Behavioral change experts say that lasting change happens with repetitive actions over a 21-30 day period. So congratulations! By doing the same thing over and over you have mastered this step and you are poised to make a positive and lasting change in your life! Yeah! You didn’t even know you were on Step 1-Be Repetitive, and now you’ve completed it! So now what? The following are the next steps in your change action plan that will help you get off the hamster wheel and head toward the wide open world of possibilities and the new you that you desire.
Step 2-Envision- The first step toward the new you is to envision what it is you want. Do you want to have more time in the day? Do you want to eat healthier? Do you want to be more organized? I don’t typically recommend focusing on what you lack, but it is a good way to determine what it is that you do want based on what you do not want. Once you determine what it is you want to do different you are ready to move on to Step 3.
Step 3-Actionable Items- Each day you need to consciously develop a list of 3 things that will move you closer to the new you. I suggest you actually write it down, to serve as a visual reminder throughout the day. For example, if I desire to become more organized, my list may look something like this: 1) identify things that are unorganized (yep, I just directed myself to make a list from my list), 2) prioritize my list starting with the easiest to accomplish (this gives momentum as I accomplish), 3) determine an action plan of attack. Wow! Day 1 seemed pretty easy! But now for Day 2, it seems like I may be in trouble because I actually need to do something. Don’t fret, I’m giving you these examples so that you can see just how simple actionable items can bring forth big results. The Day 2 list may look something like this: 1) take 5 minutes to look up expert organizational tips 2) apply one of the tips learned today 3) attack one item from my Day 1 action list. Holy cow! Day 2 and I’ve already implemented way more than just the two improvements. How so? For one, I did something different in the first place. And then, before I started, I had already made a choice to head down and new path and started heading down a new path! And on top of that I implemented 2 new organizational improvements. The way I woke up, is completely different than the day before.
Pretty simple right? Keep going. Your original 21-30 days will lead to another change and you will look forward to the new road you have yourself on. Warning! Self-improvement is highly addictive and I can guarantee if you take these steps you will not be the same as when you started.
For more inspiration, read: It! Happens: A Practical Guide to Finding Your It by Jolene Church
available on Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, and other fine book retailers.