Here’s Why You Won’t Succeed at Change Overnight

When it comes to success, many people want immediate gratification. We want change to happen quickly. But think about the consequences of fast change. It can be overwhelming.

Have you ever been frustrated about a situation that seems to be changing too slowly? You wish things would just get done already. But fast change isn’t usually the best change. When you let change come slowly, it’s more likely to stick.

Here’s What Happens When We Expect Overnight Change

How many times have you made a resolution to change something in your life, only to feel as though you wound up failing? You start out with good intentions, but you don’t stick with them. There’s a simple reason we tend to fail at big-change resolutions. We expect immediate results. When we don’t get them, we give up.

Consider following:

  • A sudden change in the weather
  • A sudden change in the economy
  • A sudden change in the performance of your car

In each case, sudden change is usually not a good sign. It precludes a pending problem or a disaster. Attempting to change ourselves quickly leads to a crash or a breakdown.

I prefer to walk rather than run. I’ve practiced running in the past. If I were to take up running again, I’d be foolish to run ten miles on my first day out. I’d hurt myself. I’d likely say, “running sucks,” and give up. If I start out in small increments, say a half mile per week, and build up endurance, I’m more likely to succeed. That’s the power of slow change.

Embrace Change One Day at a Time

Don’t expect overnight change. It’s unrealistic. Creating positive lifestyle habits takes time and hard work. Besides, a fast change could be so overwhelming that it could lead to failure. Instead, try this:

  • Pick one simple habit you want to change.
  • Write down a reasonable plan.
  • Practice your new habit daily.
  • Keep track of your progress.
  • Stick with it.

Changing one thing at a time, slowly, is the key to creating enduring habits.