In this second part of a 5 part series on the five secrets of change, (if you missed the first secret, you can find it here) we are going to look at the second secret of making lasting change: lasting change has to feel effortless. Because let’s face it: if it’s hard, are you going to do it?

This flies in the face of a lot of what we have been told. That change has to be hard or change IS hard. The truth is, if it feels hard, you will not stay with it. So you need to break down your action steps into small enough pieces that don’t feel hard. (Small can still be hard, so they have to be small but ALSO not feel hard.) Then you can totally fit them into your day, into your life, without creating any stress because as we learned in the last article, stress will engage your amygdala and make it work against you.

Have you ever considered that sometimes, we make big changes with little thought, such as getting married, moving to take on a new job, or having a baby? We can do some of those without fear and even with excitement, but going to the gym feels hard. Why is that? Research shows that we have two parts t our brains: our logical rational side and our emotional intuitive instinctual part. When they are aligned, we make change, even big change, easily. When they are not, and our desire to be fit conflicts with our desire to eat ice cream or sleep in, change is hard.

In those cases, we need to unite the left and right brain so that they don’t resist one another or compete against one another: rather, both sides of our brains support one another in a common goal. Logic and emotion can unite and we can engage positive and negative emotions together to create powerful motivation.

In my forthcoming course, Finally Make It Happen, we look at how to bring both sides of our brains together. We shore up our motivation and focus on the reasons why we want the change, both logical and emotional, the positive and the negative, so they both become drivers, not just one. Then doing something new can feel easy.

We also remove any barriers to the belief that we can do it, whether they are conscious or unconscious. Many of us also have beliefs from childhood that we don’t even know about that can block our efforts. That’s because up until age 6, our brain is in a theta wave state that has no filter. After that, we begin to filter and question what we hear. Until then if we hear that change is hard or we are weak, we can’t tell if that is true or not so we imprint it in our minds as a belief. We may not even know it’s there!

We need both sides of our brains working together and we need to believe that we can do it in order to make it happen. But even without going through my course, you can apply this secret to your change efforts right now. When you are trying to take action, make a new habit or create change, find steps that do not feel hard, steps that feel manageable and doable, even if they seem really small. It’s about starting movement in the right direction, beginning to take action and building new habits slowly over time. Because that’s the only way to make it stick.

In my Finally Make It Happen course, I also share willpower weapons that you can use to take willpower out of the game and help you easily make new habits. I arm you with dozens of tricks and tips you can use to be successful without it feeling hard. I’d like to give you just one small tip that you can use today to help make a new habit more easily: anchor your new habit to something you already do.

For example, they often say that if you have pills to take at night you put them by your toothbrush. That way you won’t forget because you have already anchored the brushing habit into your routine, and every time you do, you’ll see your pills there and remember. That’s a simple and straightforward way of anchoring, but sometimes you have to be more creative.

I had a client who wanted to try to add meditation but could never seem to find the time or remember to do it. So we started with short little 1-3 minute quiet times and we looked for a time in his day when it would fit. But he was a busy executive and everyone wanted his time. At home, his family needed him present for them. So even 1-3 minutes alone with no phone calls or no “Daddy, look!” was hard to find.

So we anchored his quiet times to getting in the car. Every time he got in the car, he would take a couple minutes to clear his head and be quiet, his own meditation. It may seem odd to tie meditation to the car but it was a time when he knew he would be alone and it was something he knew he would do at least twice a day. He could have chosen toothbrush time but was fearful he’d be interrupted by his wife or other distractions at that time. The car idea worked for him.

On his way to and from work, or if he ran an errand at lunch, he took just a couple minutes. Soon he was meditating several times a day regularly and feeling the benefits so much that he decided to carve out larger blocks of time for it. But that was an easy choice then because he really wanted more: he didn’t start with large blocks and force that on himself; he started small and found a way to tie it to something he already did.

If you keep it feeling effortless and take small steps that don’t feel hard, you will progress over time until you Finally Make It Happen.

To your wellness and health: your true wealth!


Author: Inger Pols is the Editor of the New England Health Advisory and Author/Creator, Finally Make It Happen, the proven process to get what you want. Get a free special report on The Truth About Sugar: It’s Not All Equal. Learn more about Inger and receive her free bestselling ebook What Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You at

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