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Your Recipe for Success

How Do I Make Changes To My Life?

Let me ask you a question. How many people could tie their shoelaces the first time they tried? I can remember when I first taught my children how to tie their shoes – it was around the time they started school. The look of concentration on their faces, as they remembered the way to get those loops in the right way. But once they truly got it, instead of concentrating as they tied their shoes, they could talk, laugh, read, any number of things at the same time. Does anyone remember a similar learning in their own lives?

The reason for this is that once the pattern of tying their shoes sunk into the subconscious level rather than them having to think about each step, they no longer had to concentrate on what they were doing. This is the same with all behaviors and habits. Once it sinks into your subconscious, you don’t think about doing it, you just do it. Therefore, in order to make changes in any area of your life, both the subconscious and conscious must be working together. Some of you may be saying that you have made a conscious decision to make changes in your life using your willpower without using this subconscious “stuff”. All I can say to that is that in order for the change to be long-lasting, both your conscious and subconscious must be working together.

How Do I Make Change Long lasting?

  • Make the decision – cut off from any other possibility. You don’t look back – only looking forward. The only person that can make this decision is you – not your spouse, your children, your family, your friends – only you can do it. Write it down – this creates clarity to what you are going to achieve
  • Commit to new path. You make this commitment to yourself that this is not something you will try -  YOU WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN. Nothing will stop you if you are truly committed
  • ACT – you must move. “Even if you are on the right track – you will get run over if you just sit there.” Move forward – someday never comes. Act today
  • FOCUS on what you want. Nothing is more motivating than focusing on the results that will come as you build your new habit into your life. The more often and deeply you can do this, the more motivation you will have. Imagine the rewards you are going to reap once your new habit has been formed. Think about the health benefits you are going to have with your new habit. These images will make your mind eager to adopt the new habit and hence it will be easier and faster to form the habit. Imagine yourself as already being exactly the person that you want to become in the future.  Remember, your subconscious mind is activated and programmed by mental pictures, sounds, feelings, smells and self talk.  If we took a smoker, trance work can help by changing your self-image into that of a non-smoker. A new, positive image is implanted into your subconscious (the first factor required – a decision — is imperative). Now your old feelings, attitudes and fixations about smoking have been dismissed. Perhaps you want to lose weight. You know all the reasons you should lose weight. You really want to get in better shape. You want to take better care of yourself. Make the suggestion to your subconscious that you don’t want to “lose weight” but “be healthy.” These are the “believable suggestions” at work. You are now focusing on what you want to gain, for instance, better health, self-esteem and vitality, rather than what you are “trying to give something up”.
  • CREATE a supportive environment – who we become is greatly influenced by the people in our lives. Surround yourself with people that will hold you to a high standard. If the new habit you are trying to develop is improving your fitness, don’t go for a 10 kilometre run if your joints hurt after every run. Instead try swimming, working out at the gym, walking in the park or anything else that is fun to follow and which will support you. Likewise, if you can’t stand the chickpea salad you are eating everyday for lunch because you think it is good for you, the chances of you continuing a healthy diet are remote.
  • Celebrate often – This one is critical and very often missed. Celebration keeps us excited and helps us reward ourselves for the work it takes to make a new habit stick. Celebrate the day you start, rather than concentrate on what you are giving up. Reward yourself for the beneficial changes you have made in your life.

Life is a celebration and far too short to spend days, weeks or even years lamenting what you “should do”. Start with your decision and ACT and welcome the world to the new YOU.

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24 Responses to How Do I Make Changes To My Life?

  1. Sire says:

    Breaking habits for some people can be very hard. Take smoking for example there are some who can stop cold turkey and there are others who have been trying for years but still can’t kick it. It’s definitely a mindset. Those who can definitely have the right mindset. Others may need some incentive, perhaps a pregnancy or a medical warning which will give them the focus they need.

    The same would apply to a lot of different life situations. Many people would love to change certain aspects of their life but won’t do anything about it because they can’t leave their comfort zone. Then something will happen which will force them to make the necessary changes.

    • Thank you Sire. Absolutely – you often need to reach a point in your life when you cannot go on the way you have been. But, why wait? You already know the things you want to change. Take the steps now. These are the words I have lived by for many years and I cannot believe the difference in my life.

      • Sire says:

        I actually have a bad habit, I crack my knuckles and there are times when I even do it in my sleep. I reckon I have to do something about that one of these days.

  2. That depends on whether you want to stop it Sire

  3. Janette Stoll says:

    Hi Brenda,

    Terrific post! I’ve always believed that you haven’t committed until you take action. You might want something, even badly enough, but until you take that first step to move forward you haven’t fully committed yet? What do you think? Taking baby steps daily is more important than tackling big tasks sporadically.

    Love this post.

    Janette

    • Thanks Janette for your comments.

      Those first steps are definitely crucial. You can plan and have wonderful ideas, but without action, they remain ideas.

      Baby steps start out that way – small movements toward what you want, but before long those baby steps develop into giant leaps. The progression of your “want” into a “have”

  4. Larry Lewis says:

    Great article. As a life coach, i find that the failure of many is they forget to take action. They know what they want, they even put a plan together of how to get it, but then …. nothingness. I implant my favourite two expressions: ‘Load, Aim, Fire’, and ‘I can, I will, I must’. I adopted both these action expressions when in the Army, and now carry them with me through my business life. What was it Tony Robbins said, don’t leave the site of a goal without first taking action, or something like that.

  5. Hi Brenda,
    Thanks for this post.
    One of the things in your list that will help is the supportive environment without which change will suffocate. A lot of the time once people leave the environment in which the change was initiated, they struggle to stick to the process. This is particularly noticeable in retreats or workshops, once the participants gets home it becomes hard to keep up with the change. The effect of the environment makes it possible for them to hold one another accountable to making the change.

    One good way to keep a supportive environment is to share the idea for the change with close family and friends they can help keep one accountable and facilitate the change process.

    • Yes Tito – I would have to agree with your comments here. I have attended a wide variety of courses, and often see the same people there. Unfortunately, many of them are still listing issues from years ago, and have not progressed from their initial seminar (Their words, not mine). They have indicated that once they go home, the people they surround themselves with are not keen for their change and actively encourage them to stay where they are. A difficult situation but if change is to occur, then you must change and that may include your environment.

  6. Your information is always appreciated. Keep up the good work.

  7. I agree change happens when you want the change and decide to do something about it! that’s paramount taking action!! As a counsellor I experience alot of clients recognise they want change and are aware of the consequences of staying with their old patterns, but continuie to stay with-in their comfort zones, it’s safe and predictable for some. I like the idea of imaging you are that person now eg: non smoker, relating to the feeling of not smoking or what ever you desire can be a positive motivator to help achieve your goal.

  8. gomathi says:

    i like u very super

  9. nwanosike sylvia says:

    life is not like d way I want it to be to me, now I am not doing any thing and I don’t no what I wil do to make it again in my life! I am a lady of 32 years of age, pls tel me what I will do to see a change in my life. Pls I need ur advance .

  10. Jerry says:

    How do I make changes?

  11. Saphire says:

    Howdy very nice site!! Love the strategies you have suggested.

  12. Chastity says:

    WOW this helps so much. Much love.

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