Today’s AWAP Wednesday* question comes from one of our Secret Club members. This month, we’ve been focusing on the idea of CHANGE… how difficult it is, how we resist it, how we can learn to embrace it, etc. This babe is feeling really challenged:

“So I’ve been good about changing up a few things the first week of January, then this week I went back to doing the things I always did before I tried to change them. Well, I’m feeling defeated… I was inspired to try to change things up and to keep working towards bigger change. I was wiped out from one week of mini changes, how to keep our change whether big or small going in spite of running out of gas?”

This is a common experience, whether you have illness or not. I’ve got three tips to get her (and us!) back on track and avoid overwhelm:

Now it’s your turn:

Do you get overwhelmed by change? You’re not alone! Join the conversation in the comments below, and share your experience.

Want to watch more videos like this? Check out our AWAP Wednesday video playlist, which has almost six hours of guidance, advice, and bloopers.

Is there a question I can answer for YOU? Add it to the comments below, or shoot me an email.

Until we meet again: Be AWAP! Smooches! *AWAP = As Well As Possible


Rough Transcript:

I’ve been challenging our Secret Club members to step it up this month and adapt some changes. I encouraged them to start small – so as not to get overwhelmed. But listen to what one member has to say:

“So I’ve been good about changing up a few things the first week of January, then this week I went back to doing the things I always did before I tried to change them. Well, I’m feeling defeated… I was inspired to try to change things up and to keep working towards bigger change. I was wiped out from one week of mini changes, how to keep our change whether big or small going in spite of running out of gas?”

Change is hard! It takes a lot of mental energy, and sometimes physical energy, and definitely emotional energy. So I always encourage folks to start small.

Start where you are

Tennis great Arthur Ashe said, “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.” This is a philosophy I’ve adopted for making changes; if we get too caught up in where we’re going, it can be hard to stay motivated about where we are right now.

One way to reinforce the “start where you are” idea is to do a little reality check. Write out a goal for yourself, and be honest about your starting point. For example, I’m working on weight loss. If I am focused on what life will be like 20, 30 pounds from now, it’s hard to stay motivated when little day-to-day roadblocks pop up. If instead I think, here’s what I can do TODAY, and WOW I FEEL BETTER ALREADY AFTER LOSING ONE POUND, then I will feel less overwhelmed and more motivated.

Pause. Think small.

If you’re starting to make small changes and you get overwhelmed, pause. If you burn yourself out, none of your changes will stick. So if you’re overwhelmed, pause, and pick one change to focus on. Just one. Do that for a few days, or a week. Then if you’re feeling OK, add another. Start as small as you can.

If you think you want to become a meditator, then trying to do 30-minute sessions three times a day every day without fail is way too big a goal. Instead, I suggest you start by commiting to a 5-minute meditation each morning. Five minutes! You can do five minutes. Just stick with that, don’t add anything else. Next week, if you want, ramp it up to 10 minutes.

As another example, say you want to add more cardiovascular fitness to your daily schedule. Don’t start with a 30-minute Jazzercise workout every day, girl! Start with a 10-minute walk. Or even smaller, start with doing one flight of stairs. Or start with getting fully dressed, if you’re used to being in PJs – even something that small can add some cardio to your day. Start where you are, and think small.

Don’t play catch-up.

Finally, if you falter or fall behind, don’t play catch-up. If you set, for example, a goal to add five minutes of cardio to your daily routine each week, and it’s the fourth week and you’re still at five minutes a day, don’t try to ramp up to 20 minutes a day immediately. Don’t play catch-up. Just work from where you are NOW.

If you got overwhelmed and slid back into old habits, don’t play catch-up. Just start again, where you are now. No judgment. Lots of love. Patience. And commitment to start again.

I was attending a marketing training recently, and we were talking about cold calling. There’s a certain math to it, and the teacher was explaining that we should aim to make, for example, 300 calls a month, or 10 calls a day. But if we fell behind, he said, don’t stack up the un-made calls. Don’t play catch-up. Instead, start each week or month fresh. Start anew. Don’t play catch-up.

So: Start where you are. Pause. Think small. And don’t play catch-up. You can do this!