I think one of the most difficult things is to accept that deeply entrenched habits will not be easy to change. We want to change, therefore we expect that we will. But it's a tougher call than that. So often we easily lapse back into old habits of stressing, procrastination or perfectionism and then we catch ourselves out and feel like a failure. Instead, we should catch ourselves and talk ourselves back on track. If you're starting to feel like a perfectionist, stop, reset yourself and aim for excellence. Nobody does anything perfectly - look at the iPhone - it's on to yet another new and improved version! We can't be perfect, but excellent, that's a mighty fine place to be.
Procrastination your poison? Set a timer and get in and do the hardest task for 30 to 45 minutes. Now. Go on. Stressed? What's the worst that can happen? At Christmas when I was overloaded with work, my daughter's birthday, her ballet concert, end of year, usual Christmas stuff etc I actually had to prioritise tasks in the most basic way. I asked myself "If I don't do this will anyone die or cry?" If the answer was no, it was left till later.
I've always had a bad habit of leaving tasks unfinished. I'll start weeding one garden bed, go to empty the weeds in the bin, and see another garden needs weeding and will start on that - leaving the other 3/4 finished. I'm trying to stop that by giving myself a firm talking to. Yep, in my head I actually tell myself to stop, go back and finish what I started. One year later I'm not talking to myself quite as much, but I still need reminding.
When you expect great things from yourself it's easy to expect it immediately. But often these habits have been created and formed over years - can you seriously expect them to stop overnight? So talk kindly to yourself. If you want to make the change you can - but don't expect overnight miracles. And celebrate the small successes along the way. It's like positive parenting - focus on the success, not the problem.
How are you going to be kind to yourself today?