In the last article “I want to change my life – Part I”, I shared with you a few clients who were motivated and inspired to make some important changes in their life and neither client followed through to a positive result. If you want to go back and read it, click here.
It was with further guidance and more actionable steps that they were able to reach their personal goals and change their life for good. In this article “I want to change my life Part II”, I will go into some detail to provide actionable steps to give you something to chew on so that you can implement these steps in your own life.
First, let’s discuss what these two clients did right. They may not have succeeded at first and needed help in the final steps but they both did one thing right…
They had CLARITY. As you’ll learn there are many steps to progressing with changing your life but clarity is a BIG aspect so let’s delve into this most important step first.
I want to change my life – Clarity
Step One – Get clear about what you want. You can speak to yourself or others in general terms about your goals, hopes, desires and dreams such as “I want to change my life” but ultimately verbiage like this is NOT going to help you change anything at all. You need to be more specific. Here’s an exercise for you. Write down what you don’t like about your life in a listing format then draw a line down the middle of the page and write the opposite of the item to the left of it.
- This will be on ones side of the paper. “I hate my job.”
- Then on draw a line down the paper
- Add the specific goal that you want “I want to work less hours and do something more fulfilling.”
You see in this example the “I hate my job” statement is inspiring and motivating from a “pain” perspective. What we need here is a better understanding of what is a better option and can then be converted from motivation but instead to a commitment from a “pleasure” perspective.
Inspiration and motivation is something that we all seek. In fact, you might have even come to this blog thinking it would help you become inspired or maybe you seek to be motivated as a form of fuel to get you to take action. What we know is that neither inspiration nor motivation are the proper forms of fuel to make change. You can find examples everywhere when someone went to a seminar and got “fired-up” only to fizzle out just a few weeks later or a person who takes a course but never follows through to implement the changes.
What’s at work here is good old fashion endorphins. Some people who don’t train on a regular basis forget how good it feels to workout. It’s with regular training that you become addicted to that feeling and you do what? Well many people who “like” a feeling want to keep doing it so they carve out time in their schedule to continue to do what “feels” good.
Become addicted to your goals…
Step Two – I want to change my life. Make it a COMMITMENT.
With a new commitment, it is necessary to design a strategy to make enforceable. You can be interested in changing your life all you want but if you don’t have the Cojones to be full on courageous to commit then you will NEVER succeed. When you are committed, you no longer procrastinate. When you are committed, you no longer make excuses. Sure, you may tell yourself that you simply don’t know enough about your goal to fully commit but that is really another excuse. I know that is a little in your face but it’s the truth.
Step Three – Goal Setting – Visualize
Eat, sleep and breath your goal. I highly suggest that you keep these important life changing goals in sight at all times. Ever heard of learning by immersion? Think of the student who goes to live in France with a host family. It’s really remarkable how they learn so much in such a short amount of time.
We need to look at the aspects of changing even the smallest things in our life as though it is going to school and studying. When you are in school to learn to be a lawyer for example, you will attend hours of classes on campus then study in your personal time. Making notes, highlighting phrases and paragraphs are common methods of studying. Some students even write key points on an index card and repeat the words out loud or in their mind to fully memorize them. This sort of practice would be done daily to fully retain the information as if they knew it as second-nature in a way. Why would we not practice the exact same method for our own goals?
When you use a journal or an index card to “spell out” your goal, you are committing it to memory. It’s a tactile or kinetic experience. We as individuals learn or asymilate information visually, kinetically or by audio. Our children are doing this sort of thing to memorize their multiplication facts.
Next, you need to meditate on the goal many times throughout the day as if you are getting ready for a test in your class. If you simply write your goal down and look at it many times throughout the day, it becomes imprinted onto your subconscious. This helps keep the commitment strong in your mind so when the road blocks or resistance are presented, your can feed your mind once again to stay on track.
Do you remember when you were a kid and you played out a role in a game with another kid? I’m dating myself here but when I was a kid, we played cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians. My older brother always wanted to “dibbs” the white hat so I got to play the bad guy. That was tough for me because I had to run around shooting and killing everyone. It seemed appropriate that I include a scowl on my face too for some reason but I digress. The point is, we really got into it. I mean, I was a bad guy-really. I had my black hat on and I went full on mean. I would have liked to be the good guy or girl just once…
We don’t want to role play as grown-ups because we get a little embarrassed. Later in life as a young woman in my early 20’s, I was in sales and had to do some role playing. I gotta say, I felt pretty stupid reading off of a script. This is something that actors and actresses do regularly to make a living.
There are many methods that actors use to memorize their lines and get into their roles. Simply knowing the script is not enough to be a convincing actor. Likewise, you can’t just read your journal or index card and expect magical results in reaching your goals either. Really sit there, close your eyes and see yourself. I mean really see yourself living out the goal. Over time, these strategies will get you where you want to go.
“I want to change my life” is by far one of the biggest phrases my clients will say to me. I am able to get them where they are in their current life to where they want to be but not with these few steps here. There are still yet more that you can do if you want to change your life. This post went on a bit long so I will make a part III on the subject so you can put them all together to fully benefit in your own life.
(Photo credit – Thank you Robert Couse-Baker)