Have you ever decided to make a change and then felt overwhelmed?
You know you want to change something but it feels like it would be impossible for you or maybe you even plan out what you need to do but then find it hard to take any action? For some of us, we actually make a start on the change full of enthusiasm but within a few days, we quickly fall back to where we started from. This applies to many aspects of our lives that we want to change, maybe it’s habits or we’re not happy in a job or a relationship and we either stay stuck because we’re overwhelmed with what may happen if we change and we create lots of scenarios in our minds about what might happen. Alternatively, we bury our head in the sand or we start making changes but feel so uncomfortable that we stop.
There are some of us who keep ourselves in limbo land because we don’t know what our BIG DREAM even is, so we stay where we’re comfortable and do nothing waiting for our BIG IDEA….
When we develop habits, patterns of behaviour and routines, these become our comfort zone and therefore even when we know we do want to change things in our lives we often don’t because it all feels too much and we naturally (even though we’re not aware of it) choose to stay in our comfort zone rather than making the changes that would enhance and improve our lives. Sometimes we stay stuck in horrible situations just because it’s become our uncomfortable comfort zone!!
How Do We Move Out Of Our Comfort Zone?
The 90 Day Change A Habit Challenge How To Join Brilliance Within’s 90 Day New Habit Challenge suggests chunking down any habit change, into something that feels possible, realistic and achievable. So for example:
- Rather than setting myself a target of exercising every day for 30 minutes, I tell myself that I’m going to exercise for at least 5 minutes every day.
- This feels far more comfortable to me and yet when I start my 5 minutes, on 4 of the 5 days so far, that 5 minutes was actually 30 minutes because once I set out on my bike, I enjoyed the ride and kept going for longer.
- Yesterday, I was out all day, dashed back in to get changed and was due to be picked up at 6 p.m. to go out with some friends. I literally had a 10 minute slot and because I knew I’d have to re-set the calendar to Day 1 of the Challenge if I didn’t fit in my minimum 5 minutes of exercise, instead of catching up on facebook or my blog reading perhaps, I dashed out into the garden and hoola hooped until my friend arrived to pick me up. She was 5 minutes late therefore I hoola hooped for 15 minutes (it’s a good job she wasn’t any longer or I’d have been looking like a sweaty Betty when she arrived…)
Sometimes we set ourselves those BIG challenges or we think we should have BIG life changing dreams. Maybe you’ve set a goal in the past to lose 3 stone (like I did) but it just feels too much. I broke my weightloss challenge down into losing 2 lb per week which immediately felt more achievable. Maybe you think I’d love to TRAVEL THE WORLD but then the negative committee in your head kicks in “don’t be ridiculous, you can’t afford to give up your job to go off travelling” so your ‘dream’ simply remains a ‘dream’.
What if you started to chunk it down into mini dreams or 5 minute actions?
I read a great post about how to change your life 5 minutes at a time by Dr Andrea Dinardo and she also talks about making changes in life by chunking actions into small 5 minute changes, which will help you to feel much more comfortable and the action more realistic and achievable. Take a few minutes to have a read: https://drandreadinardo.com/2017/08/18/change-your-life-five-minutes-at-a-time/
Take the example above “I’d love to travel the World” and our negative committee’s response “You can’t, it’s not possible”, now take the chunking down principle and ask yourself “how could I do that – how could I break it down?
You could then make a list of all the countries in the World that you would like to travel to and prioritise them starting with the place that feels the most realistic and achievable for you to be able to visit. Then start planning that single trip.
- How much would it cost to visit that place?
- How long would you need off work to be able to go there?
- How much could you save each month toward the cost?
- How long would it take you to save up for the trip?
Once you’ve planned out how you could achieve your first trip in your Travel the World ambition by chunking your dream into one trip at a time… it begins to feel more realistic and achievable doesn’t it. A weekend flight to Rome would tick something off my bucket list and with a bit of saving, it would be realistic and achievable.
Suddenly my vision of ‘travelling the world’ just feels easier!!
This principle of chunking down into 5 minute actions really can be applied to any change you want to make, be it a happy or a BIG dream in life. The key is breaking down any action into small chunks that feel much more realistic and less frightening than the BIG CHANGE that we never achieve because it just felt overwhelming and impossible.
It even applies to the BIG DREAM that you don’t have!!
Maybe there are some of us who think our dreams aren’t even BIG ENOUGH or we’re unclear what our dreams are so we simply stand still and remain in our limbo land, waiting for the BIG DREAM to suddenly make itself clear to us – yes you know who you are!!!
I was definitely one of those and I recognised that I was waiting for the perfect moment, the perfect dream etc. as the sign I needed to start taking action. When I attended Andy Harrington’s great Power To Achieve Event earlier this year, I realised that the time to start doing something was definitely NOW.
There is no perfect time or perfect dream and taking those small steps toward something – anything…. is better than continuing to live in limbo land. Allowing one small step to lead to another and before long, things look much clearer than they did when I was simply stuck in limbo.
Now is definitely the right time to start taking action toward any goal or dream, no matter how large or small, because who knows who you may bump into along the way or what you may discover about yourself and your inner dreams that you weren’t ever going to become aware of sitting in limbo land?
Taking a small step toward somewhere is definitely going to enhance your life more, than taking no step to anywhere!!
If you’re interested in joining the Brilliance Within 90 Day Habit Changing Challenge, leave me a comment and I’ll be in touch and I’d also love to hear from you if you have some BIG Dreams that feel impossible… Set me the challenge of helping you break it down into small chunks!!