Tony Robbins, international bestselling author, world renowned life coach and motivational speaker once famously said “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” For many of us the start of the New Year represents a chance for a new beginning – a chance to make valuable changes that will improve our quality of life. Sadly our New Year resolutions are often discarded by the time February arrives as we remember just how difficult it can be to break old habits and form new ones.
It is a widely accepted fact that it takes twenty one days to form a new habit however this is usually contradictory to what we experience when trying to keep to our resolutions or new goals. Interestingly, a recent study by University College London has found that on average it actually takes sixty six days to fully embed a new habit into our daily regimes – that is nine and a half weeks! But is there any way to help speed up this process? Can we ever change quickly? According to Tony Robbins we can affect change in our lives faster if we focus on what our old habits are costing us and examine the benefits our new changes will bring.
Let me share my own experience of rapid change with you.
For years I tried to stop binge drinking, often trying to drink moderately only to binge drink all over again. On my thirtieth birthday I got particularly drunk. The next day I was, as usual, embarrassed by my behaviour. In the following weeks I would discover that my behaviour that night had cost me reconciling with someone who I really cared about. Once I realised how much my binge drinking had cost me I decided to stop drinking and haven’t touched a drop of alcohol since that day. Just as in Tony’s famous quote, the pain of my staying the same had become greater than the pain of changing. This experience taught me on a fundamental level that immediate change is possible in circumstances where the pain of remaining the same is greater than changing.
But what about when there are minimal costs to staying the same, like not eating fruit for example? When we look at the costs of something seemingly trivial it can be surprising to see how much the negative behaviour can actually cost us. Let’s look at the worst case scenario of not eating fruit. You would have poor health and your immune system would be weak. Your energy levels would be low and your skin would be prone to breakouts and wrinkles. Your nails would be weak and chip and your hair would have split ends and be brittle. Overall, your appearance would suffer and your energy may be too low to get through the day effectively. It soon becomes clear that the cost of not eating fruit is greater than we might initially think. If we take time to look at the costs that our bad habits have in this way our motivation to change them increases. Take this opportunity to choose a broken resolution or goal that you want to integrate into your life and list the costs of not changing your behaviour.
Next week we discover the other essential aspects we focus on in order to achieve lasting change.
If you could change anything, what would you most like to change in your life? How would changing this this help you? Please comment and join our community to gain encouragement, insight and support.
- Choose a broken resolution or goal that you want to integrate into your life and list the worst possible case scenario costs of not changing your behaviour.
‘Increasing Self Esteem CD’ by Glenn Harrolds, available on Amazon
Unleash The Power Within seminar by Tony Robbins at world wide locations
‘Giant Steps’ by Tony Robbins, available on Amazon