How To Embrace (and Stick to) Big Life Changes
Recently, a friend of mine made a big shift in her life. She quit a long-term habit that had been holding her down for a long time. This lead me to reflect on the moments in my life when I’ve made a conscious choice to make a big life change.
Making a major shift is never easy, we all have “bad habits” that are tough to kick. There are a few common threads that kept me on the right track when I made those changes. These simple steps can work for anyone:
1. Be completely open and honest with yourself about your actions
Being totally open and honest with yourself is always step one in embracing any big change. In yoga, connecting to your truth is known as, Satya. Practicing Satya asks you to be completely honest; this includes figuring out your “triggers” when it comes to your habit. For instance, if you are a smoker your trigger might be the drinks you have after work. By avoiding drinking you’ll be less likely to smoke. Nearly every habit has a trigger and discovering this requires you to be extremely truthful about what influences you to engage in your pattern. Avoiding that trigger will be the best way to stop you from falling back into your old ways.
2. Develop healthy patterns
Replacing unwanted behaviours with desirable ones can be a great way to develop healthy habits. Notice yourself staring at your phone too much? When you get up, rather than looking at your phone notifications first thing practice meditation or do a yoga sequence. Even if you’re short on time, 5 or 10 minutes can make a big difference. By replacing an unwanted habit with a healthy activity, you create more space to connect with your best self.
3. Set yourself up for success with smaller goals
Altering a long-term habit is a big goal, one that might require you to set yourself up with a series of little goals. Going cold turkey in some instances can cause you to relapse and settling back into those old patterns may leave you feeing more defeated than ever. Goal setting needs to involve attainable goals. For example, if your goal is to go vegan and you eat meat/dairy/eggs multiple times a day, it might not make sense to go entirely vegan right off the bat. A sensible goal could be to go vegetarian for a month, then set another goal like letting go of dairy, and so on. That way, it’s more likely to be a full lifestyle change rather than an abrupt change that’s tough to adopt and stick to.
Making any big change is often hard but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. Focus your energy on being completely honest with yourself, adopt new heathy patterns, and set and reach smaller goals so you can embrace personal transformation.
What are you ready to change?
When I began practicing yoga I came to it with an athletic mindset. After embracing the core values of yoga I discovered how much deeper life on the mat could be--it encouraged me to make positive changes that made a lasting difference in my life. Taking my yoga teacher training and opening a yoga studio was my way of giving back, to inspire others in following their true path. I always seek to share the deeper teachings of yoga since that's always been what's brought me back to my highest self. Outside of teaching I'm focused on following my passions from my home in the mountains and through travelling the world.