We have discussed finding which areas of your life you would like to look at for your New Year’s resolutions however at this stage the fear of change, that uncomfortable feeling with stepping out of your comfort zone is a big killer to your dreams. So it is time to put energy into slapping that fear away and embracing change.
The Process of Change
Changing your life is rarely like repairing a broken fence. It’s not a single event. Changing your life requires ongoing effort. Your habits create your life. The little things you do on a consistent basis determine your outcomes. Changing your habits is a priority, but there are several other components to creating a new life.
Successful change requires several steps:
- Decide what you want. The previous activity accomplishes this requirement. You now know which area of your life you want to change.
- Create a goal. Your goal is a target. An effective goal is:
- Measurable: How will you know you attained it if you can’t measure it?
- Time-bound: Without a time limit, you’ll take your sweet time and never reach your goal. A time limit creates a sense of urgency and focus.
- Specific: “Losing weight” isn’t an effective goal. “15 pounds” is specific and effective.
- Reasonable: You won’t even get started on a goal you don’t believe you can reach. Only push slightly beyond your comfort zone.
- Desirable: All goals should be desirable. Why waste your time on anything less?
- Now create a goal based on your number one priority. An effective goal might be, “On or before March 31st, 2020, I will have lost 20 pounds.”
- Prioritise the goal. Read and write your goal each day. Twice is ideal. Review your goal once in the morning and once before bed. How many times have you started on a new goal only to realize you’d completely forgotten all about it? Reviewing it daily will prevent that from happening again.
- Develop habits that will result in success. You don’t become rich, poor, fat, skinny, lonely, popular, unpopular, or an expert overnight. Your daily habits have a huge impact on your results in life. We will talk about habits in more detail next week.
- Deal with discomfort. Any change is uncomfortable. Actually, any significant change is uncomfortable. And that’s the key. Keep the amount of change in your life relatively small. A series of small changes are as effective as a significant change, but the small changes are much easier and comfortable to implement. I will talk more about dealing with discomfort in 2 weeks time but for now, just notice which areas make you feel uncomfortable.
- Decide how you will measure your progress. It would be difficult to reach a weight loss goal if you never stepped on the scale. Regular evaluation of your progress ensures that you’re on the right track.
- Be prepared to adjust your approach. If you’re not making sufficient progress, that’s a sign that you need to change your approach. That seems like simple common sense, but most people either continue with the same actions or give up. Both guarantee failure. Steer your ship.
It looks simple when you list the steps and it is simple. However, it’s easy to lose focus, become uncomfortable, or give up. If change were easy, we’d all be living the life of our dreams. There are several steps to making lasting change. Next week we will be looking at your habits. We go into habits in much more detail in Get The Sauce but I will give you enough to get started on your New Year’s goals next week.
“It seems, in fact, as though the second half of a man’s life is made up of nothing but the habits he has accumulated during the first half.” Fyodor Dostoevsky
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