We all love a bargain. Who doesn’t relish that delicious feeling when you find that special something at a deep discount? I certainly do. But there are times when we want something so badly, we are happy to pay full price because that is what t takes to get it.
When it comes to change however, we often hope for some kind of bargain. We want something but we hope it will be easy, and not too much effort. But there is a price for change and sometimes it is higher than we expect. And if we don’t pay, we may not get the results.
So what is the cost of change? It takes work and effort of course. You also need clarity about what you want, goals to stay focused, plans to guide you and a big enough ‘why’ to stay motivated. And of course you need to take action, and to keep going even when it feels unfamiliar, you feel disheartened or scared. That cost can feel high, so it’s no wonder we don’t want to pay it! That is why support is so important, because change is not easy for anyone.
And there is a good reason it doesn’t come easily: We tend to favour what’s familiar and safe, because safety and survival is our deepest need. Whether the change is a new job, a house move or losing weight, we have to do something different to make it happen. And that usually means stepping out of our comfort zone, disrupting old patterns and habits and having to face feelings of fear or doubt.
A good example is new years’ resolutions. We start off full of enthusiasm, but this tends to peter out by the end of January. We get disheartened, distracted, and even forget about our resolutions. It is frustrating to keep failing to meet our goals.
When it comes to failure at keeping weight off, there is a good chance that the price of admission was higher than you expected. Paying full price means not just buying the diet book or the weight loss program. It also means taking the time to clean out your fridge, buy the right foods, join a gym, set up accountability partners, record your progress to name a few key steps. You need to get the full picture to know what to tackle, which is often more than making a food plan.
Another common reason for giving up on goals, is you may not have taken into account what was involved, and how uncomfortable change can make you feel, especially at the beginning. If you are used to hiding behind baggy tee-shirts for example, and start getting compliments after losing some weight, this can make you want to hide again, because you feel so self-conscious. What is confusing is that feeling uncomfortable can be a sign that you are actually changing, and that is a good thing.
This is why support is so important. Support can mean many things, from a friend to talk to about what you are doing, to a group you meet with regularly, to a counsellor to resolve childhood issues still affecting you.
Next time you want to make a change, don’t shortchange yourself. There are few shortcuts or bargains when it comes to making changes, but if you decide you really want something, then think through the details and ask for help. You get what you pay for in the end, so if you put the work in that the front end, you will get the results you want.