If you’ve watched a child learning to walk, you’ll remember the dogged determination to move, and the frequent tumbles. Just when they’ve almost mastered one foot in front of the other, there’s a new challenge: turning round, dodging the toy car on the carpet. Yet still they persist, getting stronger, more confident, sometimes bruised and tearful, but distinctly proud of themselves when they finally climb the hill in the park for the first time.
And that’s how it is with anything new – new skills and new habits. We’ve never done it before, and so we don’t really know how to do it. Watching others or reading about it helps, but it doesn’t replace getting out and actually doing it – and that means falling over.
We have lots of habits at home that we’d like to change, or develop. If you think of them as learning a new skill, it can be easier to make them happen.
It might be something big, like building up to running a marathon. But it’s just as likely to be something small:
- finding 15 mins before bed to read a book
- sending out thank you notes within a day of a present or event
- always tidying away your paperwork as soon you’ve done some admin
- not snacking in the evening
If you think of it as a new skill you want to learn, it can be easier to feel good about your progress, rather than getting frustrated that you can’t change an old habit. Remember, though, that just as learning to walk took some time, you need to keep practicing.
Don’t be afraid to get support. Where would that toddler be without helpful adults? Whether you need a coach, calendar alerts, phone calls of encouragement or just little rewards for yourself when you reach a goal, see them as an essential part of learning.
You won’t master anything new on the first day. You’re bound to take a few tumbles, because otherwise you can’t learn where your weaknesses are. Each time you’ve got a bit stronger, and you’re nearer your goal of being able to do it easily. Do it every day, and after a few months, it’ll be a new skill that you can use to replace your old habits.
Need a push for those first steps? We can find you a coach or personal trainer, a declutterer, wardrobe or diet consultant, send you motivating texts or reminder emails or simply take on the stuff that gets in the way of you achieving your goals. Contact us now!
Photo by tangle_eye at Morguefile