create long-term, permanent change do not underestimate the effort required; they make change a way of life, not an episode or event.

Suppose you resolve to eating cleaner, drinking less, exercising more, stretching more, reconnecting with people, unplugging from social media, or reading more. In that case, you are talking about trading existing habits for new ones.

Whether good or bad, habits are an integral part of our lives. Day by day, week by week, and month by month, these small behavioral routines compound into a way of life. Good habits are the gateway to enriching, lasting change. Bad habits are the gateway to resignation and defeat.

Given that habits make up 45% of all human behavior, the key here is to focus on habits, not goals. Goals are achieved at a point in time, habits are lived on the daily, weekly, monthly. For example, if you are trying to drop weight and get in shape, you could say, “I’m going to lose 30 pounds by June.” But often, the problem is that the first 10 pounds come off quickly, and then you hit a wall and get discouraged. Discouragement leads to… quitting.

Instead of making “drop 30 lbs” a goal with a destination, make it a journey and adjust your habits. Attach a new habit to an old one. Park your car 10 minutes away from where you are going. Take the stairs to get to your office instead of the elevator. Resolve to walk through the airport versus taking the escalator or train. If you already walk for 30 minutes a day, put a 45-minute podcast in your ears and add 15 minutes. If you are sedentary, find one or two exercises that you enjoy. Don’t give up until you find what works for you. If you enjoy it, you will do it. Think about it, a journey encourages you to adjust your habits/behaviors, a goal discourages you from engaging in old habits. Goals require restriction and habits encourage changes.

If you are trying to reconnect with people and deepen friendships, the journey encourages you to create a habit of picking up the phone and checking in on someone before leaving work or settling in for the evening. If you want to read more, figure out where you have 15-minutes of scroll time during the day and replace it with a good book. If you’re going to write a book, build a habit of writing two “crappy” pages a day.

The clearest pathway to changing your life is to change your habits. James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, said that on average, it takes anywhere from two to eight months before a new behavior becomes automatic—66 days to be exact. Remember, change is a process, not an episode or an event. Think journey, not destination.

Here are a few guidelines for creating a new habit:

  • Make the habit easy to do: Find a gym within five minutes of where you live or work,
  • Focus on one percent improvement, and do it consistently. The compound effect can be dramatic,
  • Measure your habits: How many days in a row did you show up to the gym? Did you write? Did you eat at home vs. go out to eat? Did you start a meeting by asking and really listening? How many things did you say NO to this week to save a buck?

5. Dare To Step Out Of  Your Comfort Zone

Your life will shrink or expand based on your willingness to get out of your comfort zone. If you want to live an enriching life, you will continuously be rebuilding or replacing hold-back habits. You’ll be willing to give up normal, often dysfunctional routines for more valuable choices. But ongoing growth means you’ll also be continually stepping out of your comfort zone

Evolving into better versions of yourself means giving up things. Saying “no” to negative relationships, junk food, screen time, money-wasting activities, and/or whatever, is painful and holding you back.

Saying “no” requires stepping out of your comfort zone and into a place and space of uncertainty, risk, and exposure. When you leave your comfort zone, there are no guarantees or routines. In this new space you run the risk of rejection, frustration, failure, and embarrassment. Why? Because it’s new, uncharted and unfamiliar and very few people do something new and do it well the first time. Remember your WHY and use it to fuel the courage to be imperfect, to be a beginner again. Giving up your hold-back habits and acquiring new more enriching habits is a key to living a courageous and fulfilling life.

“You can be comfortable or courageous, but you can’t be both at the same time.

6. Don’t Fall for the Quick Fix

“Get everything you want, no sacrifice needed.” That’s the mantra of our times. Advertisers prey on instant gratification. We’ve been taught that we can have it all now. But, that’s a lie. Contrary to conventional wisdom, behaviors don’t become automatic habits in only 30 days and SMART goals, while often useful, are not the silver bullet.

Remember James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits? He said it takes an average of 66 days before a new behavior becomes automatic.

We are all for complementing your diet with supplements. But let’s be honest. No supplement will take the place of ongoing exercise and a well balanced diet. We are amazed at the number of people who say they work out regularly but can’t lose weight. Then, we see them reading the newspaper on the treadmill and get a glimpse at their eating habits. It’s pretty clear to see why they aren’t losing weight.

