You decide to change your life. You’ll eat right, exercise, study more or even turn over a new spiritual leaf.
You get an initial burst of enthusiasm, but before long, reality sets in and you return to familiar habits.
Some claim that if you don’t follow through, then the decision to change must not have been strong enough.
I say that you did not have a good follow through plan that focused your mind and dealt with the inevitable mental obstacles. In other words, you made a decision, but did not plan for the essential elements of bringing that decision to life.
Let’s handle this, once and for all.
Choose just one important goal. One. If other areas of your life improve as a side effect (they will) then that is a bonus.
In NLP, we call this chunking. Deal with one chunk at a time. Dealing in chunks is like juggling. Juggling seven balls at a time is impossible for most people (or three for that matter). Juggling one is easy.
One goal. Make it important. Focus until you get there.
If you think you need total self-confidence before you begin, think again. If you think that you will fail without total self-confidence, think again!
Absolute self-confidence is a myth. It is natural and healthy to experience some self-doubt, especially if you don’t have a great track record (evidence) in following through.
Acknowledge the self-doubt and carry on. It’s normal. In no way does self-doubt compromise your success unless you give in to it.
This is the most important point of all. Self-sabotage – the tendency to do the opposite of what makes you happy – is universal. You need to plan for the day when you don’t feel like doing what you need to do.
Identify the various ways that you will try to talk yourself out of your goal or convince yourself that it can’t happen.
If you don’t know how self-sabotage works at the subconscious level, then it is critical that you learn. This free video is the best place to start.
One goal, one step at a time. Patience. Maturity. You know this one. Attempting to do too much too fast to get results faster than humanly possible is folly. Actually, this is just another form of self-sabotage. It’s a set up for disappointment and failure.
You might as well enjoy yourself. Big goals take time to achieve. If you don’t enjoy the process along the way, you are vulnerable to giving up. Actively discover how to enjoy it.
If you need to lose weight, how can you do it and have fun? If you need better relationships with your kids, start with the fun stuff. If you want more money, turn a passion into a business. You can find a way to enjoy nearly anything within reason, so ask the question!
Most people don’t really question what goes on in their head. When they criticize themselves, they feel victimized. When they are afraid, they freeze. When they don’t feel motivated, they don’t know how to change the pattern.
This is because our minds don’t come with an owner’s manual and most people were simply taught to randomly dump information in there and hope for the best. It doesn’t work (optimally)!
When you learn to drive, do they put you behind the wheel and wait to see what happens next? When you learn to ski, does someone just point you downhill and wish you luck? (Actually, friends do this one to friends all the time as a sick joke).
The point is – your mind needs to be deliberately trained to do stop doing what makes you miserable and start doing specific things that get the results you want. This is the art and science of modeling success, which Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) is based upon.
Put these elements together and make consistent progress. There is no other way!
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Last reviewed: 27 Aug 2013