Five Easy Steps for Permanent Change

Changes in your life require new behaviors. New behaviors take time to become habits and habits are needed for permanent change. Here are five steps for helping you make new habits.

First you need to decide what you want specifically to happen. If you went to the airport and told them, “Give me a ticket,” what would the airline employee ask? “Where would you like to go?” If you told them, “Just give me a ticket to anywhere,” what would they do? They would probably have airport security take you away and have your mental stability evaluated. People say they want change but they just don’t know what the change will look like. So easy step one is “Visualize your Goal”.

Second you need to determine what you’ll get from making the change. Let’s say you’ve decided to become healthier and lose weight because your doctor told you that you were too heavy. Everything we do is for one of two reasons, either to avoid pain or increase pleasure. So you might ask yourself, “What will happen to my health if I change my health habits?” You might see yourself as slim and trim and more attractive to the opposite sex. That would be changing for a pleasurable reason or reward. A different question could be “What would happen if I don’t change? This might lead you to see yourself having a heart problem limiting what you can do in life. This would be changing to avoid pain. So you’ll change either to avoid pain or to receive a pleasurable reward. The second easy step is “Determine the Reward You’ll Get from Making the Change.”

The third easy step is you have to decide what is it you have to do to change. Let’s stick with the decision to become healthier and lose weight. What steps would be needed to reduce your weight and become healthier? The steps might be exercise more, reduce your intake of fatty foods, eat more fiber, and reduce your portion size. You also need to give yourself a start date to start. So the next easy step to make a change is to “List What You Need to Do and Give Yourself a Start Date.”

Your next easy step for change is to take action. You have decided to lose weight and become healthier. You have made exercise a key component of your plan. Now you need to start so you begin exercising on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays mornings at the gym. This easy step is simply to “Take Action”.

Your final easy step is to maintain what you have decided to do. You have decided to exercise every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6 Am. The first week everything goes well. The second week you start off good on Monday, Wednesday you drag yourself out of bed but by Friday you decide you need your sleep so you stay in bed. The next week you exercise on Monday but you sleep in the rest of the week. Of course this won’t work. You need to stick to your plan. So this easy step is “Stick to Your Plan.”

Now let’s review the steps:
1) Visualize Your Goal then ‘
2) Determine the Reward You’ll Get from Making the Change
3) List What You Need to Do and Give Yourself a Start Date
4) Take Action
5) Stick to Your Plan

That’s it, five easy steps that you can use for permanent change.

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