By Trisha Fuller
You have the power to change You. It’s one single decision. Ask yourself a simple question, “Is what I am doing working?” If you answered, “No,” then you must make a change.
Everything begins with you. You are the only person who has the power, no one can change your problems for you and there’s no such thing as blame. You are 100 per cent responsible for creating the life you want. The question might be how badly do you want it?… Or would you rather continue to struggle?
Here are seven simple steps. Follow this easy strategy to create the action plan that you need now. Keep everything super simple.
1. Pick what you need to work on or the problem that you need to remedy. One thing at a time. Focusing on small habits and behaviours instead of everything at once. Realize that you don’t have to go just left or right, by adjusting only one degree in a direction you will lead yourself to a completely different, new location.
2. Understand why the problem has survived this long. Bullet point a list of excuses that have kept you holding on to your bad habit or problem. Some examples might be: something you do when you’re stressed or when you’re bored. Perhaps it was the excuse, “I am waiting until the kids were bigger.” Usually you’ve been telling yourself several things that have held you in a cycle of doing the un-useful habit or activity.
3. Set reasonable goals. Notice that this is plural. First make your long-term goal. Then work your way backwards from the final goal and make other smaller more attainable goals you’ll achieve first. Think of this like telling a small child that they have to walk 100 miles. The child will flop on the ground and quit before they even begin. This is your long-term goal – it doesn’t seem achievable yet, but you still write it down. It could be to lose 100 pounds or quit smoking for a year. Work backwards from there, like 50 pounds, 25 pounds… Your first goal might be to eliminate 10 pounds in six weeks. This is a reasonable and achievable goal, and will lead you toward your long-term goal.
4. Sketch a plan – specific steps that you need to take. Like a recipe, this is something that you can put up, to keep front of mind and follow everyday. Yes! Put it up where everyone can see your steps to success. This will keep you more accountable to your plan.
5. Follow the Plan!! You must take action first! Repetition is the key to all learning. After repeating it for a specific amount of time, notice how good you feel about the actions you are taking. Most people do this backwards, they presume to know how they feel about an action before they’re even any good at it. Think of this like when you were learning to drive, when you first started you were not very good at it! You may have been nervous, stressed and a little overwhelmed. It took repetition and practice. Eventually you became fluid and calm. All change is like this. A period of repetition is needed to make the actions automatic and permanent. Do it before you decide how you feel!
6. Reward yourself. Rewards happen after you complete each goal. Rewards are not food or substance based. They are activities or tangible objects, things that make your life better and more enjoyable. You must have something to look forward to. Clients who have really great rewards, planned ahead, push themselves harder to do what they need to do to succeed because they genuinely want the reward more than the old habit. Think of yourself as though you’re your own parent. Your parents had you finish a chore and then there was a reward, whether that was your allowance, an outing or having a friend over to play. Once people hit adulthood this often disappears because people often want instant gratification and they do whatever they want because they can, and they desire all results now. If you flip this strategy and do what you need to do and then reward yourself, you will complete the things you need to do! One client bought himself a Harley when he successfully quit smoking, and because he was saving thousands of dollars a year by quitting, he had more than enough money to reward himself this way! A smaller example of this is rewarding yourself with movies or TV time only after you’ve done your exercise for the day.
7. Check your progress, and revise plan if needed. The plan isn’t carved in stone. If one piece of it doesn’t work, change it. It’s more like rerouting rather than starting over. Clients who get off track will often feel that they need to “start over” but this is a false belief. Your plan is a lot like travelling from Edmonton to Calgary … if you’ve been making changes and succeeding, you’ve made it to Red Deer, you don’t go all the way back to Edmonton if you hit a detour or a problem, you just take another route to Calgary, but the destination is still the same. Your goals might have life circumstances that get in the way, and that happens. If the driving analogy doesn’t work for you, think about learning to crawl, then walk, then run. Just because you have fallen when you tripped on a rock, doesn’t mean you go back to crawling does it? This time, you decide to keep on walking and sometimes even run!
For more help with strategies for success, call Hypnosis For Health and Happiness for a Free Screening to see if hypnosis could help you 403-33-HYPNO
Visit online at HypnosisForHealthAndHappiness.ca