Most of us are not aware we are already members of this club. Our outlook on life has been affected by many things. Maybe we recently had to face a medical diagnosis that we weren’t expecting. We might have survived a divorce that left bitter feelings and anxious thoughts about our life. Is it the kids that did something to disappoint us, and we just can’t get over it? Or are we just bored without a focus every day. When we face life’s challenging situations, we have a choice on how we process them. Some of us have consciously or unconsciously been lifetime members of the moan and groan club.
How do you process a difficult situation? Finding something to complain about and letting those complaints roll around in your thinking then come out your mouth at every turn, makes for a miserable day. This could be a well-worn pattern that started as a young adult. So how in the world can that be changed so you have happier days?
Change is tough.
The very first step in making a change is realizing you want to. If you rate your desire to change and attitude about it at a 3 on the scale of 1-10, it’s not likely any change will happen. If you rate it above a 5 there’s hope, and at an 8 or above, there’s a good chance it can happen. You gotta wanna! Realizing how much you want to change will help you know you need to “up your level” of desire to make this goal a success.
Once you have brought your desire to change to a workable level (at least an 8 on the scale of 1-10), then the next step is baby steps. Let’s say you want to begin to walk outside every day. You need the fresh air and exercise, and you really need to get out of the house. Your desire level is a 6. You start out energetic and love the walk on day 1. On day 2 you go out to walk but wish you were sitting in your chair relaxing. Day 2 you forgot to notice how great the fresh air felt as you took long deep breaths. You didn’t notice the blue sky or puffy clouds. You just wanted to get back home and have it over with. Day 3 you decided it was ok to skip it, as this is a self-imposed goal and you’re in charge, right? And then, day 4 something got in the way, so you couldn’t go. Now, you feel like this new goal is unattainable, so you let it go entirely.
Make it achievable
What could you do instead of setting the goal for every day, especially when your desire level is at a 6 instead of higher? I suggest that you kick back and work on the desire level first. Really figure out why you want this goal, study a bit to get the research on how it will help you, and build up the internal desire to do it. Then, realistically set the goal to be attainable. Seriously, can you attain going from not walking at all to walking every day? Probably not. Why were you so hard on yourself? Try setting the goal at 2- 3 times a week to begin. Then when successful (only when this level has become a habit that you never miss), up that amount. Change requires intense desire, then a realistic way to attain the goal.
Do the work to make it happen
If you want to change the habit of moaning and groaning about life, as with any change, this process needs to take place. Why do you want to change? Have you realized you are losing your friends with your moany groany attitude? Have you faced each day with a grumpy outlook and felt grumpy all day? What would it look like to change this? Get a clear picture in your thinking where moaning and groaning is not the first choice when faced with a trial. Where you face the challenges without that negative umbrella over everything. Then, rate your level of desire to change. If you have a low desire, what can you do to push that up to a motivating, sustainable level? I find reading about the new goal, talking with others, and giving the new outcome some deep thought how it will help me is the motivation I need to begin something new. Having an accountability partner can make all the difference when you are moving out of the moan and groan club. This partner will let you know when you’ve slipped, and when you are starting to irritate them! If you can’t face having a friend catching you in slip ups and making you feel like a failure, then you need a coach. Unbiased and in it to encourage you, a coach is an accountability partner to check in and see how it’s going, figure out where you can tweak the new goal, and what stood in the way of progress and success. This can be the key to committing to and accomplishing the goal. Find a coach that you feel will support you and go for it.
Cancel your membership
What’s the opposite of the moan and groan club? It’s waking up with a new outlook. Yes, you face the same obstacles of your health, your anxiety, or your disappointments that life brings. But, with this change, you feel that you can get through it, you find the brighter side of the challenge, and you keep a positive attitude as you go forward. Friends begin to comment that you seem stronger, and they want to share some time with you. You feel like you have courage even when things look bleak. You challenge yourself and meet the challenge of looking for and finding the silver lining in the obstacle. You feel happier. Not the mountain top happy feeling that only comes around a hand full of times in life. Instead, everyday happiness that helps you enjoy your life.
Time to cancel your membership in the moan and groan club. Time to find everyday happiness.