Why change is difficult

Have you ever tried to change, but found yourself back in old tracks? 🚆
I sure have – and it’s easy to get frustrated and annoyed when that happens.
But change does not have to be difficult – understanding how your brain works and changing your approach can make change much easier.

Maybe you wish to live healthier, learn a new skill, work on your novel, or read more?
It can sometimes feel like you have to become someone else achieve these goals.
Someone that puts in more effort, has discipline, and a strong willpower.

But failure to be consistent is not a measure of how much you wish to change,
because change is hard and needs to be managed in a smart way.

The forest

Think of your brain as a dense forest.
To achieve tasks you have to navigate your way through the forest, climbing up hills and crawling under fallen trees.
This cost a lot of energy, and your brain wants to preserve energy.
But tasks you perform often becomes a trail – or even a highway!
That is why repeated tasks – habits – are so easy to perform!

Routines – your best friend

Routines are thought through, conscious actions to move you in the right direction to achieve a goal.
A routine can be to set an alarm before going to bed.
The power of a routine is that it can be turned into a habit.


Habits are actions performed on auto pilot, without thinking.
Your brain considers them a rewarding activity and a perfect response to a situation.
Habits needs triggers to tell your brain to start the behaviour or action.
An example is reaching for the seatbelt in a car.
Your habits are like a small child who will take the road of less resistance and seek instant gratification.
This is why it is easy to develop bad habits.
But the good news is that you can work together with your inner child to save energy.

Building good habits comes from creating new routines instead of trying to force change.
Plan small changes that works toward your goal and make them into routines.
For example:
If you want to work out more – break the goal down into small and specific actions eg. “Do 10 squats every morning”.
Use a clear trigger such as a visual object, time of day, or place
Always perform the action at the same time and in the same place.
The routine is much more likely to become a habit if the actual action is perceived as enjoyable.
Eating a snack after work out does not count. Instead – try listening to music that you enjoy during work out.

How long it takes to build a new habit will vary, but it typically takes between 15 – 250 days.
Recurring burps is a great way to lay the foundation for a new habit – checking them of will give you an extra sense of achievement and can help motivate you.


Change takes planning.
To change you need to:
1. Plan a routine that has some enjoyable element to it
2. Determine a trigger for the routine – a place, time and/or object, etc
3. Perform the planned action in a consistent manner (same place, time, and conditions)
4. Repeat at least 15 times, probably more