“Get rich working four hours a day, four days a week!” Really? When you expose these untruths clearly, you discover the nonsense. Everyone we know who’s generated considerable wealth has compromised, sacrificed, and made trade-offs in life.

“Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the fear of doing something new.

Replacing your daily non-fat latte might save you and your spouse $2500 a year. In theory, it’s a great goal. It looks easy on paper, but it also might mean giving up the social fix of running into friends or colleagues every morning at your favorite cafe. So, the question becomes, do you care enough about reallocating that money to give up something good yet immediate (a sense of community) for another kind of good but out there in the future (more financial peace)? It might not be as easy as you think. Bearing down on a change like this with grit and determination starts with realizing there is no quick fix. And temporary pleasures always have permanent reminders.

The truth is, you can’t have everything you want in life. But if you are passionate enough, work hard enough, are generous enough, and sacrifice enough, you might be able to change enough to get some of the things that really matter.

You can’t treat a marathon like a sprint. It’s easy to get discouraged and give up when you can’t build a habit in just a few days. Well, guess what? It’s supposed to take longer than that. Remember, you have to develop a system of good habits to succeed. You have to create a new lifestyle, a new way of being, and that takes time.

So, calibrate your expectations.

7. Anticipate Being Derailed And… Prepare

WARNING! Change doesn’t follow a nice, neat linear line from point A to point B. Returning to deeply-ingrained, hold-back behaviors is often part of the game, so calibrate your expectations. When you have the occasional lapse—you eat the ice cream, skip the gym, spend the money, lash out emotionally, or interrupt one more time—extend yourself a bit of grace. Do not give up, don’t quit. Instead, assess your overall trajectory. Then, reset and get back on track.

You’ve signed up to break a hold-back habit, to do something new, doing so forces you to adapt, grow and become a new version of you. What do you expect? A significant change with no challenges? That’s a pipe dream. The challenges are what make the transition worth embracing in the first place.

So, rather than be blindsided by sacrifice and suffering, anticipate it and prepare for it. You train for a marathon differently than you train for a 5k run. You know the marathon will be brutal. You know at some point in the race you will likely hit a “wall.” So prepare and train for what scares you the most. You run longer distances so you experience the “wall” and mentally push through it. The more you train, the sooner you learn when and where it will happen and how to best prepare.

As with the marathon metaphor, when you are learning a new way of doing things and anticipate being derailed, you expand your capacity to be challenged, you anticipate the moment and prepare to deal with chaos, uncertainty, setbacks, and failure. In the process, you learn how to stay mentally strong and keep from getting so discouraged that you give up.

The next time you start into a hard change, and you feel like you will never get through it, say to  yourself: “I expected challenges.” Then, lean into your mental, emotional and physical training to pave the way for reseting and getting back on track.

8. Embrace the SUCK

When you say, “that sucks!” it’s never a good thing. The “suck” is anything difficult, awkward, scary, unpleasant, complicated, and often unavoidable if we want to grow and challenge ourselves.

If you are embarking on a change that matters, you will face “the suck.” Most people work overtime to create a life where they will never have to embrace the suck because the feelings that come with it… suck. But working to avoid the suck merely reminds us of the emotions we are trying to avoid. This is how we get stuck. This is where we build a narrative that tethers us to the status quo and undercuts our ability to change, this is how resignation takes root.

Some people have the wrongheaded idea that “if changing is too hard, it must not be right.” Embracing the suck says, “Change is hard, but just because it’s hard doesn’t make it wrong and not worth doing.”

If changing were easy, everyone else would find it easy too, which would make it difficult to be extraordinary. If you want an extraordinary life, you have to trade it for ordinary. That means you will have to be willing to embrace the suck and do hard things.

Embracing the suck is about leaving the security of the comfort zone (hold-back habits/routines) for uncharted waters (new habits/routines). Leaving the comfort zone means you will risk exposure. You will be vulnerable. Embracing exposure and being vulnerable take courage. There is no vulnerability without courage, and there is no courage without putting yourself out there, without being vulnerable. Courage and vulnerability, two sides of the same coin, are inherently part of embracing the suck.

What does it mean to embrace the suck?

When you embrace a loved one, you don’t just tolerate them or kind of accept them. An embrace invites someone into your space. You welcome them into your life. Embracing the suck means you are receiving what’s difficult into your life. It’s saying, “This situation sucks. It’s not easy or comfortable, but I will lean into it and deal with it because change and growth lie on the other side of the suck.”

