Monday Motivation: Change

28 Jan

Change is hard. It’s challenging when we want to make the change – when we desire to make a change or try something new – and have to step out of our comfort zone to do it. It’s monumentally more challenging when the change involves doing something we don’t want to do but know we need to do. This kind of change can feel overwhelming, intimidating, and seemingly impossible to accomplish.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.


It’s been 90 days since Barry and I gave up Diet Dr. Pepper and I’ve only had one (a treat on Christmas Day) in that time. Ya’ll, I can’t remember the last time I went this long without a Diet Dr. Pepper. It’s not just been years, I’m talking decades.

I thought about it for a long while before making the commitment. I knew Diet Dr. Pepper, as wonderful as it tastes, did nothing good for my body, yet I found it very difficult psychologically to pass it up. I had even attempted a couple of short-lived attempts at giving it up before. But I rationalized it in my mind and didn’t stick with it.

“I don’t smoke or drink, so this is my thing.”

“I don’t drink that much Diet Dr. Pepper, one – occasionally two – a day, so it’s ok.”

This is not a huge change compared to some that people have to make, but it felt huge to me at the time. {grin} Your change may be a small thing, but can seem large in your life. Or your change may be a ginormous thing that completely overwhelms and frustrates you. Either way, there are some principles you can apply to your efforts that might help you accomplish this goal.

Confront the difficult while it is still easy; accomplish the great task by a series of small acts. – Tao Te Ching

Start Today.

Don’t allow yourself to procrastinate one more day. Do something, anything, that will get you moving toward your change goal. Tomorrow will arrive with a brand new excuse or reason not to start, so just do it now.

Take Baby Steps.

Big hills can seem insurmountable if you focus only on how far you have to go. One of the keys to implementing lasting change is to break the big goal down into small, doable goals, steps, or decisions. Focus on the next appropriate choice, decision, or action to be taken and the do it.


Reward Yourself.

Set short-term milestones and reward yourself when you reach them.  If the entire process is nothing but sacrifice and frustration, you find it more and more difficult to stick with the change. In fact, determine what reward will be up front and it will give you something to look forward to.

Have Accountability.

Had I not mentioned my farewell to Diet Dr. Pepper on the blog, I might have given up on it and resumed drinking that bubbly can of goodness. Knowing that I would need to report on it here, and also knowing that some of my colleagues read this blog, kept me accountable.


If you are eliminating something from your life that you really enjoy, be sure to replace it with something good if you can. If you’re giving up your much loved latte, replace it with a delicious cup of tea sweetened naturally with a bit of honey or some fruit juice. If you are giving up sweets, try some alternative sweets recipes such as The Savvy Sister’s Vegan Chocolate Beet Root Cupcakes or Chocolate Covered Katie’s Black Bean Brownies.

Most of all, remind yourself every day that you CAN do this. Change is hard, but also inevitable. It’s up to you to choose what the change will be.



6 Responses to “Monday Motivation: Change”

  1. The Savvy Sister January 28, 2013 at 7:58 am #

    Don’t think of you “giving up Dr Pepper” think of it as “getting a better memory, lower risk of cancer and diabetes, stronger teeth and bones, healthier liver…….”
    Rachel, why not come on over to Flo’s blog where she is taking a 21-Day Vegan Challenge? (I’m coaching her) Even if you aren’t going to become a vegan you might learn some stuff. (for example I pigged out on vegan fudge last night just like a regular junk food junkie!) or

  2. rachturner January 28, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    Thanks for the link, Susan! I’m definitely going to check out Flo’s challenge. Doubtful I would ever go vegan {grin}, but I’m open to learning healthy alternatives. :)

  3. Facing Cancer Together January 28, 2013 at 10:43 am #

    I really like that first quote – how life doesn’t get better by chance, it gets better by change. Sometimes I think we’re also throw into change without much choice. Fixing the outcome of that change onto a positive development really gives me hope. Thanks! Catherine

    • rachturner January 28, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

      Great point, Catherine – sometimes (especially for cancer patients) change is not something we want to do, but are forced to do. It’s all about attitude and perspective.

  4. Andrew January 29, 2013 at 6:51 am #

    Change is hard, no matter how small, and food ‘addictions’ are not easy to break. Well done!

    I liked your pointers on how to make change happen.

    My little trick this year is a Fitbit tracker to make sure I am active enough. It helps.

    Keep it up.


  1. Articles of Interest This Week | My Lymphoma Journey - February 2, 2013

    […] A nice post from Blessings in Disguise on just how hard it is to change one’s behaviour, with a number of tips (start, baby steps, reward, be accountable, and replace) in Monday Motivation: Change. […]

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