July 27, 2016 Rodney Cowled

Making Life-changing Decisions AND Keeping Them

You’ve seen friends do it and you’ve read about it online. Someone loses 50kg, another doubles their income, yet another saves a broken marriage. Each one is different, yet each is the same in a way too. The outcome is different, but the catalyst is the same. Radical and sustained changes.

At some point in your life, maybe several times, you too will desire a different outcome, a different result. To achieve this we must change the input, the habits, the actions; in short, we must change.

Change, It’s a Dirty Word.

Change is all too often associated with the loss of something dear or something that’s thrust upon us by another. For some, it brings with it dread and strong disdain for others. In the corporate world, it’s so despised that we’ve created entire positions to manage it (Yes, people get paid to do Change Management).

Why Do We Fear Change?

Change causes stress, even positive change – It’s the way our minds are wired. Our minds like when things are the same and when things are consistent because it knows what it’s going to get.  When things change, even for the good, it creates uncertainty. Our mind doesn’t know exactly what you’re going to get, which often frightens us.

In theory, change should be pretty simple. We’re driving to work on our usual path and we come to road closure. We should be able to easily identify another route, in fact, there’s even a sign indicating that an alternate route exists to the right. Inherently, this should be a stress-free situation, but our minds are wired otherwise. Because we’ve taken the normal path before, we don’t worry where we’ll end up if we follow it.

However, when we run into the roadblock, suddenly the trusted information in our minds has failed us. Our minds kick into overdrive. Where does the new road lead? Will I arrive on time? Will I get lost?

What we don’t know causes our minds to stress, and changes (good and bad) create a lot of unknowns. 

How to Embrace Change?

  1. Accept There Will be Some Stress. Before you do anything, acknowledge that there will some amount of resistance. Don’t obey it, but acknowledge it – so that when it rears it’s head you’re ready for it. Before long, this changed state will become your new normal. The new habit you’re creating will be your go-to state. You are essentially using your minds quirks to your advantage.
  2. Pioneer Change in Your Life – Don’t sit back and wait for change to happen to you, go looking for it. Each week or even day, look for  small things you can change in your life to make it better. Each just one less mouthful, take the stairs or read one page of that book you’ve been putting off. You’ll slowly rewrite your brains source code, it will become more used to change, it will have more evidence to trust that everything will be okay. As a result, there will be less push back.

Making Big Changes Stick

Accountability: Tell someone, then tell everyone. It’s a lot easier to quit when no ones knows you were trying to change in the first place. That changes when there’s some social accountability. Tell a friend or family member about your change, AND ask them to keep you accountable. Give them permission to follow-up on you and to hassle you when you’re not complying.

Level Up: Make non-adherence costly by putting your money where your mouth is. Make a bet with someone, and make it big enough where it will hurt if you do not keep it. Not $5 if you don’t turn up the gym, make the option of failure really hurt.

(I know I’d pay $5 for an extra hour of sleep.)

Don’t set it and forget it. This isn’t a chicken you’re talking about, it’s your future. So don’t write down a goal, then forget about it and hope that it comes to pass. Instead, pour emotion and thought into the goal and change. Every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to sleep. Read your goal out loud. Then with passion tell yourself that you’re going to do ti, that you’re already on your way, It’s going to happen there’s not other option.

How Can I Help You Change?

Several months ago, I discovered my deepest desire was to help others achieve greatness. Followed by the realisation that I was a) ill-equipped, and b) not achieving greatness myself.

Shortly after that I had my lightbulb moment. I was exactly the kind of person I wanted to help. I wasn’t at the end of my race, but at the start. To help others change, I would have to first change myself.

However, my deepest desire was to help others (not just myself). so what I was doing had to be much bigger than me, and it was. It became a project, our project, Project 120.

It’s a group of individuals who’ve committed to living to their full potential. A place to find valuable and practical advice. Above all a supportive community. Read More About Project 120


Sources:

Life Hacker & Psychology Today

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