Dr. Bell's Blog

What's The Solution To Making Lasting Change? This...


We have all been in this scenario.  You are driving down the road well over the speed limit, when out of seemingly nowhere you spot a police car with his lights on coming up behind you. Your heart starts to beat a little faster, and you slow down to exactly the speed limit.  The police car then goes buzzing past without pulling you over.  For the next 10-15 minutes you are driving with two hands and exactly the speed limit right?  Then what happens?  You go back to speeding...

This is what happens to many when it comes to their health.  A health scare occurs, you start eating better, getting adjusted with consistency, exercising, etc., then when it passes you slowly retreat back to your old ways.

Why Does This Happen?

At the most basic level, there are two forces that motivate people to do what they do.  This is the desire to avoid pain or the desire to gain pleasure.  In the short term, when there is a crisis, the desire to avoid pain (the sickness, pain, etc.) is the overwhelming motivation.  This however, does not have deep roots, therefore it generally doesn't last for long.  The desire for the pleasure of being comfortable, which is going back to your old ways, will take hold of you once again.  Tony Robbins once said "The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of pain and pleasure using you.  If you can do that, you are in control of your life.  If you don't, life controls you."

So, What's The Solution To Make Lasting Change?

There is not one simple answer to this, or we would not be having this conversation.

Take the small steps.

Do the little things.  Over time this will create a sturdier foundation to build on.  Be specific about what you want to accomplish, and have a very firm reason why you want to do it.  Try to create a scenario where the pain of not following through with it, and/or the pleasure of accomplishing your goal far outweighs settling back in your old ways.  It can also be beneficial to enlist the help of a friend or family member.  Invite them on your journey, and make them hold you accountable.

Finally, don't be too hard on yourself.  No one is perfect, and change is not a linear straight line event in most cases.  There are ups and downs over the course of time to accomplish any goal.  The end result is all that matters.  Success is in the climb.  With this in mind, you too can..

LIVE well.  BE well.