Every January, I reflect back on my life and ask myself, how can I make it better? I look at my successes and failures over the past year, and look for ways to move forward. There is an old adage that goes something like this…
If you ain’t growing…. You’re dying!
Do you want to grow? The alternative is pretty dismal. So what’s it going to be? I know some of you are frustrated with your lack of growth last year. Perhaps financially, spiritually, or physically. You made resolutions in 2009, and not many came through for you in 2010. So what about 2011? How can you make those changes to improve your life?
First of all, give yourself some grace. Change is hard. Don’t beat yourself up over it. The past is the past. Nothing can change it. Nothing. The future is a blank book. Nothing is written in it. Nothing. So, the first step to accomplishing change, is to realize that you start with nothing. You don’t have to let your past dictate your future, and your future is not yet determined. Here’s the thing though, if you don’t plan your future, someone else is going to fill those pages for you. It might be your boss, your company or the economy. Something is going to fill it. Why not let it be you.
So, how can you change your life in 2011? Of course there is goal setting and commitment. But… there is something that is so critical, that nothing else matters. This one thing, is a reason. You have to have a reason to change. You can’t change unless you have something driving you. Why do some people lose weight when others can’t? It’s not commitment. It’s not dedication. The reason is well… the reason. The underlying force that gives you a burning desire to change.
So how do you get a reason that is significant enough to drive you to commitment and dedication. The answer is so simple, yet so elusive. It is the ONE thing that drives you. Can you answer the simple question, “what do you want?” I mean really… what… do… you… want? What will you sacrifice everything for to ensure you get it?
Let’s say you want to be successful in business in 2011. You want your business to grow. That is not a reason that will drive you to change your old habits that prevented you from being where you want to be. No. A reason is something like…
- I want to be happily married
- I want to travel extensively
- I’m tired of being controlled by someone else
- I want to move to a better neighborhood
- I want to help solve a social problem
- I want to be financially independent
These are just a few examples. Notice, they all have emotional content. I was watching I Used To Be Fat on MTV the other night. I had not seen the show before, but found it interesting. A 17 year old teen lost something like 90 pounds in a little over 3 months. She tried before, but failed. Why this time? How did she succeed where she failed before? Simple. Desire. A reason! She was tired of being fat. Tired of her mom harping on her. Tired of people leering at her. Tired of who she was physically. She was also the reigning Homecoming Queen, and she wanted to go to the next Homecoming, a lot skinnier. So.. the first thing she had was a reason. A deep desire to change.
The second reason she was successful, was that she had help. She had a fitness coach who met with her everyday. The coach guided her and supported her. The coach also helped her deal with the emotional issues at home that were stopping her from moving forward.
So how do you change? You need to find your “why?”! If you are serious about change, you need to go somewhere quiet, and ask yourself… What do you want and what are you willing to give up to get it?
All the best!
All the time!