Change can be difficult for anyone, but when you’re looking to shift your life quickly and make it last, there are specific actions you can take that will enhance your chances of success. The thing that will give you the most momentum the quickest is celebrating the small wins with each step you take toward lasting change. Here’s how you do it.
Make the decision
This may sound simple, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. How many times in the past have you wanted to change something about your life but you claimed you weren’t ready yet? Or maybe you just put off making the changes until some date in the future that came and went faster than you anticipated, so you didn’t follow through?
Making the decision is a non-negotiable, irrevocable choice that you commit to. There’s no room for readiness to seep in and sabotage your efforts because you’re willing to make the leap whether you’re ready or not. It’s this level of commitment that makes the difference between temporary and permanent change because you don’t just make the decision once. You have to make the decision over and over again every time you want to give up or turn around.
This is one of the most important and powerful skills that you’ll learn how to implement in your life. And once you harness it, you can use it to create change at a faster rate than ever before.
Change environmental factors
It’s really hard to allow yourself to be different within the same space you’ve been occupying. That doesn’t mean you have to move or completely upend your environment to create change. But it does mean that you need to look at your environment and ask yourself these two questions:
- What in my environment is supporting the change I want in my life?
- What in my environment is hindering the change I want in my life?
By asking these questions and taking an honest inventory, you might be surprised by what needs to change in your environment to meet your new needs. Maybe you simply need a new houseplant or to make sure the dishes are cleaned every night before bed. Maybe you need a new organizational box to keep your toiletries orderly. Or maybe you have a couch you hate that needs to be replaced. Whatever the case may be, making the changes these insights offer you will help you get closer to making lasting changes.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates
Shift your habits
Now that you’ve addressed your mindset and your environment, it’s time to look at how you’re behaving. All of these elements work in concert with one another to create change. They don’t stand up to the test of time on their own. So the next thing you need to address is how you be.
When shifting your habits, you have to be conscious of what you’re doing. You have to take things off of autopilot and make intentional choices. You may need to shift one habit at a time, or you might need to make radical changes all at once. Either way you approach it, spending 60 – 90 days of intentional action will help you shift the old patterns out and build new autopilot behaviors. This requires dedication to the process and a commitment to the change. But every time you choose the behavior you want to express in your life, you build momentum to carry forward.
Give up excuses
This is one of the top sabotaging behaviors that can derail your progress if you’re not careful. Excuses don’t show up and tell you to throw everything you’ve worked for thus far away. Excuses tell you to break your commitment just this once. The problem is that once you’ve broken your commitment to yourself, it’s difficult to go back to keeping it.
There will always be a reason to go backward. Traumas, fears, and tough times will show up, and you’ll want to revert to your comfort zone. Don’t. If you don’t learn how to hold your new standards of change when things are tough, then they won’t become part of you, and you’re reaching to do better because you’re ready for the next level you. So stick to the decision you made and commit to this new version of your life.