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How to make long-lasting positive changes without feeling overwhelmed

Updated: Dec 17, 2022

As 2023 approaches in a short few weeks, we will no doubt see the conversation changing from "festive focus" to the “new year, new me” mindset and (for some, dreaded) new year resolutions.

Although somewhat cliché, there is definitely a certain energy that surrounds a new year - whether you believe in setting resolutions or not!

It can be seen by many as a fresh opportunity to start afresh and finally take action to work towards their goals. Weight loss, health, and fitness tend to be very common choices.

However, for many, it is a sad fact that new year goals or resolutions end as quickly as they started. Approximately 80% will fail according to Forbes (2019).

So why bother setting them at all?

Goal setting is an extremely powerful action and there’s always a higher chance that you will succeed if you make a point of writing down your goals and ambitions. Even better - if you formulate a plan to achieve it!

More input is likely needed though… and this is not specific to new year’s resolutions, but the general pursuit of your dreams.

if there’s no emotion or feeling attached to your goals then it will feel much harder to keep striving to achieve them.

Simply deciding to focus on that particular goal is likely not going to be sufficient if you are hoping to make long-term changes.

That’s why I’m going to share 3 ways that you can make long-lasting positive changes in your life without feeling overwhelmed.

Start small (be realistic)

When making changes in your life, it is important to be realistic and start small. No, even smaller!

If your goal is too big, then you will likely get overwhelmed right from the start and want to quit early. Going from 0 to 100 is a big jump for anyone, so momentum needs to be built over time, with small and easy wins.

But I’m not saying don’t be ambitious - bigger goals can be broken down into smaller chunks.

For example, if you want to get more visible by being featured on a big-name podcast hosted by your idol, why not make this a less daunting prospect by approaching friends who have podcasts? Or perhaps you could first speak to smaller-scale podcast owners so you can get some practice in.

Have a “why” attached to your desired changes

Although it’s important to know what you are aiming for, the why is equally as important too. Put simply, if there’s no emotion or feeling attached to your goals then it will feel much harder to keep striving to achieve them.

For example, if you want to lose half a stone - why is this important to you? If it’s to be fitter so you can play sports with your children, then be sure to remind yourself of this every time you are tempted to go off-piste on your meal plan or skip your spinning class.

A good way to remind yourself when times get tough is by using a visual aid, such as a vision board. This is a collection of images, words, quotes, and/or affirmations that are placed in areas where you will often see them.

The more relevant and realistic they are, the more impactful they will be! So make sure to be specific about your visuals and ensure they reflect how you want to feel once you have made this change.

How to create a vision board?

A vision board can exist in a physical sense, for example on a pinboard on your office desk, or alternatively, you can create digital wallpapers for your computer/phone on a website like Canva.

Whichever option you decide is best for you, creating a vision board is a really effective tool to stay on track with making changes in your life and sticking to those goals.

Make your desired changes measurable + trackable

It is super important to make your goals measurable because if you don’t then quite frankly, you won’t know if you’ve made the changes you set out to make!

Want to change jobs or careers?

Set out to apply for a certain number of positions and a timeframe to achieve this within. If you are busy, it will also help to set aside a certain day or time during the week to focus on job searching and filling in applications.

Keen to lose weight or build muscle?

Choose a realistic and healthy target, along with a specific time slot every week to measure/track your progress.

Some goals are more measurable than others because they can be quantified easily

Others, not so much! For example, you might be seeking more creativity in your life or love. This is where it becomes key to set out the ways you wish to measure these.

E.g. If you are looking to immerse your life in creativity...

Choose 3 creative online courses you could take to develop your skills, putting aside time every week to dedicate yourself to this new venture.

E.g. If you’re seeking a new relationship...

Make a deal with yourself to arrange a certain number of dates during the next 3 months and join groups of like-minded people to help make this happen.

Change can be scary. However, if we start small with realistic measurable goals and remind ourselves why we want to make these particular changes - this makes the process a whole lot easier.

Sure, these types of goals tend to be based more on achieving a certain kind of feeling or emotional outcome (which you will ultimately be the decider on) but they require just as much measurement and tracking during the process. Don’t forget that reviewing also plays a huge part in the successful outcome.

The bottom line is this: whatever changes you are looking to make, make sure they can be measured and tracked in some way!

This is both great for your confidence in knowing you are headed in the right direction, but will also help you refine and make tweaks where necessary.


I hope you enjoyed reading this article about How to make long-lasting positive changes without feeling overwhelmed.

Change can be scary. However, if we start small with realistic measurable goals and remind ourselves why we want to make these particular changes - this makes the process a whole lot easier.

It is also very important that we remain patient and kind to ourselves along the process, allowing for tougher days and hiccups along the way. As they say, progress is not linear!

Which one of these points helped you the most? Let me know in the comments!

Want to learn more about how you can make positive choices, create change, and feel fulfilled?

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