Just change already, goddamn it!

If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.

If you’ve ever been to a Weight Watchers meeting, you’ve heard this. I have to admit, I hate these kind of catchy inspirational quotes. They feel condescending to me, like they’re implying that I can’t understand the concept of change with adult language. A couple of others that I hear a lot:

  • Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.
  • The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results.
  • If you don’t know where you are going how will you know when you get there?
  • Bigger snacks means bigger slacks
  • It’s better to laugh or to giggle, than to eat more and jiggle!
  • With your diet, don’t dawdle — if you don’t want to waddle!

I actually kind of like that last one and truthfully the last three because they’re so ridiculous it’s easier to stomach them. But for the most part they make me want to rebel and eat a box of cookies.

But WW leader Lynn said something on Friday that was so simple, I thought about it all weekend.

“Go out and make the change.”

I love the simplicity of this idea. Just make the change. Can it really be that easy? Well maybe it can be. so I started thinking about the “how” of making a change.

For years Weight Watchers has had a great poster on the wall that addresses the how-to of making the change.

The idea being that you start at the outer ring and move your way through the bulls-eye until you get to the place where you have changed your identity – WHO YOU ARE. What’s interesting to me is that “beliefs” is the second to last thing that changes before you can get to a new identity. That tells me that you don’t need to believe you can do it right away in order to create change. You just have to change something that you can control, which leads to behaving differently, which leads to feeling capable which THEN leads to believing you can do it, which leads to changing how you see yourself.

“Go out and make the change.” It’s a simple decision, if you let it be. So then what do you do when it isn’t so simple? Well thankfully you don’t have to reinvent the wheel – there is a lot of information out there to help you simplify.

In this article about motivating for change, PJ from Dirt Simple narrows it down to these 3 steps:

  • Focus on changing your actions, not your circumstances
  • Accept and plan for your weaknesses, instead of toughing it out
  • Periodically review your results to fine-tune or re-think your approach if needed

And I love this list from Dumb Little Man, with ideas of how to create change for yourself in 30 seconds or less. Here’s a few of my faves from this list:

  • Lose the frown – All it takes is less than 30 seconds to turn a frown into a smile. A smile literally relaxes hundreds of muscles and releases pockets of stress and tension held in your face. Feel your face now for any unnecessary squinting, frowning, or tight muscles.
  • Do nothing for 30 seconds – Put some space between you and your hectic schedule. Treat yourself to regular 30 second breaks and give your body an opportunity to re-balance itself. Close your eyes, cup the palm of your hands over your ears and listen to the blissful sounds of the ocean playing inside your head.
  • Take a 30 second exercise break – Stand up, roll your shoulders, stretch or try some wall push ups. Better still keep two cans of food beside your computer. When reading an article, grab a can in each hand and lift up to your shoulders and back down again, repeat as if lifting weights.
  • Cancel a complaining thought – Each time you catch yourself complaining, spend thirty seconds focusing on the opposite and increase your ratio between helpful and unhelpful thoughts.

But my last find is my favorite. It’s better than all the cheezy slogans I hear at WW every week, its better than all the tactics above. It’s just a reminder that makes it’s point simply and lightly.

Because maybe it really is that simple.  Now go out and make the change already.

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