How to Really Change

We all have things about ourselves that we’d like to change or improve upon, but why is changing so difficult? It’s easy enough to identify what we’d like to change about ourselves, but the real challenge is figuring out how to accomplish it.

The tricky thing about change is that almost anybody can be different for a short amount of time. Most of us think that it’s the first step that’s the most difficult — that getting started is the real challenge. And don’t get me wrong — it is difficult, but when you’ve finally made up your mind to do something different, you have momentum.

But what happens when that momentum dies out? What happens when your old habits start looking appealing again… and much more appealing than your new ones? The question then becomes: what does it take to truly own change and take it home with you instead of just trying it on in the dressing room?

One of the most important things to keep in mind if you are trying to change your life is to be patient with yourself. As much as it would be great to think that you can change overnight, real change takes time. It probably took you years of being frustrated with your bad habits to finally decide to make a change, so it will probably take a while for you to reverse them. There will be times when you’re tempted to go back to how you used to be or tempted to just give up completely.

It can be extremely frustrating to not see the results you were expecting to see or to feel like you are vainly putting in a lot of effort. It can start to feel like your new lifestyle isn’t really for you because it doesn’t feel as good as it did when you first started.

This is when patience can be your biggest ally in changing. If you allow yourself to be patient, you’ll be kind to yourself when you struggle. If you allow yourself to be patient, you’ll find a way to work through the obstacles that make changing so difficult. If you allow yourself to be patient, you’ll see that some of the greatest transformations happen in the most unexpected moments.

You can change — really change — but you must give it some time. In the meantime, enjoy the journey because it’s just as beautiful as the destination.


Image Credit: Ian Sane / Flickr

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Elisa F.
Elisa F.1 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Patricia H.
Patricia H.2 years ago

great advice

Val M.
Val M.2 years ago


Ana R2 years ago

Thank you for the article.

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen2 years ago

Thank you :)

Nils Lunde


susan k.
susan k.3 years ago


Heidi Aubrey
Heidi Aubrey3 years ago

I'd like to know the steps involved to make a change lasting- other than patience. I am perfectly patient about commiting to a change.

Samantha Mackie
Samantha Mackie3 years ago

thank-you. I'm currently vegan after a year of being a bad vegetarian. Every now and then I slip up and eat something containing dairy knowingly. This advice is great. Being forgiving and patient with yourself is important.

Sam Richardson

As I am currently trying to change myself, this was a good article to read to remind myself not to be so hard on myself when I know that it takes time to see the progress of your commitment to change.