The 3 core reasons why you fail to change…and why you shouldn’t give up the fight

Anyone can change…you’re changing all the time. You change your clothes, change jobs, change cars, change partners and the list goes on.

But what we’re talking about are changes that make a real impact on your life…like changing your negative self-talk, changing your sleeping habits, changing your exercise habits, changing the way you communicate with others, changing your beliefs.

I hear you though…change can be hard!

Change requires you to think, feel and act in a different way. And, because of the way we humans are built…trying to change can cause a lot of angst. The fact is…change is the only constant in this world. The problem becomes when you resist it…you end up struggling through life even more.

In some areas of life, it may be easier for you to change than in other areas. In my many years of working with people, I found that a lot of people find it particularly hard to permanently change their health habits.


Let’s talk about habits…

Habits can be tricky…but habits are necessary for your survival. They are what keep you going and they help you to conserve energy. You don’t have to think about them because you usually do them on autopilot. For example – brushing your teeth, driving your car, your self-talk (negative or positive), how you react to setbacks, the way you walk, using a knife and fork.  

Habits are patterns of thought and behaviour. Most are developed over time, as a result of numerous small choices you make. They are a sequence of steps that are repeated over and over again. In fact, they say that 95% of the thoughts, feelings and actions you do every day is the result of habit.

There are many different contributing factors to why you may fail to make change stick.


Here are 3 core reasons why you fail to change your habits, no matter how hard you try:  

1.     You’re trapped by your bad habits

·      Bad habits can be hard to break. It takes a certain level of awareness to really see what habits are holding you hostage and stopping you achieving the health, relationships, happiness and results you truly desire.

·      Once you become aware of your habits you realise that they simply produce a consistent and predictable result.

·      If you’re not aware of the habits that are holding you back…how can you possibly change them?


2.     No accountability

·      This is a huge hurdle that majority of people stumble at. Accountability starts with you…when you are accountable you are responsible.

·      When you accept that you’re responsible for your thoughts and actions and your results, you can start to change what’s not working.  

·      The fact is most of us get better results when we’re accountable to someone other than ourselves.


3.     Trying to take massive action

·      We often won’t make changes because we buy into the idea that it requires massive action. This sounds like a lot of effort and inconvenience, right?

·      But, if you reflect on how you’ve changed anything in your life, you’ll realise it happened over time and it actually happens as a result of a series of small steps.


Don’t give up the fight…there’s hope for you yet!


So how do you make changes permanent?

Let me share with you a great quote by a great man…

“You are where you are and what you are because of yourself. Everything you are today, or ever will be in the future, is up to you. Your life today is the sum total result of your choices, decisions and actions up to this point.” You can create the future you want by changing your behaviour and breaking your bad habits.” – Brian Tracy

To be able to make change stick…you’ll need time and resilience and…it may require some radical thinking on your part.


Here are 3 simple steps that will help you succeed in making changes stick:

1.      Practice one new habit at a time

·      It’s all too common that we try and change 2,3,4 habits at a time and we get overwhelmed. Your brain kicks into fear mode and before you know it you’re back in your old habit again.

·      It helps if you adopt the concept of layering. Change one small thing at a time and then layer on new changes or new skills.

2.     Try it for at least 30 days

·      We’ve all heard that it takes at least 21 days to form a new habit. So, give yourself the time you need to develop long-term healthier habits.

·      Don’t expect results overnight!

·      The old (bad) habit you’re trying to break took time to form…so it makes sense that it will take time to develop your new (healthier) habit.

3.     Get an accountability partner

·    It’s possible to make changes stick when you do it alone but it’s doing it the hard way. It’s hard enough to change a habit and make it stick…don’t make it harder on yourself…find others to support you as you make the changes and who will hold you accountable.


You can get results like a client of mine, Anna, she had been struggling with her yo-yoing weight most of her adult life. During our coaching, she focused on changing one habit at a time and taking small steps to achieve healthier habits. And as a result, she’s embraced her own power to be able to fix things herself and is consistently creating a healthier and happier lifestyle. 

Remember…just like your unhealthy (bad) habits developed over time…changing them will also happen the same way. We trick ourselves into thinking that we can change quickly and get frustrated when we don’t immediately get the result we want. The sooner you can accept that permanent change is a process, the sooner you will start to give yourself a break and start achieving the results you truly want. 


Want to finally break your unhealthy habits?


Remember, you have the power to steer your own course in life.