Simplify Change

We all have changes we want to make. Healthier habits we want to implement to make us feel and look better, meet our goals, and develop stronger connections with the people in our lives. Change is hard, though, no matter how small or large it may be. Change of any size requires something many of us forget about when we wake up ready to start on Monday (because it’s almost always a Monday when we start our clean slate). That something is mindset. 

A lot of thriving people throw around the word mindset when they talk about their successes. But what is it exactly? And how do we achieve this so-called mindset? 

Your limiting beliefs play into change.

Mindset is how you see and make sense of the world around you. It’s your personal beliefs about your abilities and growth potential. There are two types of mindsets – fixed and growth. If you think about your abilities and intellect, shrug your shoulders, and think this is just what I can do and there’s no changing it, you likely have a fixed mindset. You’re believing there’s a limit to what you can do. And when you believe that, it’s what will be.

To get to the next level of your personal goals, though, you must learn to move from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. In other words, stop believing you can’t do something and start believing you can. While creating change in your life is not necessarily easy with a growth mindset, you eliminate one big hurdle when learning how to move from a fixed mindset. I bet you guessed what that hurdle is—you.

So how do we change our mindset to achieve the change in our lives we most desire? How do we become the wishful version of ourselves we picture in our minds?

Shift self-talk from negative to positive.

Think about the words you use when you talk to yourself. Are you your biggest critic? Do you put yourself down over everything that doesn’t go perfectly as planned? What do you say to yourself while looking in the mirror? While your thoughts about yourself are often not reality, constant negative self-talk makes you believe it is. When the urge to put yourself down arises, try these things to curb the negativity:

  • Rephrase your words to something you would say to a friend.
  • Listen to how you speak to yourself and write out all your inner-conversation for a few days. This will help you become more aware of the negative self-talk you throw around.
  • Tell yourself five positive things for every one negative. Seems like a lot, right? But relationship experts say that implementing a 5:1 ratio with yourself can have the same positive effects that it does in any relationship. You’re numero uno in your world, so treat yourself kindly!
  • Create an affirmation you will tell yourself every day. When you repeat the same phrase over and over again, you will start to believe it as truth. This can be as simple as:
    • I am capable and strong.
    • I am loved by others and I love myself.
    • I can do this.
    • I am creative and unique.

Start small and build up.

Let’s be honest. Sometimes we overcomplicate the tiniest change we want to make in our lives. We’ll overhaul our entire diet cold turkey rather than just eliminating the endless amounts of prepackaged snacks in the cupboard. When we try to go big right away, we unknowingly sabotage ourselves. Why? Because we cause unnecessary stress when we attempt to change a huge chunk of our life like that.

It takes a minimum of 21 days to create a new habit. The instant gratification part of me feels like that is forever. But after taking baby steps towards bigger, life-altering changes, I can attest to the fact that slow is fast in this case.

If that oxymoron is blowing your mind, let me break it down with an example. Let’s say your long-term goal is to prepare healthier meals for your family. But between activities and your full-time job, you feel stuck in this cycle of hitting up the drive-thru a couple of times a week. I mean, I get it. The later your kids eat, the later they get to bed, which means less time for yourself and grumpy kids in the morning. Start small – plan one meal a week for one month. That’s one guaranteed healthy meal for your family and no pressure to nix the drive-thru. The second month, bump up to two planned meals and one less drive-thru visit. As you get used to meal planning and maybe even living on leftovers a day or two a week, you’ll find you slowly eliminate your dependence on fast food.

Brainstorm ways to simplify your goals.

If you can kill two birds with one stone, do it—in small manageable ways, of course. Let’s kick around another scenario. Let’s say you want to spend more quality one-on-one time with your kids. But you also want to eat healthier, spend less money on food, and go to bed with a clean kitchen. How can you possibly do all of this without spending time you don’t have?

Here’s a secret…this example is not just a random scenario. Those were all my goals at one time not so long ago. I started cooking with my kids once a week (this could be the one meal planned day from the example above!). Together, we’d choose a simple yet nutritious meal and get to it. We would chop veggies together while listening to some good tunes, have a 30-second dance party while some garlic sauteed, and if something got a little burnt, we all had a good laugh about it as we sat down to dinner. That time to be silly and just be together filled my soul and probably made my kids feel like they had a fun mom.

Plan as you would at work.

Most of us have multiple personalities that we showcase at various parts of our life. Are you super organized at work with your calendar? Do you always make sure you appear at that Monday morning meeting, no matter how busy you are? But then at home, you fly by the seat of your pants, stressed and never quite doing everything you want to?

If you’re nodding your head, you are not alone, my dear friend. Before I started planning out my days at home, I was the same. And the things I wanted were always the things that got ignored. Which left me feeling unfulfilled, frazzled, and frankly, pissed off half the time.

If your primary goal is to eat healthier, block off a tiny bit of your Sunday for meal planning for the week. Even if something last minute comes up, stick to portioning out your lunches for the week and prepping what you can for dinners. You wouldn’t just skip out on your meetings, so don’t skip out on your goals!

Save your sanity! Don’t force change.

How many of you have tried a hardcore workout routine for a week only to find it just doesn’t work with your lifestyle?

Same, girl, same. At one point when I was a new mama, I tried to do an extreme workout class right after work that left me with tons of mom guilt and less time to do other things I wanted to get done. So even though I was working out, my mental game was suffering.

And for change to take root, we have to be ready mentally. Applying the points above to your change goals will simplify the steps to achieve those goals. Giving ourselves the grace to move slower on adding new, healthier habits than maybe we want to will help eliminate some of the unnecessary stress and mama guilt.

The moral of this story – make the workout fit your life, not the other way around.

Don’t think you have time to work out? Well, you know how I feel about that. It may be time to rethink your priorities, delegate tasks around the house…or my fave, eliminate something that doesn’t serve your long-term goals to make room for something you want in life.

You are the only one who knows what you really want. Now is the time to get serious with yourself, align your mindset with your goals – and get after what life has in store for you!


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