How to Change Your Life

how to change your life todayThis morning I was reviewing some notes from a talk I heard Henry Cloud give at the Leadership Summit way back in 2005. He was speaking about how to take your good intentions and make them a reality.

Among the nuggets:

  • Self discipline is the fruit of other discipline, structure, and processing pain properly
  • We rarely if ever fail in new ways; we repeat the same patterns
  • Life only changes when we bring structure and discipline from the outside
  • Learn the gift of grace which is the gift of process

This aligns so well with the change process I describe in my book Release.

  • Establish goals to clarify where you want to go
  • Develop daily or weekly habits which support those goals.
  • In the areas where you are not making any progress, find partners to help you maintain those habits which contribute to your goals.

For example, a common category of goals relates to personal fitness. Let’s say my goal is to run a marathon within a year:

  • I decide which marathon I am going to run in and register
  • Then I download a marathon prep plan and put it into my calendar. The required workouts are the habits
  • If I find I am not keeping to the workout plan, I need to bring in a partner or a group of partners. So I join a running group that consists of people also preparing for a marathon.

This is the process I used to complete my first book:

  • For years I had the goal of writing a certain book but made very little progress
  • Then I established the habit of writing for a set block of time every week
  • To help me maintain this habit, I partnered with a friend of mine who wanted to paint more than he was. Each Friday at 3:00 pm I would head over to his house, we would drink a cup of tea, and then he would go into his studio and paint for two hours while I stayed in the rec room and wrote for two hours. My book got written and he moved from being a graphic artist into being a full time painter.

What do you want to change in your life? Here’s how to do it:

  • Establish a clear goal of what things will look like once you have made the change
  • Think through and establish the daily and weekly habits that will move you towards that goal
  • Where you find you have trouble maintaining a habit, find a partner or partners to walk with you and hold you accountable
  • And one more thing: Celebrate key milestones and especially the ultimate achievement of your goal

Press On!

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