When we first decide to make a positive change in our lives, we generally tend to underestimate the amount of effort it will take.
It is easy for anyone to dream and imagine a better life, but we also have to bring our thoughts to life through decisive action.
And this is where most of us get stuck.
Imagine you want to build a house…
…and think about the process that will have to be put in place.
You will need to put the idea into shape, buy the land, design the plans, order materials, hire professionals for all the tasks that you won’t be able to do yourself, and finally, start building the house.
If you manage to buy the materials and then sit back and wait for the house to be built as if by magic, you’ll be waiting for your whole life!
We need to use exactly the same process to “build” the life we want. We need to be clear about what we want (idea conception), set goals (plans), and then act to physically realize our ideas.
What most of us do, however, is to say we want to change, but then we act contradictory to our desires.
There can be many reasons for this, such as old habits, fear, or low self-esteem. Until we solve the underlying problems, we will continue to sabotage our efforts to change.
If you recognize yourself in this picture, that you are struggling to make positive changes in your life, and feel like you are not getting anywhere, here is a 3-step plan that will break down any walls of those who are holding you back:
1) Identify and remove blockages.
If you constantly avoid taking action to make positive changes in your life, there is something holding you back.
It may be an old belief that you don’t deserve to be happy, or the fear of not being able to cope with new circumstances, or simply an old resistance to change.
If you take time to explore these feelings, then you will be able to work through the beliefs and fears that limit you.
In fact, don’t be surprised if you discover something about yourself that you have never been aware of before.
You can explore your feelings either by writing them down in black and white, or by expressing them out loud.
You may very well start with a prompt such as, “I’m afraid that …. or, “I feel safe in the life I lead because…” “Let your answers come without holding them back, and work to change your thinking or beliefs that are preventing you from moving forward if you do nothing.
2) Define a plan for decisive action.
Another reason you may be resistant to change is a sense of doubt and insecurity about what you will need to do to carry out your plan.
If you make a list of all the specific steps you will need to take on a daily basis, you will then have a clear roadmap for each of the goals you have set for yourself.
Think about what you want to achieve, and then decide exactly which action will be best suited to get you closer to it. Write them down in black and white several times a day to make sure you’re on the right track.
3) Make the right decisions.
Adapting to change requires consistency in decision making.
When you decide to quit smoking, you don’t just make that decision once, and that’s it, you’re free of it.
You will have to make this decision over and over again, every time the craving arises, until you have actually quit smoking.
If you decide to exercise every day, you’ll have to make that decision every day, day after day, week after week – even if you don’t feel like you’re exercising in the first place.
The same process applies to any changes you try to make in your life. One moment at a time, you will need to choose the actions that will give you the results you want to achieve.
To do this, you will need to develop a high level of attention to the actions you take, especially if you automatically find yourself gravitating toward the same counterproductive actions.
Remember that any improvement is first and foremost a process and requires constant effort and focus
The good news is that it gets easier and easier with every new fair and beneficial decision.
At every moment, we have the power to choose.
If we take our time to enjoy the journey, we can only succeed.