Friday, March 13, 2015

How to Create Personal Change

We all want to change ourselves and our lives, but change can be very difficult. How can we gain the motivation and drive necessary to sustain lasting change? Based on my readings and experiences, I've put together a set of activities that will drive powerful change in your life. These activities will take you around 90 minutes to complete, and you will be astounded by the empowering long-term benefits of this investment of your time.

Steps for Creating Personal Change
Here are the major steps for creating personal change are. I will explain how to accomplish each of these steps throughout the rest of this blog post.

1. Build clarity and motivation
2. Neutralize Negative Beliefs
3. Envision and Plan for Change
4. Create Change

The Power of Questions
One of the most powerful ways to motivate yourself to a change is to ask yourself empowering questions. The kinds of questions we ask shift our focus in fundamental ways, and the right questions can funnel us toward power and strength. Based on my experience, the activities below can be used to build powerful motivation and drive for change.

Build Clarity and Motivation to Change
On a sheet of paper, write down the following questions. For each question, write at least 15 responses. Make sure you write about the things that are really important to you. Stay focused and maintain a positive mental state as you write your responses. I have found that a clean, quiet room free from distractions allows me the time and space I need to really focus on what I am doing. Here are the questions:
  • What important changes do I really want to make in my life? (After listing out the 15 or more responses, carefully select the one that is most important to you at this time). 
  • How will I know that I have made the change? 
  • If I do not make this change, what will be the negative, unpleasant, or disastrous consequences?
  • Why do I really want to make this change? Put another way, what positive, inspiring, good things will happen as a result of me making this change?
  • What successes have I had in the past that demonstrate my ability to achieve this success now?
If you take these questions seriously and write at least 15 responses for each question, you will already begin to feel a sense of motivation toward the change you wish to make. You will begin to draw upon the power of your mind and the strength of your past to build an empowered future of positive change. Your next step toward change will be to identify and neutralize the negative beliefs that may have stopped you in the past.

Neutralize Negative Beliefs
What we believe about ourselves has a deep impact on our behavior and habits. Our habits are a direct result of our beliefs about ourselves and the world. On a new sheet of paper, answer the following questions to identify and negate unhealthy, limiting, disempowering beliefs:
  • What do I believe about myself that has stopped me from making this change in the past?
  • What do others believe or say about me that makes me feel like I cannot make this change?
  • How are these beliefs untrue? (For every one of the beliefs identified above, write at least 2-3 reasons why those beliefs are untrue).
If you take these exercises seriously, your sense of empowerment, strength, and positive energy will begin to skyrocket. You will feel a sense of personal power welling up within you. You are then ready to chart your course for making the change. 

Envision and Plan for Change
You are now ready to plan and execute your change. On a new sheet of paper, answer the following question. For this assignment, you must write at least 20 responses to each question. You will find that the last few are very difficult, but they are very often the most useful ideas you come up with.
  • What actions should I take to make this change in my life?
  • Who could I rely on to help me achieve this goal and make this change?
  • What obstacles or pitfalls can I expect to undermine my success? How can I overcome them?
  • What steps should I plan to take (a) today, (b), this week, (c) this month, and (d) in the next 3 months to make this change? 

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