We are feeling ready! We have stocked our motivation with books and podcasts and tedtalks, and we have our sneakers on and we are READY
So what do we do?? It is normal to start making a list of all the changes we want to make and pursue a massive overhaul of all the things we want to see changed.
This is NOT the sustainable way to make change. It feels so necessary to do all the things while this window of motivation is open! But this approach will leave us fizzling out and believing we just aren’t disciplined enough and that we don’t have enough willpower.
In this episode we talk about:
- What happens when we take on a lot of change all at once
- What happens when the motivation tapers out
- Myths we believe about willpower and how it impacts our view of ourselves
- How we can set ourselves up for success by simplifying the whole approach
- How to make change that fits into the life we already have
- Why our brain is not excited about making a lot of changes all at once
- Why simplifying change is important in developing our skills for change
- My approach to simplifying a change I want to make with my coffee intake
Resources and episodes mentioned
Full transcript (unedited)
Welcome to the simple on purpose podcast. This is a podcast for women, moms, whoever, whoever wants to do this work, who wants to do the work of living their life with more purpose, more peace and more presence. And I think more passion, because this is your life, and you should enjoy it.
This is a follow up episode to the last one about moving from ambivalent to ambitious. And I want to talk about that moment, when you are finally motivated. What should you be doing? How should you handle this motivation that has been bestowed upon you? By all of the work you have to do? Because there are a lot of steps that had to get you here to feel ready to make a change? Do you remember some of those from the last episode, acknowledging the dissatisfaction acknowledging the desires? Asking yourself honestly, if you’re willing, and asking where you’re capable? And where do you need to work on some skills?
So let’s say we’ve acknowledged all of these components, it has taken a lot to get here, right? We had to move ourselves from ambivalent to ambitious. It’s like pushing a boulder up hill. All right, so we are feeling ready. What are we doing? We’re feeling ready, we listen to some podcasts, we read the books, we watch the TED talks, this is everything that I have done to get myself even more motivated. Just to keep stoking those motivation fires. This is going to happen we are going to make some change. Watch out family Mom’s got her sneakers on copies on Bruno Mars, singing perm. Watch out, okay, we are here, we’re ready.
What are we gonna do? What will we do? How will we handle this energy that we have that we’re just ready to get started. And this is what I see happen all the time. What I did to was think I have to change all of it. Everything, Pinterest boards for all of it, the kids will be on a schedule. Every room will be decluttered vegetarian meals all week, family meditation, or let’s try that morning exercise. That is how I felt when I finally woke up to my life, all of the things need to be changed.
Now your Enneagram type might start to shine through right here. How will you handle this idea of making all this change. And if you’re a type nine, like me, you would turn around, crawl back into bed and just put your blankets over your head but for most people, and the fed up nines. They’re like, today’s the day we do the things, let’s make these changes.
And it’s really natural that when you have this ambition to make the change, you want to make all the changes, right? Totally normal to think this is my chance. I am ready to make change, it’s natural to make a list of all the things you want to work on. And right here, I’m going to tell you to just pick one, pick one to work on and it’s like won’t law that does not feel good. You’re like, No, I’m here, I’m ready. All of the things that I’ve been wanting to change for years.
I have these conversations. So often, like every coaching call where someone is setting a goal, we talk about starting in one spot, instead of trying to change everything at once. And I’ve seen it time and time again that the sustainable way to change is to simplify it, master it, and then add more. When we take on a lot we we can start off well, often we are writing momentum, our initial motivation is good given us and objects in motion stay in motion, right we have momentum, we’re highly motivated, we don’t really need to call on willpower as much. But as those good feelings start to wear off as that motivation starts to decrease as our momentum meets a lot of friction in our lives. As these tasks become less satisfying. Or we find that we need even more skills to keep moving forward. We start to lose steam, we start to lose energy, we don’t quote unquote, feel like it anymore.
And at this point, we would be relying on our willpower or willpower will keep us taking action. Right. And here’s here’s a hitch, right most of us think we have no willpower, like we’re personally flawed, more missing the willpower gene. How do I get it like inject some willpower into me. But what we’re hearing more and more is that willpower is a muscle. It tires, we need to exercise it to strengthen it to give it stamina. So if you haven’t done the work of building up this muscle, when that initial motivation wears off, you are left holding a bigger way than what you’ve trained for.
And in those situations, how do you feel you feel weak and disciplined? You fizzle out all of those big plans you had to exercise, eat healthy, have date night, teach your kids to cook, declutter, all of these things are left half finished. And now how do you feel about yourself? Not good, right? You’re not feeling like that bright, capable, motivated, ambitious person. You were when you started this undertaking two weeks ago. So we’ve all tried it right? We’ve tried the big changes. We felt like we failed. You’re normal.
