|Posted by [email protected] on September 21, 2011 at 4:10 AM|
We all have our list of unattractive habits that we pull out and dust off for the latest New Year’s resolution, or stress over before big events like weddings and reunions. These bad habits are often surprisingly cheap – in the short term. Also, human beings value pleasure today much more than they fear punishment tomorrow until it is staring you in the face with the constant reminder of the overweight photo from the wedding pictures or the family reunions or something similar. When we are looking at making a change, sometimes we have to visit our future.
The authors of Change Anything recommend that we do just that. Visit the future of what it would be like to live off just social security if we don't build a retirement fund. Visit your future if you continue living a sedentary lifestyle, over eat, and ignore the signs your body is giving you. Visit your future if you continue doing what your are doing at work.
When we try and fail to lose weight, stop smoking, save money, get a promotion or any number of goals society gives off the message that we just didn’t try hard enough. In reality, it isn’t about lack of will; it is probably because of lack of skill. It has nothing to do with a lack of character, but our character is usually what is blamed. The problem is not that you are weak – it may be that you need skills! We need to develop the memory muscle for the new behavior or goal.
We need to manage our expectations of ourselves!
We didn’t learn how to serve a tennis ball on the first try. In fact, I remember spending night after night practicing my serve with buckets balls to perfect it. As we set new goals we need to modify our expectations and measure progress towards change rather than immediate perfection. It is more realistic and attainable.
With just a few weeks of deliberate practice, you can master the skills that make change easy and permanent.
We need to manage the Battlefield of the Mind!
To succeed at changing, you’ll have to learn to disarm your impulses and make the right choices pleasurable. Negative self talk only puts up roadblocks to success. If you truly want to make the right choices you have to be able to answer the question “what is in it for you?” and believe it.
With this in mind look at how you can you “change your story” so that you set yourself up for success in achieving your goals?