You Cannot Change for Others, You Can Only Change for Yourself

Photo by Ronnie Overgoor on Unsplash

In the first post of this series, I outlined six reasons why New Year's Health Resolutions (and most habit changes) fail.

In this post, I'll delve into further details around the SECOND reason why they fail: 

2 - Your goals were EXTERNALLY motivated versus INTERNALLY motivated



Before you embark on any endeavour to change your habits, you first have to make sure the reason you want to make the change is internally motivated, and not externally motivated.

If your goals are motivated by external factors - fear, guilt, or pressure as imposed by others - you will fail to follow through.

We've already talked about the importance of having a WHY - the reason you decided to make the change in the first place.

He who has a WHY to live for can bear almost any HOW.
- Friedrich Nietzsche

Photo by Alex Azabache on Unsplash

The thing is, your WHY has to be about YOU. 

Your reason for making the change has to be in line with YOUR values, YOUR goals, and not anyone else's.

Change is challenging; there will be difficult days when you just plain don't feel like it. So if you're trying to change for someone else, you'll resent that person on the days when it gets hard.

And it will get hard.

Then you'll rebel against making the habit change as a way to spite that person.

Now, you'll be the one losing out, but because you were acting in accordance with what someone else wanted, and not what you wanted, it will feel like a punishment instead of a positive challenge.

That's why change always has to be about YOU. The motivation for the goal has to be internal; some deep-seated reason within yourself that you're finally ready to change.

It has be aligned with who you are or want to be and the pursuit of it has to bring you some sort of enjoyment or satisfaction.

Because if you're serious about changing, there will be hard days, and on those days the only thing that will carry you through is that internal reason - YOUR WHY not anyone else's.

You cannot change for others; you can only change for YOURSELF.

Photo by Peter Fogden on Unsplash



In the next post, I'll delve into further details around the THIRD reason why New Year's Health Resolutions (and most habit changes) fail:

3 - You took away your freedom to choose

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