Embracing the suck is a whole different posture than just facing something difficult and sucking it up. It’s a tough-minded, determined spirit that says: “This is how I build grit. Grit fuels resilience. Resilience is essential to the sustained change I am seeking.”

No one likes to feel incompetent, but most growth is accompanied by incompetence at first. We realize that something can be done or should be done. We jump in and learn how difficult it is, then we realize it’s hard or it’s hard at first. And, if we stay with it long enough, we realize that we get better. The people who successfully make it through a cycle of incompetence use their”why” to embrace the suck until they begin to feel competent again.

In your life, change is inevitable. But Grow is optional. It’s your choice. The question is, “Will the changes before you be opportunity-led or crisis-driven? For most of us the answer is “both.” But wouldn’t it be nice if we erred on the side of “opportunity-led?”

We’re asking you to practice getting good at making change opportunity led… not crisis driven. Practice getting comfortable being uncomfortable. Test yourself, embrace the suck, step into change, anticipate being derailed, prepare and be ready to reset. 

9. Remember Better 

We’ve got good news, you are more capable of change than you might think. If you want to find the courage to step through fear and change, start by conducting an audit of how you’ve done this successfully in the past. Look back over your life and identify a time when stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing the suck got messy, yet you got through it. Think back to a time when you were scared, but you prevailed. When something seemed impossibly hard, but you figured it out. Or, perhaps God showed up and guided you through it.

Knowing that you got through significant change and endured tough times and lived to tell about it is a powerful motivator for doing it again. Remind yourself that it is doable and you do have what it takes.

Does this make it easy? No. Navigating the “messy middle” of change and embracing the suck is a learned practice of discomfort. But you can get more comfortable being UNcomfortable by remembering better.

While it’s essential to have a vision of how you’ve come through hard times, it’s equally important to remember the pain of not rising to the occasion. We refer to this as remembering worse.

Remember Worse…

…you wanted to change, but you were confronted with fear, you caved, you quit—you avoided the risk and dismissed a new challenge. Hindsight, you wished you would’ve responded differently.

The point is not to feel guilt or shame. Instead, reflecting upon some regrets of the past and how you mishandled the change or challenge can serve as a motivator for handling it better in the future. Looking back on specific scenarios and thinking through a “do-over” can strengthen your desire and discipline to press through the disruption and discomfort of change now and in your future. And why not enlist a trusted friend and/or confidant to process the do-over with you for another respected perspective.

Remember better. Remember worse. Contrasting the success of getting through hard times and the failure of getting tripped up in the past can be the spark that ignites your determination to step out of your comfort zone, embrace the suck, grow and change.

10. Invest In Relationships

In 1938, researchers began tracking the physical and emotional wellbeing of 268 Harvard men (sophomores at the time) during the Great Depression. The question they sought to answer: What makes a good life? What makes people truly happy and satisfied? Eventually, the study expanded to include the offspring and wives of the participants. Over eighty years and counting, it is the longest study on happiness. It turns out that meaningful relationships, more than any other factor—including fame, fortune, or power—are the key to happiness and longevity. Here are the highlights from the researchers’ discoveries:

  • Those who have warm relationships live longer and happier,
  • Loneliness kills. It’s as powerful as smoking or alcoholism,
  • Even though they fight with each other, the happiest people feel that they can really count on the other when the going gets tough,
  • When the study began, nobody cared about empathy or attachment, but the key to healthy relationships, is relationships.

Loneliness kills. It’s as powerful as smoking or alcoholism.

Staying connected…

…is an essential part of affecting personal change. The pandemic forced isolation, exacerbated loneliness, and sadly it is a growing epidemic. Think about it, it’s hard to change when you’re alone with few connections and no accountability. Change requires a supportive coalition or trust tribe—a community of people who believe in you, maybe even more than you believe in yourself.

An HBR study revealed, 85% of us are walking around clueless about how we present and impact others, yet we are legends in our own minds. Bottomline, most of us lack self-awareness, and are highly (or moderately) unaware of our blind spots. That’s why it is critical to surround yourself with people who are for you and will speak the truth in love to make you better and help you see your blind spots. The key here is to drop the armor and arrogance and create a psychologically safe dynamic where you can have courageous conversations and openly rumble over the tough stuff. This means trusted others can give you honest feedback without fear of repercussions, and it means you’re coachable, knowing that they intend to build you up, not tear you down.

