Give Change a Chance
Don't give up before change has a chance to take hold

by Rachelle Disbennet-Lee, PhD.

I am famous for saying that change doesn't happen overnight -- it happens over time. Any type of change you are creating is going to take time. You have to make the change a habit so that it is something that is simply an integral part of your life, and no longer something odd or different. Once the change is integrated into your life, you no longer have to think about it. It becomes as natural as brushing your teeth or taking a bath. Even those activities were not always habits in your life; it took time to make them natural and habitual (just ask your parents). If you want change to have a chance, you have to give it time.

I have been making all kinds of major changes in my life, not the least having to do with my eating habits. I am basing the changes on a study I read about a group of participants who followed a particular regimen and had amazing results. With great excitement I set out to follow the same process. I was deeply disappointed after three weeks because I wasn't even coming close to the results that were reported in the study. As I was reading through the study again, something hit me. The results of the study came after participants had followed the program for six months -- not just three weeks. I was ready to throw in the towel because I hadn't achieved my anticipated results, but I hadn't given the change time to take effect. The fact is that I have seen results, and I am having success, but my success just wasn't what I was focused on. Since my epiphany, I have decided to watch for the changes that are happening over time, not compare myself to participants in the study until I have reached the six month mark, and after six months, I will evaluate my progress.

When I am coaching a client, I often make suggestions about things he or she could try. More times than not I hear, "I tried that once, and it didn't work." Trying something once isn't going to tell you if it works. That is like saying you went on a diet for a day, and it didn't work. Once is not enough; it usually takes weeks or even months before you will begin to see results. And it takes a lifetime to see the overall results of any change you make. So, don't give up just because something didn't work once. Give it a chance. Also, don't be afraid to tweak your changes. Perhaps working out in the afternoon doesn't work for you, but a morning workout fits right into your day. If something doesn't suit you exactly, figure out what you can do to make it fit into your life more easily.

Change takes time. Don't expect to do something once and have your life completely transformed. It won't happen. You have to give change a chance and allow it to become a habit. Once that happens, you won't even have to think about it anymore. You will just do it.


Rachelle Disbennett-Lee, PhD provides daily motivation, information and inspiration to thousands of people through her award winning e-zine 365 Days of Coaching.  For a free report, "The Power of Daily Action - How to create more Wealth, Health and Happiness by Tapping Into the Power of Daily Action" go to http://www.365daysofcoaching.com/daily_action.htm 
Coach Rachelle Disbennett Lee, PhD, 2007


 

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