Change takes time

You can go from making grand plans one day to forgetting why you wanted to change your life the next.

It can be hard to shake the unhelpful habits that bind you to your past self. Even though you know they don’t benefit you and that you should change them, you can’t.

And it’s not that you haven’t tried, you just haven’t been able to make any real long term change.

Maybe somedays you find yourself questioning whether you should even bother trying to change at all.

But change takes time and if you really want it, the effort it takes will always be worth it.

Could Instagram Guides replace blogging?

From November 17th, you may have noticed a new feature on Instagram, Guides.

Guides allow users to ‘find, curate and share the products, places and posts you love’. They can feature your own content or the content of others. Tech Crunch have a good article that explains things in more detail.

Aside from captions this feature is the first that allows users to create longer form content similar to a blog post.

It could be considered as an easier way to create blog posts that are based around shopping, pictures and recommendations. In fact, it’s likely to become what many creators will turn to and what many brands will start paying creators for.

On the other hand, for a blog that is focused on the words, where the images aren’t the main focus, guides won’t work as an alternative.

It will be interesting to see who uses this new feature and how. It will also be interesting to see the blogs this feature may end up replacing.

Prioritise the solution

When you have a problem that you’re working to overcome, where do you focus your efforts?

Often we end up priotising the problem because we think we need to assess, analyse, dissect and understand every little bit of it before we can move forward.

However, it turns out that you’re much better off prioritising the solution.

For example, if the problem is that it’s raining the solution might be to open you’re umbrella, put on a hood or find shelter. However, if you’re just focused on the issue of rain you’re likely to end up frustrated because you’re clothes are getting wet.

The problem already exists and focusing on it only allows it to grow further and further. On the other hand, the solution is unknown and it requires your efforts (or energy) to bring it to life.

Marathons and sprints

At some point in your life you’ll be faced with the decision of taking a break or keep pushing on.

When you’re running a marathon you know from the beginning that you have to pace yourself for the long haul.

But often we live our lives like it’s a sprint. We want the end goal too quickly without being committed for the long haul. Then you run out of steam before you’ve reached your goal and end up feeling like you can’t go on.

Good things take time so, slow down, be patient and focus on the journey more than the goal.

You need to do better

Think of something that you’re currently working on and ask yourself with no judgement, can I do better?

When you’re not getting what you want out of life and things aren’t quite going your way, it’s easy to blame external things.

But sometimes the reason things aren’t working out is because you need to do better.

Maybe you’ve gotten lazy or maybe you weren’t aware of the effort required.

Once you’ve realised you need to do better, do better.

Yes, it really is that simple.

Two steps back

When you feel like you’re making progress having to then take a step back is a big deal. It feels like you’ve wasted your efforts but more importantly time that you can’t get back.

But if you change your perspective, those steps back could actually be a good thing.

Perhaps you were heading down an unhelpful path and now gain clarity.

I think the main thing is to understand that a setback doesn’t stop you from reaching your end goal it just changes the path you take to get there.

Overcoming a lack of confidence

So often we rely on being confident before we do something without knowing how we’ll get there or how it will feel.

But when it comes to overcoming a lack of confidence, it only takes a willingness to be outside of your comfort zone long enough to get more comfortable.

One day you’ll have the confidence to do whatever it is without the nerves. Then, maybe after a few months you’ll find yourself volunteering to do the thing that once scared you.

Changing long-term plans

Most of us have some idea of where we’d like to be in 5, 10 maybe even 20 years time.

But sometimes the gap between now and then, is pretty hazy.

You know what you want but you’re not quite sure how you’ll get there.

And sometimes long-term plans change.

Maybe you happened to find something you care for more than what you’re currently trying to pursue. Maybe you realised that you don’t really want the thing you were working for. Or maybe you just feel like like doing something new.

For many people they actually end up having a better sense of direction when they change their plans. The gap becomes a little less hazy.

The reason for this is changing plans is a risk and they want it to be worth it.

Useless criticism

If you have something bad to say about something but have nothing to say when it comes to how it could be better. I think that it’s a useless criticism.

It’s easy to be a critic or to complain about the way that something is but what’s the point if you can’t even offer a solution.

It’s far more useful and far more helpful to say ‘I don’t think this works very well but here’s what I think would work better…’, rather than just saying ‘That’s not a good idea’.

I think what a person says comes down to their intention to speaking up. Do you just enjoy complaining or do you want to try and find a way to make things better?

And on the 7th day…

The creator of the habit loop determined that in order to change a habit you needed to change your routine. For example, drinking a glass of water when you crave a cigarette.

For the past 7 days I’ve been working to undo a habit. I didn’t consciously replace it with anything but I suppose I could say I’ve been writing instead.

By the time I got to the 7th day I found I had little interest in carrying out the habit I’d been trying to undo.

It served as a reminder that sometimes we get so caught up in doing things that we believe we’re stuck or that it will be a hard habit to break.

Granted this doesn’t apply to everything but I think it’s fair to say that not all habits are difficult to break.