Whenever we make change in life we must follow steps to ensure the change happens… and lasts.
All too often do we insist change is required in our lives and this time its going to last, but shortly after we’re back to square one.
The problem is that we haven’t allocated enough time and energy into planning how this change needs to be processed and actioned.
Simply wanting change isn’t enough, we’ve got to be more structured and follow a process to the end.
Step 1: Determine what you want to change and whats stopping you from having it now.
This step is essential as it directs your brain into a more positive way of thinking.
Instead of complaining of all the negatives in your life, you direct your brain to considering the good things in life you want… You have something to look forward to.
It’s important here to get into the detail… The more specific and clear you can be, the more real and achievable it will become.
We also need to understand whats been stopping us from making the change previously.
Normally it’s down to the fact that we associate more pain to changing, than pleasure to making the change.
Step 2: Realign your pain/pleasure reflexes.
Here’s were you need to change the way you think about the pain and pleasure you link to making the changes.
As said, the reason people don’t make change is that they link too much pain with actually making the change.
Therefore we must start linking pain to the old habits we have, the result of not changing.
We must also link great pleasure to making the changes.
This way, whenever you think about making the actual change, your brain will drive you forward due to the positive thoughts of making the change… and the negative pain thoughts of staying as you are.
Step 3: Stop dead your current pattern and create a new empowering one.
The reason things aren’t going for you is down to the fact that your current patterns of life aren’t working for you.
Are you giving up too easily, popping out for a beer too often, sleeping in most days?
These negative behaviours become inbuilt in our life pattern, and strongly affect our moods and attitude.
If you keep living the same patterns you’re going to get the same results, you’ve got to change your approach.
We often know when we are doing things we shouldn’t be, so get a list of the things you do that you feel don’t help you in your life… You can even ask those close to you.
You need to make the decision that you will substitute each of these negative behaviours with more empowering behaviours.
If you’ve been laying in bed till 08:30 each morning, set a new behaviour of getting up bright and early at 7am every morning.
You will end up with a list of positive new behaviours, that become the foundation of your new life pattern.
Step 4: Make the new pattern habit.
One of the key reasons we fail, is down to the fact that we don’t build enough good habits… we simply don’t give them the time.
I believe that it takes a minimum of 30 days to create a new habit.
The first 10 days are all about the excitement of doing something new, something thats making a better impact in your life.
Around day 10 the newness starts to wear off and you enter the danger period.
Here’s where your brain forgets the importance of the change and can highjack your good behaviour.
‘Just give it a miss today, you can pick it up tomorrow’
Problem is the habit is broken and we don’t pick up tomorrow, before we know it the change has less priority and you’re right back where you started… with the old disempowering behaviours.
Between day 10 and 20 you need to start your day by reminding yourself of why you are making the changes, reinforce the pain/pleasure linkages you created and remember what this change will mean to your life.
As you hit day 20 the habit is becoming a part of your everyday life, the habit itself reminds you that it needs doing automatically instead of your brain having to prompt the habit.
Between day 20 and 30 we still need to keep our eye out for potential hurdles, as unexpected blips can cause us to get knocked off our track and lose the habit.
I recommend that you record daily when you have completed your new habit, then it will remain a priority and the habit will develop.
At day 30 the habit is solid and already making huge impacts on your life!