When clients come to our coaching program, there is one phrase they say more than anything else, “I know what to do. I just don’t actually do it.”
Can you relate?
In this blog, we’re going to break down exactly what causes that gap. I’m also going to let you in on our signature 4 Step Compassion First Change Framework that’s going to teach you exactly how to close it.
Prefer to learn on video? Watch here:
I’m Karin, founder and CEO here at Body Brain Alliance, where we’re here to bring you the real science behind self-help.
We’ve helped hundreds of coaching clients and thousands of our Change Academy members become people who live intentional lives. People who cross off their to-do list, follow through on their commitments and build habits and rituals that yes, actually stick.
We’ve used science and experience to distill our process into a simple framework, so let’s dive right in.
There are 4 steps in our framework:
Step 1: Awareness
The first step, and truly this is the one that most people miss, is pure and simple awareness. Most of us are living our lives on autopilot with no good data about the behaviors and actions we are or are not taking.
For example, have you ever actually tracked your time?
Yes. I’m talking about actually jotting down every 15 to 30 minutes what you just spent that 15 to 30 minutes doing.
Another example: How often did you exercise last month?
Seriously, what was the exact number of days you managed to hit the gym? The awareness piece of the puzzle also includes the reasoning and emotion underneath your decisions.
When you dive into that popcorn every night, what emotion are you feeling? Are you actually aware of the thoughts running through your head or have you turned down the volume so low that they go completely unnoticed?
If you’ve ever felt like your behavior is outside of your control, like you have poor self-control or that you’re unable to make a change, you my friend might have an awareness problem.
The good news is that your first step is then clear: Build your awareness.
We have tons of unique tools and techniques inside our Change Academy membership that can help you build awareness around various topics, but I’ll give you an example here.
Open your phone, go into your settings and figure out exactly how much time in the past week you spent scrolling on social media. I know, it’s probably not a fun number. It won’t make you feel very warm and fuzzy, but that awareness is the very beginning of change.
Step 2: Acceptance
Once we are aware of where we are, we need to accept that we’re there. Part of acceptance is learning and understanding what the human brain is actually capable of.
Lots of us are setting goals or expectations for ourselves that are completely beyond what a human brain can reasonably do, or we’re setting expectations that are way above what we have the skill and capacity to do.
For example, if you’re telling yourself that tomorrow you are going to spend eight hours studying, but you struggle to study for more than an hour without breaking focus… Well, my friend, your behavior isn’t your problem. Your expectations are.
I think one of the hardest things to do in life is to recognize that you’re a beginner. It hurts our ego, but most of us, especially when it comes to change skills like self-control, never had any education on the subject in school.
We are beginners and as soon as we accept that we have a low skill level, we can start doing step number three.
Step 3: Adjustment
Let’s do a quick recap!
You built your awareness of where you are and you’ve accepted your current struggles and skill level.
Pretend for a moment that you’re interested in learning how to make pasta.
You have enough awareness to know that you’ve never made it before, at least from scratch, and you’re totally accepting that your skill level is zero, you’re a total beginner.
From there, you can start the adjustment process, which begins with one very curious question:
- How can I get better at this?
You can also ask:
- What resources might I need?
- What might I have to do regularly in order to practice?
If I’m at skill level one, how does skill level two look? How do I get there?
If this part is hard for you or if you struggle to answer those questions, it might be because you’re lacking fundamental psychological information about how to change.
Similar to trying to learn French without an English-French dictionary. If that’s you, make sure you check out our Change Academy membership HERE. It’s super low cost and our aim is to provide you with all the information and accountability you need to be boosting your own change skills on a regular basis.
Now, onto the last step, which is perhaps the hardest…
Step 4: Action
Once you become aware of your current behavior, accept your change skill level, and make an adjustment plan. That’s the part where you have to actually follow through.
Remember though, you don’t have to follow through consistently, at least not at first.
Consistency requires a higher level of skill, and as we just talked about, you might be a beginner.
Instead, focus on a single next action.
- What’s ONE thing you can do within the next 24 hours that will help you start moving towards a goal that you have?
Once you do it once, simply focus on taking action that lines up with your adjustment plan more frequently.
If you focus on increasing frequency, eventually you’ll naturally get to consistency without all the mental drama that I know you have.
Awareness, acceptance, adjustment, action.
That’s the cycle of change.
I can tell you as a PhD expert in the psychology of change, this cycle is based on tons of evidence about human brains, and I can tell you as a person who has witnessed my own life transform that it really works.
In the past five years, I’ve gone from being a messy person to a much tidier one. I’ve gone from being someone who struggles to get to the gym, to someone who considers a workout as a normal non-negotiable in her life. I’ve gone from a struggling grad student to a CEO leading multiple six figures soon to be, a seven figure business.
You can change.
The version of you that you’ve been craving for so long is out there and is available to you. It just might take a little science and practice in order to get there.
Thank you for reading, see you in the next one!
Join The Discussion:
Share in the comments below: What behavior change issue are you struggling with right now? Seriously, we want to know. This really helps us create future content that directly provides the science and tactics that you’re dying to know here at Body Brain Alliance.