For me it depends on the change. I usually have more success if I do it in stages. Last fall I decided to lose some weight, or to be more specific become healthier (which to be healthier I needed to lose weight). What made this attempt different then previous attempts was I recognized that for this specific goal cold turkey style did not work. I had (previously) worked out for an hour five days a week and after weeks of no results would lose heart in the attempt and fall back into poor habits.
This time around though I went into it telling myself repeatedly that
A) it would take time. It took me years to become this way it may take a few years to undo it and
B) every little bit helps.
My first step was to start controlling what I put into my body. I never fully realized what harm mindless snacking was doing. If you look at it solely by calories alone (forgetting the terrible nutrition side of it) I could easily ‘snack’ on 500 + calories worth of chips and dip. That’s now my ‘limit’ for meals, WAY to high for a snack. Simply changing portions started helping me towards my goal. Then I focused on building a better diet. Less mysteriously processed foods, more veggies and fruits. Then I added exercise. Nothing crazy, just doing simple aerobics or taking walks. Just something to both get me moving and make it so I just don’t sit on the couch all night. Like I said, it will take time but since I’m seeing gradual results I’m sticking with it. I even have the courage now to attempt a 5k (something I would have scoffed at this time last year). I still have a long way to go before I can make it through a 5k obstacle course, but it gives me a tangible goal to work towards. Since the 5k isn’t until October I have high hopes that I’ll make it through.