You Need Goals & Powerful Reasons To Make Major Changes Happen
Posted May 05 2009 4:36pm
As a Chartered Psychologist, it’s become very apparent to me that when someone is serious about making a major change in their life, it tends to happen. But what differentiates someone who is serious and likely to succeed from someone who isn’t? It’s all about goals and powerful reasons for wanting to make the change(s) in the first place.
If you’re serious about making a major change for the better, be it health or wealth related, this article contains some simple how-to tips, which if you use them will dramatically increase your chances of success.
I’m going to focus on health and weightloss, but the tips I’m sharing can be equally applied to wealth creation too.
Step 1 Make a committed decision to make the change – this means cutting yourself off from any other possibility. Saying “I’d like to lose some weight” doesn’t programme your brain for success. Saying, ”I commit to losing 50 this year” sends a very different message to your nervous system. Make your commitment openly to people who can and will hold you accountable for achieving it.
Step 2 Set yourself SMART goals and break these down into manageable steps as follows:-
S = Specific. Making your goal specific helps you to visualise the goal and motivates the mind towards its achievement. “Losing 50lbs by my 40 th birthday” is a specific goal whereas “Losing some weight for the summer” isn’t.
M = Measurable. Put a value and a timescale on your goal, as in the example above
A = Achievable. Make sure that your goal is stretching but achievable. Losing 50lbs in 6 months is an achievable goal (if I did it, anyone can), whereas losing 50 lbs in 8 weeks is not an achievable goal
R = Realistic. Losing 50lbs in 6 months is highly realistic if you have powerful reasons (see below)
T = Time-Bound. Putting a sensible timescale on the achievement of your goal makes the need seem more compelling and motivates you to take action
Once you have the overall goal, break it down into a set of achievable steps and monitor your progress weekly. (I don’t recommend weighing yourself every day – just the same time each week) and in the meantime, pay attention to how your clothes fit and the energy in your body.
Step 3 Identify at least 10 personally powerful reasons for making the change. Again, you need to be highly specific here. Losing 50lbs to avoid possible future health challenges was not a powerful enough reason for me. However, losing 50lbs to significantly reduce the risk of contracting bowel cancer (my loving Grandfather died early from this illness and there’s evidence it’s genetic) was a much more powerful reason for me.
Make your reasons a mixture of “towards” and “away from” motivated. “Away from” often gets people started (as in my example above which was moving me away from something) but you need powerful and positive “towards” motivators to keep going. One of my favourite was to hang my favourite pair of jeans that I could no longer wear on the outside of the wardrobe, so that I saw them every day.
Print off your goals and powerful reasons and post a copy on the door of the refrigerator and in other prominent places where extra motivation may be needed!
To summarise my weight loss example, make a committed decision to lose a specific amount of weight within a particular period of time, for your own set of powerful reasons.
Do this and I promise, you’re well on the way to a new you – permanently!
A short video summary of this approach is available by clicking here