Starting to change is a struggle.
It’s so easy, so temporarily rewarding to go back to old habits. To eat a bagel rather than oatmeal. To sit rather than move.
But it get’s easier. I promise.
When I started to change, I couldn’t do it. A huge hill stood before me, and I just didn’t have the endurance to make it up, without falling all the way back down.
Some people can sprint up a hill, or jog up it. I can do neither.
So I gave up, cursing myself for my failure. I cured myself because I had no will, no discipline.
But then I tried a new approach. I took things slow. I walked up the hill, and when I grew tired, I rested; I didn’t fall all the way down.
This approach is slow. Not snail slow, but walking slow.
People ask “why change slowly?” Simply put, it’s the only thing that works for me. Again, some people are different. But I see so many people who want and try to change and fail.
Most people want to change fast. Most people also fail at changing. Perhaps slow change is the answer.
After changing, after walking up hills, I learned something else important. Hills must slope downward. So no matter how hard of a hill you climb, not matter how hard your change, it eventually gets easier. Effort is still required, but less and less is needed.
As time goes on, the change becomes more and more ingrained. It becomes part of your life. And when this happens you have changed. You have formed a habit that can last a lifetime.
The hill is there. Instead of cowering – instead of procrastinating – take one step. Then slowly, take another and another. It’s not a race. What matters is you reach the top. Make it as easy as possible.
And one more thing. When you are conditioned to hills, they don’t seem as bad. I know now that no hill is too hard to climb. And so I climb more. Slowly.
Guest post by Jake O’Callahan