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8 Steps for a Successful Lifestyle Change

Updated: Oct 3, 2020

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”

About 90% of all people who make goal to change their lifestyle have not. Why?

Is it because of a lack of motivation? Lack of knowledge? Or that they don’t believe that they can change?

We all have something in our lives we would like to change. Many of my clients have been trying to change their lifestyle dozens of times and “failed” so to speak many times. I’ve seen the process very closely. I want to give you practical ways and tips on how to succeed in all steps of a lifestyle change.

Step 1:

Figuring out the What and “Why”?

First you have to figure out and recognize the problem (The What). For a thing or a habit to become a problem it most likely caused some kind of inconvenience in our lives.

For example being overweight. As long as being overweight doesn’t cause us any harm (social, mental or physical) the subconscious doesn’t use any valuable time or energy to solve the problem.

There has to be a strong enough stimuli for the problem. Most often it is the diagnosis of a new illness, the death of a parent to the same illness, decline in quality of life, social stigma or the fear of the future( We dont have to wait till then). Everyone has to find the most important “why” - the most important reason why something has to be done for the issue.

Step 2:

Change you mindset - Learn from those who have succeeded

Before you take the big step of a lifestyle change, you have to convince your subconscious to believe that it is possible. Most changes are left “stuck” in this step because we don’t really believe that we could do it. We imagine the change in our heads; of a big, scary, difficult and almost impossible challenge. For our lives to change for the better, we have to believe that it is possible. Best ways to do this is to get to know people who have succeeded in the change - either personally, through YouTube, Instagram, Facebook etc.

“If they could do it, I can do it too!” is most often a good enough motivation to go to the next step.

Step 3:


Before we successfully start a big change in our lifestyle, we have some information. Don't overwhelm yourself knowledge but get a plan and a goal. Get information to help you achieve your goal so you don't get stuck in the beginning, and then lose your motivation on the way.

Luckily information can be obtained in many ways. For example - discuss with people who have succeeded or join Facebook groups and online communities.

If you want to delve deeper, buy a book about the change you want to have.

Step 4:

Replace old habits with new ones.

An excellent book “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg highlights how important it is to find new habits to replace old and bad ones.

Drastically quitting an old habit hardly ever gives permanent results. Replacing old habits with new ones is an incremental process and a setback is usually caused from trying too many things at once. Preferably replace 15 minutes of TV with 15 minutes of reading or one cigarette a day with a 5-minute walk.

According to Duhigg, small changes eventually cause big changes for other aspects of life. Small positive results give motivation to us to keep on going and developing. Patience is the key.

Step 5:


I know a lot of us don't like to talk about failure but truth is failure is a part of the process.

You have to prepare for it. If we avoid it and just concentrate only on success, we burn out and crash. I think that it is very important to accept setbacks and failures beforehand. Because every process of change includes setbacks and outright failures. We may suck at it at first but eventually if we don't quit, we succeed. You know this as an entrepreneur. We learn from our failures and celebrate out success. This is why we shouldn’t accept the word “failure” because every error or setback is an experience - a possibility to analyze and learn. It is a part of a change. The road to our goal is not straight. If we accept that, forgive ourselves, we will rise up faster and continue our change in lifestyle.

Step 6:

The change continues; follow key indicators of the change, prioritize.

In the book “High performance habits” Brendon Burchard tells that people who monitor their process regularly succeed 2.5 times more likely in their goals. Monitoring motivates them to stay in their goals and prioritize their energy.

I myself monitor my fitness progress and my habits almost every morning because without that I would forget how important of a process it is to me.

The other principle in a continuous successful lifestyle change is prioritizing.

It is an outright impossibility for the modern person to fit “all of the important things” in a 16 hour day.

In his book, “The one thing”, Gary Keller teaches that in every aspect of life one most important thing has to be determined that takes all of our attention and time, because otherwise we have a lot of things that are not achievable.

I’m not much of an advocate of “a balanced life” due to the fact that I know not all things are primary to me at a time and sometimes those things gets undone.

Step 7:

“Failure”? Accept it!

“Failure” again? No, it’s not a bad joke or a mistake in the text.

I want to highlight that in all processes of change, every time you hope to achieve something better as your goal, “failures” are inevitable. Despite how many times we fall down, we have to get up.

Small amount of obsession is a good thing. Most of us know the feeling of feeling so excited about something that we can’t think about anything else.

I give myself the freedom to obsess over big goals because I know that it will help me through more difficult times. Grant Cardone says in his book “Be obsessed or be average”, that obsession is a necessity if you want big results and otherwise results are mediocre or nonexistent. FAIL, LEARN, FAIL AND GROW!

Step 8:

Permanent change; Develop permanent systems and routines and improve them.

In the book “The power of habit” Duhigg tells how habits are formed and how they work. When you’re learning how to drive a car, you have to constantly notice the speed, steering wheel, traffic signs, the gear, and pedals. After a month or two all of the things come automatically. But how?

Our brains learn to move repeating tasks into our subconsciousness so that they do not require constant notice and energy from us. The same happens with lifestyle changes. Healthy eating, regular exercise and bedtime become automatic after a few months. There are bound to be setbacks, nothing is 100% permanent, but in this step following the habit is already significantly easier.

Success happens every day when you decide to change.

I hope this post added loads of value to you. Please like, share and comment below to let me know what you think about it.

Let's build a life that last,

Tessy James

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