Can you think of one area of your life that you have always wanted (and even tried) to make a change in, but never seem to make it happen? Or you did change it for a while... then it slowly went right back to the way it was before?
Maybe it was living a healthier lifestyle, superior time management or creating a better work/life balance? Perhaps it's something on a global level such as ending poverty or world hunger. Whatever the change you're looking to make, let's talk about three ways to make changes that actually last!
The very first step in making change (that lasts) happen in your life is to avoid the three major mistakes that people make when trying to make a change.
1. We Resist Change
People tend to resist the change both consciously and also subconsciously. You must remember... whatever you resist, persists! The key here is to learn to go with the flow.
Another way to think about this is, you must first align and then redirect. This means first aligning with what life is directing you to, through or towards, and once you are flowing with the momentum start to make a slight shift towards the change you want to make happen.
2. We Fight Change
The next mistake most people make is to fight the change. They kick and scream as they get closer and closer to having to make the change. They make excuses, avoid having to take action, start procrastinating... the list goes on. An easy phrase to remember here is: Whatever you fight, gains in might! The more you fight it, the stronger it gets!
3. We Ignore Change
Well this is usually the last resort. Just "pretend" like it is not there. Let's just be honest, this never works! So once you are tapped out with ways to avoid making the changes you know you need to, here are three ways to make change happen and make it last!
1. Get Specific About Change
You must be willing to get super specific on exactly what you want to change. Most people say phrases like "I'd like to lose a few pounds" or "It would be awesome if I could just make more money." Both of those phrases are way too vague.
If you lost half a pound would you be happy? Or if you made $2 more would that do it for you? Usually the answer is no. So how much weight would you like to lose? How much more money would you like to make? You need to get specific. Here are a few questions to help you narrow down on the change you want to make.
- If there was an area of your life that you would like to see a change in, which area(s) of your life would it be?
- What specifically about that area of your life would you like to see change?
- How would you know when the "change" is working? What progress would you like to see?
2. Get the Road Blocks Out of the Way
Here are a few sample roadblocks that pop up in people's lives...
Many struggle with releasing past pains. Remember, the past does not equal the future. By changing our approach and our beliefs we can eliminate history repeating itself.
We must destroy beliefs which hold us back, often referred to as "limiting beliefs". Check out The Work by Byron Katie to turn around old limiting stories that hold you back.
Overcome the three opponents everyone faces. The first opponent everyone faces is what I like to call "Outside Opponents." These are people you've met, acquaintances, people who have little effect on you emotionally but can derail your confidence if given enough power (by you) to do so. Next there are "Intimate Opponents." These are family, close friends, etc. that know how to push your hot buttons. They bring up past examples that can instantly take the wind out of your sails. Finally, everyone has "Internal Opponents." This opponent is by far the hardest of them all, and these arise when you start doubting yourself.
To dive more deeply into overcoming the Three Opponents check out Live it! Achieve Success by Living With Purpose
3. Become the Change You Want to See in the World
When you decide that you are ready for this change to happen and that you want it to last for good, then here are a few tips you can use to become the change you want to see.
Start with the end in mind. Take a moment and fast forward five years, 10 years, even 20 years into the future and check out your future self (as if the change has happened and you are now living life how you would like it to be in the future).
Notice what has changed and notice what has stayed the same. After spending a
few minutes exploring the future in your mind... have a chat with your future self and ask them what the most important lessons were that you needed to know in order to make the changes necessary to get the results you were after. Once you've taken some notes, open your eyes, write them down and use them as your guide.
As you begin to map your journey towards the future use the following questions as a guide:
- What simple actions would you need to take each day in order to become the person you want to be five years from now?
- Why must you take those actions each day?
- What are all of the painful consequences that will occur if you do not take action now?
- What are all of the pleasurable experiences that will happen when you do take action now?
Now, as the late Michael Jackson would say, "Make that change!"