Dynamic Choices » Family Wellness

I Know I Should Change But…

How many times have you talked sharply to yourself as you bailed again on a behavior you really meant to change or a plan you truly intended to follow through on? How many “shoulds do you have on your list of things you really mean to do?

We all have areas in our life where change seems easy and even effortless and other areas where we seem to fall off the wagon regularly.  Often, despite serious consequences such as illnesses or accidents, we continue with behaviours long past the point where we know we need to make a different choice.  Heart patients continue to put on weight.  Lung cancer patients continue to smoke.  Parents continue to be workaholics despite the impact it is having on their kids.  Parents feed their children more fast food than they ever intended but their busy life just seems to always get in the way of their cooking.  There is always a reason to make the change tomorrow rather than today.

The real truth is, however, that we only change when we are motivated to do so. We only make a choice to do something different when our current situation becomes desperately uncomfortable or we are highly motivated to have something on the other side of the change.  We might be told we have a serious illness that will improve if we eat differently or we might really want to get pregnant and be told removing gluten might improve our fertility.  Whatever the story, it has to be our story and our motivation.  We are never motivated by the pushes and ideas of others.  We might change temporarily but we never experience long lasting change.

So, if you are having trouble making a change, check in with your motivation.  Why would you bother to change?  What will happen if you don’t?  How will your life be different if you do change?  If you can’t find a reason that really matters to you, you likely won’t change anyway so either find a more motivating reason or enjoy where you are!  Perhaps it isn’t something you wanted to change, anyway