When it comes to the process of change, we choose one of two approaches: to be pushed or to be pulled toward our desired outcomes.
Whether stemming from others who are counting on us to change or from internal pressures that we are applying ourselves, it never feels good to be pushed. Whenever we are pushed to do something, a natural response is to resist and rebel. When someone pushes us, we tend to push back, either aggressively or passive-aggressively, or we allow that push to occur for a season while we secretly resent it (outwardly compliant, but inwardly rebelling). Whether we choose to be the source, or someone else steps in, it causes us to see the one who is pushing as our enemy rather than our friend.
Now, please don’t get me wrong. There are special circumstances where pushing needs to occur. For example, someone you love has a highly destructive addiction and subtle means of inviting them into that change process has not worked. Their behaviors, words, and/or actions are hurting themselves in addition to hurting you. Boundaries have already been set and then crossed over multiple times and pleading with them to get the help they need is just not working. These types of circumstances often require outside intervention, which is usually not accepted or received well by the individual who needs help. At least not at first. A person who is committed to being on a path to destroy themselves often reaches a point of needing others to intervene for them, on their behalf. Even in these types of cases where pushing needs to occur initially, that other person must ultimately still come to reach their own decision at some point that they are willingly accept help and legitimately want to change. If not, any changes made to please others or get them off their back will only be temporary because it was done for the wrong reasons.
Pulling, on the other hand, is much more effective than pushing because something deep inside of us is drawing us to our desired outcomes. This feels much better and non-threatening as opposed to it being forced upon us from the outside. For this to happen, though, we must connect to something deeper, something greater than the outcome itself. Our purpose, our desires, and our values are far more powerful driving forces to us than any outwardly applied forces because they connect with who we are and with who God created us to be. To what we are here on this earth to do. God desires for us to connect with and operate with Him from this place.
For example: If I wanted to lose 50 pounds and I set that goal because I was disgusted with myself and I believed that reaching that goal would make me acceptable to myself and to others, I am setting myself up for failure from the start. If, on the other hand, I have an internal conviction that brought me to the realization that God is calling me to be a better steward of my body and that his plans for me are being limited because of how I am neglecting my physical health, that could then connect to a deep desire to please God and to honor Him with my body. I could then be drawn into reasons for improving myself that transcend me. Losing weight becomes a natural byproduct of my journey when I connect to these things, rather than it being the goal itself.
Find what pulls you and connect with it!