What role do you really want to play in life? What new scripts, characters and scenes do you desire, or want to drop? Ready to overcome what Charles Duhigg dubs your "automatic pilot" and flourish? You're most likely to make a big change permanent by abiding by two powerfully simple notions. First picture your very specific and compelling reward for succeeding. Then picture other rewards for each small step of successful change along the way.
It also helps to reinforce your innate grit: Picture the boring, unpleasant or fear-provoking task or person you will be able to view in a more comfortable light or no longer have to experience at all. Warning: "What gets in the way of being great is being good at something" ~ Jim Collins, From Good to Great
To turn the page to the next chapter of a more satisfying life-as-adventure, these steps that have proved fruitful for me -- when I've actually followed them.
1. Find Your True North to Become More Joyful
First be clear about choosing a goal that rings true. Forget "should" or adopting someone else's goal for you.
2. Picture Being Your Hero
Afraid you will fail? Supplant your fear with a greater motivation. When you are tempted to fall back, picture how you'll feel when you succeed. Émille Coué wrote, "It is the imagination and not the will that is the dominating faculty of man. It is a mistake to advise people to train their wills; they should learn to control and direct their imaginations." Hint:Rather than talking about what you are giving up or how you might fail, reflect upon and discuss the benefits you clearly see.
3. Surround Yourself With Mutual Support Systems
To keep your resolve, surround yourself with those who want you to succeed - and who are also on a path of practice. Agree on shared and individual behaviors that reinforce your mutual support. The authors of Influencer found that is the only way to permanently change.
4. Involve Your Senses To Stay On Your Path
"Thought is behavior in rehearsal," wrote Sigmund Freud. Tie your goal for your new chapter to your frequent experiences. Write it down. Say it out loud. Associate it with things you see, hear, smell, taste and touch every day. Plant sticky messages on your bathroom mirror, your car dashboard and smart device screen. Smell your shampoo and connect it with living that chapter. Brush your teeth and feel the motion towards it.
5. Notice Where You Get Detoured
"The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn," wrote David Russell. Notice your pattern of avoidance. What activities get you sidetracked? What time of day or day of the week is it most likely to happen? What else is happening that can numb you into avoidance? What colleagues and friends help or hinder you on your path? Conversely, when are your stronger moments?
6. Plan A Grand Reward
The bigger the change, the larger the reward you deserve. Enable others who supported you, to savor it with you. Get more insights on exactly how from Jeremy Dean's book, Making Habits, Breaking Habits. Who knows? Since behavior is contagious to the third degree, you don't know which friends, and friends of your friends' friends might be moved, by your example, to also turn the page to the next chapter of the adventure story they were meant to live.
Follow Kare Anderson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kareanderson