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:
1. Decide what you want. The previous activity accomplishes this requirement. You now know which area of your life you want to change.
2. Create a goal. Your goal is a target. An effective goal is S.M.A.R.T.:
Specific: “Losing weight” isn’t an effective goal. “15 pounds” is specific and effective.
Measurable: How will you know you attained it if you can’t measure it?
Attainable: You're not Superman. You can't accomplish the impossible. The body can only process fat so fast. Having an attainable goal prevents disappointment in the end.
Reasonable: You won’t even get started on a goal you don’t believe you can reach. Only push slightly beyond your comfort zone.
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.
Now create a goal based on your number one priority. An effective goal might be, “On or before March 31st, 2023, I will have lost 20 pounds.”
3. Prioritize 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.
4. 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.
Habit change is what we do! Having a skilled coach help you set reasonable goals and shift your habits creates sustainable change. Reach your goals faster with accountability, foresight, and the experience of a highly skilled coach.
Deal with discomfort. Any change is uncomfortable. Actually, any significant change is 3. 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. There are many ways to decrease the amount of discomfort felt when altering your life.
6. 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.
7. 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.
“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
Next up is habits. Stay tuned for tomorrow's post on how to form effective habits to create the change you want in your life.