Adopting change

Most of us have things we want to change about ourselves, our bodies or our lifestyle. And change is good; I am all for it! So here we are trying to improve, with the best of intentions, but too often we fail.  I certainly do not know why this happens. There are probably as many reasons as there are changes that could be made.

I do have a theory though. Maybe it is only one culprit out of a thousand as to why we may fail in an attempt to adopt a new habit. I call it the "pendulum effect". It begins like this: we are introduced to a new style of eating, losing weight, thinking, dressing etc. We are excited because it speaks to us in some fashion. Maybe it solves a problem perceived or real. We decide to adopt this new idea. And here is where I think a problem may arise. That pendulum swings far to the right (or left). We throw our whole selves into this new vision. No holds barred. If any of our present customs do not conform, we exuberantly chuck them away. At this moment the pendulum is cresting, reaching full height.

It is possible that we have just set ourselves up for failure. I believe it is inherent in the radical nature of wholeheartedly embracing the new while vehemently renouncing the old. This scenario continues as the pendulum begins to swing in the opposite direction, gaining speed as it descends and likely yanking us toward the "old ways"; maybe even further along the spectrum than we were before.

I propose a trying on period. A courtship of sorts; slowly integrating the new. The "all in" approach can be overwhelming and burdensome. Imagine you have two puzzles. One completed that represents you at this moment. The second puzzle is undone and in pieces. This represents the new you embodying your desired change. I suggest you correctly lay out a few pieces of the new puzzle while eliminating a few pieces of the old. Do not stay up all night completing the new and throw away the old with the morning light.

Enjoy the excitement that comes with opening up to a new notion and new vision. That feeling is wonderful and so full of promise.  I am not suggesting that this is a part of the the problem. I am simply recommending that you savor the transition. In my opinion, you may be more successful over the long run.