The new year is a great opportunity to reflect on the past and create vision for the future. Often times, New Years Resolutions prove to be unattainable and unreliable. The truth is if we want to make a change in our life, it is just as possible any day of the year as it is when the New Year comes around. So, rather than discussing how to stick to a New Years Resolution, I want to discuss practical steps to help you implement lasting change in your life.
Step one: The process of change begins when we become aware of something we want to accomplish or attain. It all starts with a thought, a desire, a longing, or a hope for something different than we are currently experiencing. Think about your life. Is there anything you wish were different? If so, you have already completed the first step.
Step two: Change becomes possible when we interrupt the limiting patterns in our life. A limiting pattern is anything that hinders us from achieving the goal or making the change. First, we need to observe what exactly is hindering us and then we have to take it a step further and break the pattern. For example, if someone can’t lose weight, is it because of an unhealthy eating pattern? Is it because they don’t make it to the gym? Whatever the case may be, observe the limiting pattern and be intentional about breaking it.
Step three: It may sound cliché, but the words we say about ourselves and our circumstances drastically impact our reality. We should always be intentional about making our dream a reality through transformational language. In addition to observing a limiting pattern and being intentional about breaking it, transformational language can further generate our ability to break a limiting pattern. For example, saying “I will” versus “I should” will not only positively affect the atmosphere around us, but it will also affect how we feel subconsciously.
Step four: When trying to make a lifelong change, it is naive to think that we will never fail. Breaking a pattern that many of us have developed over a span of years takes some trial and error. In the moments of failure and challenge, it is important to have anchors. Anchors are the past victories and success that we hold onto when it gets hard. These anchors will not only provide a firm foundation, but they will inspire us in the moments when we feel like giving up. The more anchors you have, the more successful you will be.
Step five: The ultimate goal, and the last step in this process is to eventually condition our response. When we do something over and over again for a long period of time, it becomes a learned response. For example, after going to the gym five times a week for a year, my body and mind are conditioned towards this activity. When my alarm clock goes off in the morning, I do not question whether or not I am going to get up because it has become a habit. It is simply what I do. When we reach this level, we have created a conditioned response, and the change is fully a part of who we are.
At the end of the day, we are each responsible for our realities because we are each ultimately responsible for ourselves. When we acknowledge our responsibility for our reality, life will work better because we will not blame our surroundings for our circumstances. There is no better time than today to make steps towards writing that book, going to a different country, losing weight, eating healthier, reading more, being more organized, or whatever the case may be. Let’s be inspired, intentional, and proactive towards achieving our dreams because there is no better time than now.
Written by: Ashton Long
Content by: Don Long