A word of caution. Community will expose you. A trust tribe will bring you close to people where you will know and be known. Therein lies the power and therein lies the danger. When you genuinely and authentically get close to people, personalities are revealed, eccentricities surface, and blind spots are uncovered. Then, all these things rub up against each other. The potential for conflict grows. This is why many people would rather attempt change anonymously. That said, if you find the courage to manage the creative tension between others and yourself, a trust tribe can accelerate your transformation. When you dare to embrace conflict with a courageous and kind, build each other up spirit you both grow.

You are known by the company you keep. The perspective and support of people who know you and encourage you can be a powerful confidence-booster to pull you out of your comfort zone. It’s the workout buddy who says, “one more rep, you got this!” versus “I’ve had enough. How about you? Let’s get a drink.” Suppose you’re trying to lose weight and exercise more; who you choose to hang with matters. If your friends are unmotivated and sedentary, you’re screwed.

If you want to make change stick, be vulnerable enough to ask for support and surround yourself with motivating, encouraging people . Accepting help from those who care about you, will listen to you, and be a sounding board for you strengthens your resilience, commitment and growth.

If you know a co-worker or friend who shares your desire to change, take the initiative and invite them to lunch. Figure out how you can support each other. There is strength in collaborating. Use it to your advantage.

11. Remember, Forever Is A Myth


  • You’re on a diet craving something because you are hungry, but you don’t give in. It feels like it’ll be this way forever,
  • You’re in the fourth week of a workout program, and you are always sore. Will it ever go away? Of course, but it feels like forever, right?
  • You’ve purchased new technology, but getting the APP to work correctly is beyond your reach. You guessed it, it feels like forever.

Nearly all worthwhile change starts with discomfort. It is normal to mistake a temporary hardship—a jolt of fear, exhaustion, a sense of incompetence, a dark dose of shame when the new approach doesn’t quite work—for a permanent hardship. It is the “forever myth.” It is a powerful myth that stands in the way of changes we want to make in our lives because we think, “This feels like forever.” But it is NOT.

It’s one thing for an adult to clear ear pressure when the plane descends, but for a toddler with air pressure doesn’t have that perspective. They’re screaming because they think this is the new awful and they fear it will last forever.

I hated every minute of training, but I said, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.

Muhammad Ali

As an adult…

…the key is to reframe the hard thing as real but temporary.  Think back to our bootcamp reference, tell yourself, “This will not last forever. This too shall pass.”  We often quit when we try to embrace the suck, not because we can’t tolerate discomfort for an hour, a week, or even a month, but because we mistakenly believe the pain might have no end, then we start to believe it will last forever. Of course, this is a distortion because things change. Nothing in this world, except the love and loyalty of God, lasts forever. Nevertheless, the forever myth saps the energy we need to change.

Courage doesn’t always roar; sometimes courage is the quiet, defiant voice in the suck that says, “I will stay in this. When change seems impossible and tempts you to give up, ask yourself, “What can I do to distract myself, refresh, reset and remind myself this is temporary to advance in a new and better trajectory?”

“When change seems impossible, ask yourself: Does this decision support the life I’m trying to create?

11.5. Do Something Now

After more than 33 years of intensive research and eight books, we’ve discovered that you can’t lose weight reading an article, you can’t get strong because you have a gym card in your wallet, and you can’t meet someone special by watching them from across the room. At some point, you have to stop getting ready and do something now.

General George Patton said, “A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.”  You can read 15 articles on the best exercises for developing washboard abs, but then, you have to move. You have to pick two or three activities that are simple and doable and do them. Too much thinking, too much reading, and too much talking can become convenient excuses for moaning and not launching.

Dreams and desires are everywhere. The courage and discipline to execute come at a significantly higher price point. If you want to give up an okay existence for an enriching journey, make a decision and then commit, whether you feel like it or not. Stop making excuses, stop moaning and move.

We’ve written this piece as a personal set of motivators for ourselves and those we love, we hope you too will find them helpful. What we’ve discovered is, you learn to change by changing. You become more comfortable with change by changing. You find out how to make change stick by changing.

You can’t steer a car until it is moving. If you’re passionate about changing something important in your life, put the car in motion, move.

“It is never too late to start living the life you want.

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