First of all, you’re normal. Second of all, I have encouragement for you. You have also in that process taught yourself that you’re capable of making change, you just took on too much all at once.
Because in order for us to maintain the lives we already have, and start adding in all of these changes, it causes a lot of demand on our time and energy. And any time that energy needs to be expended, especially the work of building new habits that is so energy intensive for our brains, that is why our brain puts things on autopilot on habit to conserve energy, that’s one of its jobs. And you’re trying to build brand new roads, brand new thought processes. When your brain already has these freeways that it’s built over years of repetition, your brain is going to prioritize those habits because it wants to save energy.
So building new habits, doing these new things, it’s not work your brains excited about doing right. And a way to address this, what we can do about it, dial it back, I want to empower you to make some change in 2022, do whatever change you’re ready for, right. But I want you to try a new approach with me. If you’ve never done this before, I want you to try and work on one simple thing at a time.
And maybe this means simplifying the habit you want to work on. Maybe you want to cut out coffee altogether. Let’s start with reducing it. Maybe you want to wake up earlier, let’s start with going to bed 10 minutes earlier, maybe you want to declutter your house. Let’s start with gathering all of the papers in your kitchen.
Because it is more sustainable to work on the skills you need. Like we talked about skills in the last episode, what skills could you possibly need for like reducing your coffee intake? So I thought about this, I wrote some things out, because I’m trying to do this. This is what I noticed some skills, I need to do this to change this habit, right? I want to reduce my coffee and take I need to work on mindfulness into how it makes me feel like maybe I actually don’t feel that great from having coffee, I need to work on identifying the thoughts that I have that keep me tied to it. Like I have a very strong relationship to coffee. It feels silly to talk about this. But I’m serious guys. So I’ve got thoughts that keep me tied to it. But what new thoughts might I want to be believing, I need to be able to sit with the urges that come up. When I think I want to have that second or third coffee in the day. This is a big one. Sitting with those urges, sitting with the discomfort of saying no to myself, That’s uncomfortable, I need to learn how to sit with that. Choosing Other substitutes, maybe researching other drinks that I would enjoy. So making a plan for myself on how I’m going to handle this. That’s another skill. And following through on my commitment to myself building up myself trust, I’ll make sure to link that episode on self trust in the show notes if you want to listen to that one.
But what is happening is I need to spend time working on these skills. I need to spend time mastering them. And then they’re going to take me to that next level. And you know, maybe by then I’ll decide, I don’t need to just cut copyright out of my life. Maybe this is working well for me reducing it. Or maybe I will decide, okay, now I’m ready to go 00 Coffee. Do you see how this approach, simplifying it and working on that is just so much more sustainable. So if I feel so much more confident that I can do this, I can reduce coffee, I’m not going to cut it out of my life.
So this whole episode, it really is another case for doing small things consistently over time. There’s a couple episodes that expand on this. And I’ll make sure to link them in the show notes. So as you’re thinking of the changes that you want to make this year, how can you simplify it? If you have the life on purpose workbook, there’s habit worksheets are going to give you some more strategy. There’s a habit tracker in there as well.
And if you’re interested in reading even more about habits, I really dive deep into this on the homemaker on purpose workbook. That’s a book about creating and sticking with simple home routines and homemaking. And I just read through it. I have a paper copy of the book. I had so many spelling mistakes in there guys. Like I wrote this. Okay, I wrote it in 2020. I was home alone for a weekend the kids were gone. I pulled my computer out into the kitchen, drank all the coffee apparently turned off spellcheck, like the dangers of self publishing are very real. So apologies if you have this book, and you’re like, Oh, I didn’t know apostrophes could be used like that. they probably can’t. But I hope you still have got the essence of the message that I’m relaying in there. Anyways, this has just been edited. I’m editing as we speak. So it’s being sent in for a reprint and that is available to you as you’re listening to this episode. If you’re interested in that, go check it out.
And I want to wrap up with one more resource that I think is really going to help you guys that I’m personally and nerdily excited about is the Spotify playlists. Many of us are on Spotify. There’s free versions of it. And I have created I put all my podcasts into playlists by topic. So there’s all the topics that we cover a simple on purpose from simplifying your home to Living on purpose to emotional intelligence to habit change. I’ll link those in the show notes as well. Make sure to check those out if you’re interested. Alright friends, have a great week and I would love if you touched base with me on Instagram or in the Facebook group come and share in there. What you’re working on.