Pillar #5 -Steps to Create Positive Changes in your Life
NOW is the time to BE the person you want to become. As stated by Gandhi, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” If you have been following my blog posts titled, ‘Steps to Success’, you will have already read about the personal assessment and preparation work that must be done to support positive changes in your life. Once you have begun to take personal responsibility (Step 1), outlined your vision (Step 2), decided how you will live a purpose driven life (Step 3) and dreamed about infinite possibilities (Step 4), you are ready to put your hard work into action.
You can now become the catalyst to begin making the incremental changes that you want to see in your life. One definition of a catalyst is ‘a person or event that quickly causes change or action’. So, what action steps can you take to become such a facilitator of progress? Begin to work on these 4 action items:
1. Determine your GOALS vs. your INTENTIONS. Goals involve definable results that you plan to accomplish. Intentions include feelings and emotions that powerfully support your definable expectations; they include the ways that you would like to be in your life. You may have a goal of winning a running race. You could have an intention of focusing on your eating habits and exercise regimen to become a much stronger runner. It is important to think both in terms of GOALS and INTENTIONS when you are taking steps to change your life.
2. Believe in yourself. Know that you are ‘of value’ and that you can handle what is thrown at you. Sometimes we question the challenges that are put before us. We may not understand why we have to encounter these struggles and may believe that we are not able to handle them. Please know that you are able to get through them and that when you begin to think in terms of how you can overcome the adversity, you will begin the steps to do it. I recently heard Paul Gonyea, in his talk titled ‘A Higher Class of Problems’, say that no one ever expects us NOT to be able to walk when we are infants (as long as we do not have physical limitations). Our parents do not say, “Try out this ‘walking thing’ and if you are not able to do it, we’ll just make sure that you are carried around the rest of your life”. Believe that you CAN reach your goals and intentions.
3. Stay positive. Be kind to yourself. Use positive and kind words when you speak to yourself or refer to yourself. How often do you find yourself saying (in your head or out loud) “How stupid of me, how could I forget …” (you can fill in the rest)? Instead, think of all the great things that you did accomplish. When you are kind to yourself and regularly think positively, you create an environment where your mind is more readily available to think creatively. This will help you to find solutions to meet your goals and intentions.
4. Create new habits. As you begin to change your thinking, you will begin to change your actions. There are different philosophies of how to create new habits; some say to just focus on one change at a time, some say to start very small, some say to connect your new habit with a current daily routine. However you decide to take steps to ‘act’ in different ways (now that you think differently), you are setting intentions toward their creation which will help you reach your goals!