Have you ever considered making changes in certain areas of your life? Have you attempted to make changes in the past, experienced minor successes, but wound up where you started? Maybe you wanted to become a better father or mother, control your computer addictions, improve your temperament, or lose weight. Sometimes the solution comes down to finding meaning in your life. However, in most cases, you have to make lasting, meaningful changes in your lifestyle habits in order to accomplish your goals.
By Andrew Walton
Before we can identify and utilize the keys to making significant lifestyle changes, there are certain concepts that we may have to learn.
Human beings have the tendency to find ways that they will fail when they are presented with new concepts to learn. We immediately create reasons to dispel these new concepts so that we can relegate them to failure. Interestingly enough, when we don’t subject our behavioral models to that type of scrutiny, the possibility of failure still exists.
Ask the Right Question First
We oftentimes seek answers to certain pertinent questions that we ask ourselves before trying to make any changes. Unfortunately, we typically ask the wrong questions and make no significant progress as a result. The question should not be is this good or bad, is this right or wrong, or is this true or false. Instead, you should ask yourself “will this work better for me compared to what I am currently doing in my life?” If the answer in not YES, it may still be useful in the future. But for now, you shouldn’t waste any energy or time thinking about it.
Making Profound Changes
Each and every one of us has certain areas that we would like to improve and habits that we need to break. We want to make profound changes, yet no matter how hard we try, we get stuck and cannot see the type of change that we need or want to make. Needless to say, making behavioral changes can be extremely difficult and very frustrating when you rely on your will alone. Despite the fact that you will fail occasionally, you may experience adverse or negative side effects when you succeed. The key is to change your mental model which in turn will change your outlook on life.
10 Steps that will enable You to Make Lasting Changes
We have compiled a list of the 10 steps that you can take in order to bring about significant changes in your life. Consider the following:
- Accept who you are – if you have to love yourself before you can love others, it follows that you need to accept yourself before you can accept others.
- Assess your current situation – ask yourself the following questions. How do you see yourself? How do you handle a certain set of circumstances? What bad or good consequences have you experienced because of this?
- Be compassionate, especially towards yourself – it goes without saying that you cannot make these changes overnight so you have to be kind to yourself and patient in the process. Be grateful for what you accomplish and love yourself so you know the change is worth it.
- Commit yourself to making changes in your life – once you have listed the changes you want to make, be committed to succeeding and get to work on them. Make a contract with yourself and don’t break it.
- Continue educating yourself – gather information from external and internal sources in order to make the changes you are committed to making.
- Identify the changes you need to make – once you have done this, it will be easier to correct the actions and behaviors that have had a negative impact on your life.
- Pause for reflection – make time to assess your progress and praise yourself for the changes you make along the way to achieving your final goals. Be open to revising your goals when it becomes necessary to do so.
- Set challenging yet realistic goals – for all intents and purposes, the change process must be measurable and tangible so that you can achieve smaller, daily goals.
- Take action towards achieving your goals – honor your commitment to your goals and be aware of the changes you make along the way. Make sure that the behaviors you engage in and the things you do coincide with your personal goals.
- Take responsibility for your actions and your mistakes – be accountable, be honest, and take responsibility for what you do or don’t do as well as how your actions affect others.
The key to making the lasting, meaningful changes in your life that you desire is to follow the 10 steps above as thoroughly as possible. Remember, that the “3 D’s” for achieving success is what must be in place, namely dedication, desire, and determination.