How to Ignite Change

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There’s a saying often attributed to Tony Robbins that goes: “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.”

People will often recognize that they need a change, but need support making these changes. They can’t stay in the same city or relationship for one more day. They can’t keep repeating negative thought patterns. They can’t continue abusing their body. As a therapist, people seeking change are what keep me employed. 

The little known-fact about change is that it requires baby steps. Atomic Habits by James Clear is a book written about this topic – making change at a glacial pace. Getting 1% better each day. People want instant gratification after setting a goal and give up because it takes longer than they expect. 

You must have a clear why when it comes to change. Why do I want this? How will this change benefit me, give me more time, money, better relationships, a healthier body? Think about how you want to feel. Now imagine yourself feeling that way. See if you can really get that feeling in your heart, body, mind, and soul because that why feeling will motivate you when the pain of change arises.

Ask yourself: have the things I say I want to change grown big enough that I’m more miserable staying the same as I currently am? If the answer is yes, then make a plan to take baby steps each day toward your goal. If the answer is no, set that “goal” aside for later and focus on something that you can make progress towards today. 

Remember, a baby step is just that. Maybe you want to have a more athletic body. A baby step would be to add 5 minutes of exercise to your day. Whatever you commit to, it has to be something you can be successful at and not get burnt out over. Over time, that “1%” glacial pace will get you to the 100% goal!


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