Two Steps Forward and One Step Back

Everyone wants changes to be quick and easy. We also want the positive changes to last. Creating change means creating new habits and routines. When we do that we are actually changing our brains, making new connections that, over time, will become comfortable.

The thing is, creating the changes requires a process that is often uncomfortable. Consider going to the orthodontist to get teeth straightened. I had to wear braces on my teeth for over a year, and go back regularly during that time to get the braces gradually and painfully tightened. Once my teeth were straight and beautiful I had a moment to rejoice before learning I’d have to wear a retainer for another year or more just to make sure my newly ordered teeth didn’t begin to drift back to the way they’d been for years.

When you set a goal to develop a new habit give yourself time to succeed. We sometimes forget, or don’t work with the new behavior long enough for it to stick. If you “mess up” that doesn’t mean you need to give up.

Mike Macedonio, President of the Referral Institute, uses the metaphor of bicycling uphill. Once you have momentum, stopping at an intersection means starting up again feels like starting from scratch.

People with attention deficit disorder benefit from developing routines. Impatience might make you feel like giving up too soon. Just remember, two steps forward and one step back, and keep on trekking.

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