Change is the new mantra in the present administration. People throw the word around as though it were a magic wand that would make their lives a lot better. But change is a dirty six letter word; people say they want it but very few are prepared to do it.
The truth, as you no doubt already know, is that life doesn’t respond to what you want; rather it responds for that which you do- action. The fact is change happens whether or not we want it. Oil prices will change, your age will change yearly, your children will grow up and leave home, your car model will get older, your hair will get gray or maybe even bald (like mine), your bones more brittle over time, few wrinkles will appear, life will take its toll…. these things just happen.
Progress is what we actually want. Not change. Change is arbitrary. It happens to us all with our without our express permission. Progress is more intentional, and while it may not be a sudden transformation like the transfiguration of Jesus, it builds one block atop the other, one step at a time.
How you can create progress
Have a vision of what you truly want. Say what you want to create in positive terms, example- “I want to have a sexy body with six pack and well-toned arms” will work better than “I want to lose fat”. Let your vision excite you. Really get you going. Let it be compelling enough to pull you, then you don’t need anyone to push you to action. Get strong enough reasons to make the change.
How to maintain your motivation.
To continously remain motivated to meeting your goals regardless of the many obstacles life may throw at you, you need to feel it everyday.
Have a vision board, (you can find out at www.makeavisionboard.com) where you can put up pictures of all that you want to achieve- the pent house with a pool, the new SUV, the happy family, the swanky office, the factory, the six pack, the shapely African queen. Whatever it is you want. Put up all these excited pictures that you can see every morning that can really get you excited and inspired. Then feel it everyday.
Most people have a need to act and behave consistently with who they believe they are. Doing otherwise would seem out of place and difficult to pull off consistently. It then becomes important for you to define your ideal self, visualize it, affirm it and put it on paper. We do this by creating purposefully our new ideals and turn our “should-haves” and “nice-to-have” into a “must-have”.
Create a Road-Map.
Your bucket list must transform into a to-do-list. It’s should no longer a vague statement like, “I should exercise more frequently”, instead it becomes “I must go jogging on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and lose 10kg by December”. It should be more definitive.
You’ll discover that this little exercise would become the only motivation you require. It’s more than mere motivation, it’s inspiration. And inspiration lasts much longer than motivation.
A Personal Story.
I carried out this exercise in 2008 and just wrote down all of my mid-term goals on my company letterhead. Fast forward four years and one day while I was away on a training program in Lagos, my wife calls me in the evening, telling me about a note she found while “arranging” my cupboard. I was a bit puzzled and confused as to what letter that was. I was thinking perhaps it was an old love letter that has resurfaced to cause problems for me. When I returned home and saw the alleged “love letter”, tears filled my eyes, everything I had written on that piece of paper had become my new reality! Infact I had grown used to it. On that letterhead I had outlined all I wanted to accomplish: from owning my own home on a hill, having a beautiful office with great staff, settling down and having kids, publishing a book, running a great consultancy firm and travelling around doing seminars and facilitating workshops. All of that had become my daily activity. I was living a dream I had once strongly desired and had even become accustomed or habituated to it.
The first step to solving a problem or achieving a goal is first of all identifying that there is one. Goal setting is the first step to actually making progress. Why not write one today? That way you create your own map for finding your future success and happiness.