Albert Einstein described insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Sounds pretty obvious, doesn’t it? But think about it. How often do you wish for something to be different, yet you continue to do the same things over and over again out of habit? Of course nothing changes! The only way to get a different result is to do something different. In other words, you must change your habits.
Changing habits is not easy. If it were, nobody would be fat; nobody would be addicted to nicotine, alcohol, drugs, or gambling; nobody would be stuck in an abusive relationship, nobody would be stuck in a rut, and we would all be living our perfect lives.
You have to be aware that you have a problem before you can make changes to habits that address that problem. Sometimes your problem is obvious, and sometimes it’s not. Your problem might be obvious to others before it becomes obvious to you. Or maybe you are aware, yet in denial that it is a problem. For example, you could be obese and you might be aware that you are overweight, yet you may not believe it’s a problem, when actually it is. Maybe it doesn’t seem like a problem to you because you have plenty of clothes that fit you and you carry yourself well and come across with confidence. Yet your family and friends are concerned for your health and they’re the ones who think you need to lose weight.
There are pros and cons to making changes, especially when it comes to lifestyle changes. For example, some of the pros of losing weight might include looking good, being healthier, feeling good about yourself, feeling more confident, feeling more attractive, being able to wear smaller, more fashionable styles, being able to be more active, and/or having more stamina.
The cons of losing weight might include giving up your favorite foods, eating foods you don’t like as much, more effort to prepare meals, feeling like you’re missing out at big meals with family and friends, getting taunted, teased, or picked on by others because you’re eating differently, and/or changing your persona if your identity comes from being fat. If activities with certain friends or with family revolve around food, you may find that you must spend less time around those people or even stop spending time with them altogether in order to change. So losing weight could alter or eliminate key relationships. Change can be scary.
Becoming aware that you have a problem is the first step. Notice how your problem impacts you and those you love. Notice how things would be for you and others if the problem were eliminated.
Becoming aware of the pros and cons of changing your behavior in order to eliminate the problem will help you to know if you are ready to make changes. Create a list of the pros and cons of eliminating the problem, whether the problem is being overweight, having a health condition, being a smoker, or something else.
If the cons are more important to you than the pros, your fear of what you are giving up outweighs your hope of what there is to gain by being successful. The reality is that you are not ready for change and will probably not be successful. And that’s ok.
It can take time for the pros to become more important to you than the cons. It could be a process, or it could be some event such as a diagnosis or reaching a certain weight, that suddenly makes the pros of changing become significantly more important to you. Regardless of how it happens, once the pros are significantly more important to you than the cons, you are well on your way to making lasting changes that finally will get you different results.