Makeovers are all the rage. You can make over your look. You can make over your home. Heck, you can even makeover your pet! While they look good on the surface, makeovers often emphasis the over. Overdone in the sense that they do a whole lot (I mean, they use a team of people to get the job done). Overwhelming is what the person must feel when they consider keeping up with all of the changes. Overly optimistic because everyone, the team and the subject, really feel like they can keep it all going.
It could be fashion, nutrition or thought processes, but, to me anyway, the idea of a makeover is exhausting. All of those changes. All of that effort. It started out with good intentions and ended up with frustration. In fact, it can go deeper than frustration. If the changes do not stick, they can lead to feelings of inadequacy and failure making it that much harder to get back up and try again.
So, introducing, the makeunder!
During this series, we want to talk about fashion, food and finding new ways of thinking. It is the small changes that lead to big results. Small changes work the way the mind works.
There is a very good reason why you can’t make your positive changes stick. Your mind doesn’t want you too! You see your brain likes the status quo. In other words, it is easier to keep going down the road you’re on instead of choosing another route. (http://bebrainfit.com/rewire-brain-habits/)
So when you try to overall or change everything, you run into a problem. Your brain, fights and fights hard against your actions. After all, it wants things to stay the same and you are challenging that. And, the truth of the matter is that you don’t have enough willpower to change it (and I don’t care if you have boatloads).
Small changes, on the other hand, have the ability to sneak under your brain’s ever so pervasive and vigilant warning system. Before your brain even knows what happened, you have made the change. Then, you can start on the next one.
But there is a factor missing from this equation. Right now, it looks like this –
Small Changes + ??????? = Success
So what is missing in the equation. In a word: pleasure. You and your brain want to keep doing things you enjoy. Enjoy the change, you are making (or just like it). I hate running. I don’t even run if I get caught in the rain. I am actually known for saying, “The only thing I run is bathwater!” So any exercise plan that involves running isn’t for me.
I have a friend who has lost weight running, drinking daily smoothies and adopting a vegetarian lifestyle and it works for her. It won’t work for me. I like to chew, I know that sounds crazy, but smoothies everyday doesn’t appeal to me. And then there is the fact that a life without cheese, steak, chicken and seafood is not a life I want to live!
Now a diet plan where I can have meat (and the occasional glass of wine) will pique my interest. I can exercise all day, if we are talking exercise classes, salsa dancing and kickboxing. I enjoy all of these things and a plan that focus on what I like and what I want to do has a chance of working.
Think about the clothes you wear. You probably know of the Pareto Principle, or known as the 80/20 Rule as it pertains to business, 20% of your customers will account for 80% of your business. Well, you wear 20% of the clothes in your closet, 80% of your time. Now, think about your 20%. Why do you wear them? They are probably comfortable and you probably look kinda good in them. I know those are the reasons behind my 20%.
It is easy to see how small changes and pleasure apply to nutrition, fitness and clothes. However, how do those things apply to your thinking?
We have already talked about how your mind works. So how do pleasurable thoughts fit into the equation especially when so many of your thoughts are critical, skeptical and pessimistic. I can tell you this much, it isn’t about thinking happy thoughts.
Happy thoughts make your brain suspicious. “Oh, so we’re full of happy now, are we?” your brain says sarcastically. But you don’t overhaul your thinking (remember we talked about this earlier). You focus on one area, one thought and you make a change that you can reinforce over time (we’ll get into more of this later). Recall times in your life when this thought served you well and got you the results you wanted. Make your mantra and repeat it often.
I love the makeunder because it has so many applications. You want to make small changes. You want to make changes that you enjoy. Life is too short to be miserable. So don’t be. Decide to make change work in your favor. Your makeunder is uniquely yours!