“The actions you take must be harmonious with the outcome you desire.” I found this sentence underlined in someone else’s copy of my book “Correct Change Required,” the other day and was struck again by the importance of that concept. Seeking change for the better is a part of life–every human is constantly trying to move forward. But our everyday actions get in the way.
I’m working on zapping ten pounds right now. The other day we ordered Jimmy John’s (as per our usual team meeting lunch). After a quick debate over jalapeño chips, I decided to make my action harmonious with my outcome and declined the chips. These are the kind of daily battles we face when working toward a goal. We need to learn to take action like this, because only then does change happen.
Here are five steps to making change happen.
1. Know what you want. This is, of course, the first step. I so often see people claiming what they want, but then not living remotely as if that’s true. So ask yourself: What do you want? And then look deep into your heart and see if that’s true. If it is true, you need to claim it. Truly decide that yes, this is what I want and I’m going to get it. Now you’ve set a goal.
2. Position yourself toward what you want. In order to align your behavior with your goal, you need to face it head on. If you want to lose weight, purchase a gym membership. If you want to start working for yourself, draft a business model. If you want to get married, start being the husband or wife you want to be–and then think, where would that dream person be hanging around? Whatever your goal is, find a strong stance to tackle achieving it.
3. Choose wisely every day. Make your actions harmonious with your goal. This is the daily battle that, when fought, leads to success! Actions build upon each other. Ignoring those jalapeño chips today will help you ignore them tomorrow. When you repeat the right behavior, you start to imprint change into your body and mind. And your stance will just become stronger and stronger. These small actions are each like a stair step that gets you to the goal. Be faithful in them.
4. Surround yourself with encouragement. It’s important to interrupt your autopilot. While it might be your thing to immediately turn to the TV when you should be working on that business plan, it’s not going to get you where you want to be going. Turn your self-defeating actions into self-enhancing ones by encouraging yourself. Change your desktop picture to a motivational image. Find a friend to spur you on. Celebrate your small victories in some way. Being surrounded by this encouragement will keep you going when it gets rough!
5. Wait and re-evaluate. It’s going to take patience. Permanent change doesn’t happen overnight. But if, after you think you should have reached the goal, nothing is changed, it is time to re-evaluate. If you are dating someone you know you won’t marry, but your goal is to be married–it’s time to move on. If the diet hasn’t worked in the timeframe you set, it’s time to look at a different diet. Look at what you’re doing, and then go back to whichever step you feel is the problem. Fix it and move forward! It’s going to take hard work to make a change permanent–but the pay off will hopefully be worth it.
What is something you want to change in your life?
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