Lesson from back to school night: changing your habits is uncomfortable

Last night was back-to-school night at my youngest son’s high school. I was struck by what one of the chemistry instructors said. She said that a lot of what the kids were learning was new and that could be  “uncomfortable” She was using that feeling to describe what it’s like having to change your brain to learn new things.

There is something so perfect about the word “uncomfortable”

It’s not painful, it’s not impossible to overcome, it just often feels unpleasant.

And change is often uncomfortable

Whether it’s learning  chemistry or starting a new job, meeting new people or breaking habits like the nightly glass of wine eating popcorn at night in front of the television, change can be mighty unpleasant.

Good news…it will pass

Remember learning new things in school? Remember not getting concepts and then all of a sudden having an a-ha moment? Well, it’s the same with lifestyle changes.

Wait for your a-ha

I’ve heard all kinds of figures like 28 days, 21 days, 30 days, 6 weeks etc. as the time it takes to unlearn old habits and pick up new ones. I’m not sure if any of those are accurate or not but, what I do know is that you will eventually have your a-ha moment if you simply take action every day.

What to do

When you are working on making a change whether it’s a lifestyle change like starting an exercise program or changing your diet to lose weight or develop a new character trait, when you get that uncomfortable feeling remind yourself: I am feeling discomfort right now but this will pass (and I’ll feel so proud of myself later).

I promise it gets easier!