Having That ‘Hard Talk’ With Yourself

4b4b3ea311fed1eb57cdf52dadc91c45It’s always hard to come to terms with the fact that you need to change. Yes, I know everyone is all “Love me for who I am,” and that’s fine. But then there are times when you have to look yourself in the mirror and admit that something has to change. Whether that means starting a healthier habit, or working on your patience, or even watching your budget.

Change isn’t bad.

It might be uncomfortable and scary, but it’s not bad. Want to know why? Because things are likely to change again… and again.

Also, working on yourself isn’t a bad thing either. We all know that the person we were 15 years ago is NOT the same person we are today. You’ve changed and you’re capable of doing it again.

Now I’m not promising you a rose garden, but if it’s something you really want, then you’ll get through the beginning and we all know the beginning is the hardest part. Once you get past that, it basically becomes a habit and then it becomes who you are.

But here’s the thing, you actually have to WANT to do it. Crazy concept, right? If you’re just going through the motions then you’re going to achieve nothing. If you put your heart into it and at least try, you might surprise yourself. The sad thing is that most people don’t really want to put their heart into it. We’ve become a society of people who just want rewards with no effort. I don’t understand how that all came to be, but you’re going to have to actually DO SOMETHING about it. You can’t sit back and wait for it to happen to you. You also can’t wait for someone to stand next to you all day every day reminding you of your goal and that you need to put a little elbow grease into it.

The drive and ambition has to come from within. And that’s another hard conversation you have to have with yourself. You have to be stern with your goals and the methods of which you are going to achieve them. You have to be your own cheerleader, your own coach, and your own opponent.

And I’m sure those of you reading this are thinking, “Just reading this sounds difficult, why on Earth would I want to do that?” The truth is, it’s actually not that difficult. People think that others just wake up a changed person. And while that might happen for some – it doesn’t happen for most. You have to start slowly. If you throw too much at yourself on the first day, then you’re going to become discouraged and then quit. So what do you do?

Make a To-Do list! I’ve read articles on how to-do lists are actually counter-productive, but for the sake of this argument, you’re going to make one for now.

On your To-Do list, you’re going to put the one habit that you’re going to change first. Maybe that habit is to eat more fruit. Have that To-Do list with you (on your phone or a note or whatever) and make sure you do that one thing on your list. If you want to put other things on there like grocery shop or schedule your next hair appointment, then that’s fine too. Whatever works for you!

Okay so now you have your To-Do list and you have ‘Eat more Fruit’ on it. Make sure that is the first thing on your To-Do list EVERY DAY. Personally, To-Do lists are awesome because I feel like I’ve accomplished the world when I get to scratch something off of it. Like, “Hell ya – I DID this today! I was PRODUCTIVE!”   — Don’t judge me, it’s a small win and I’ll take it. And if you have like, 5 things on your list and you complete ALL of them, you look back and think, “Wow – I’ve actually done a lot today!” It’s a really weird feeling of accomplishment. Even if you have something you hate on there such as ‘clean the toilet’ when you are done cleaning that toilet and get to check it off, it’s like you’re a freaking super hero or something and just saved the day. If anything, make the To-Do list just so you can feel that moment. It’ll be worth it, trust me.

The point is that you’ll be working towards a goal. You’ll be working towards becoming a better person. And it can be for anything! Such as trying to cuss less, or to stop thinking negative thoughts. Put that on your To-Do list and at the end of the day, assess how things really went. And yes, you have to be hard on yourself. If you cussed a person out for cutting you off, at the end of the day – own it. Don’t say, “Well, it’s day one so I’m allowed to be graded on a curve.”  – NOPE! It doesn’t work that day. Admit that you sucked and tomorrow you’re going to do better. I mean, don’t throw yourself a pity party and eat a whole pint of Halo ice cream because of it. Just be honest with yourself that it’s going to be harder than you thought, but you’re going to keep trying anyway. Pretty soon, you won’t need to put it on your To-Do list because you’ll already wake up in the morning knowing what it is you have to do. Although, I DO suggest that you put it on your To-Do list for at least 21 days. I know you’ll have it memorized by day two, but you have to have that reminder there.

But before any of this starts – you have to have that talk with yourself and first admit something has to change. It’s hard to have that talk with yourself, and I know because I’ve had it. I was in denial and angry and thought I’m just not going to do it – I’m not going to change who I am; this is me. And then – I had the talk. I was unhappy and things weren’t getting any better, so SOMETHING had to change – and it had to be me. In the end, I’m grateful for it. I’m happier than I was before and things started getting better.

I will admit that every now and then, I do fall off the wagon – I’m not perfect. I might stay down for a while and then the talk must be had again. And so I will get up and go at it again.

Schedule some time to take a good hard look at yourself and give yourself ‘the talk’. Just have a simple conversation and see where it goes. No decision has to be made right then and there – you can schedule another talk. But just have the talk.

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