That day in 2016, when I finally declared that I no longer want to feel super-anxious and live in fear, I started exploring my options to feel better. I did not have to look very far…There was this woman at work who always seemed to have a calm composure amidst stressful situation at work, called Britta. I knew that she had been doing yoga for a while so I approached her and asked her few questions about her personal experience and how could I get started.I then looked up yoga places nearby and was led to a sweet, gentle and passionate yoga teacher called Chioni Hicks. We began regular sessions together and I committed to practising daily at home.
Around the same time, I came across a free phone app called ‘Calm’ which focused on meditation. Their free version gave me full access to Body Scan and 7-days of Calm features. I committed to doing it once a day before or after my yoga practice. After a month or two, I upgraded to their paid version, which gave me full access to all their meditation topics such as Forgiveness, Sleep stories, Returning to the now, Non-Judgement, and many others.
Later, I came across a book by Eckhart Tolle called “The Power of Now”. Despite hard readings, having to read one page or even one sentence a few times to be able to understand it, I repeatedly told myself ‘I can do this. I am reading this’ .My attitude became “who cares if I only manage to read one sentence per day, one page per day, or even one paragraph per day. I am committed to finishing the book and understanding it.”
Now? I credit this book for completely changing my perspective in life.
I could have easily stopped and given up any of those when the situation/s were starting to become overwhelming. And I admit, there were times where I thought that I did not want to do this anymore. However I refused to give up.
“If I want to change, I need to make an effort!”
I persevered despite how things were hard at times.
Had I not been committed, I do not think I will be where I am today. I am happier, and I am starting to look at life from a different perspective.
If there is a positive change you are wanting to make in your life – whether it’s starting yoga, meditation, reading, or something else, there are a two key things that will help you to get there a lot more easily.
The first is to make a clear commitment. The second is to persevere through the highs and lows of change.
Here are my go-to steps to stay committed
- Ask myself “Can I break this this goal into smaller steps?”
- Set desired date on when to achieve each step
- Stick reminder and inspiring quotes everywhere so I can see them everyday. I even glued a reminder to my steering wheel!
- Create a Vision board. Cover it with inspiration to keep going, remember why the goal is worth chasing, etc.
The cycle of change begins before we even make our commitment. Understanding the process has helped me to understand that what I’m going through is normal and to be expected, and encourages me to stay focused.
Here is a how the cycle of change unfolds:
- Discontent – no more of this!
- Breaking point – really can’t take this anymore!
- Decision – yes I am going to change!
- Fear and doubt- can I really do this?This is the stage where it is crucial to keep reminding yourself as to why do you want to achieve this goal in the first place. Am I just giving up because it is too hard, or , do I really want to change?
- Goal achieved, or, back to discontent cycle
Can you tell where you are in the below change cycle? Where would you rather be?