Day after day…month after month…year after year it is the same. You keep doing the same things in your life and yet you wish things were different.
“Why can’t I lose weight?” “Why didn’t I get that promotion?”
“Why do I feel stuck financially?” “Why isn’t my relationship with my kids better?”
Deep down inside, we already know the answer. We have not seriously changed anything to help us realize our goals/dreams. We have not been transformed.
I hear this lament all the time from family and from coworkers. I’ve seen people struggle with “getting ahead” in so many arenas in life yet they keep behaving the same as they always have. They keep believing as they always have. They keep thinking as they always have.
Yet they expect different results.
How do I know this? I’ve had a lot of conversations with people about this. And I have personally struggled with this. We all have.
Why? Why have we all struggle so? Why can’t we seem to “get off the dime” and really experience change in our lives – change that we truly want to see happen?
“If you always do what you’ve always done…”
Our “doing” – our habits – have us right where we are. Right, our habits (a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up) have set the program by which we live our lives. We have so regularly practiced something…
…that it is now “settled”…it marks who we are. We don’t like it. We want to be different. But habits are “hard to give up”.
So what can we do? Note: the dictionary definition of a habit states they are hard to give up – not impossible. In other words, it is entirely POSSIBLE to change a habit to make it work FOR you and not against you.
Dr. Shad Helmstetter teaches that we can re-program our mind to think more positively by merely repeating new thoughts consistently.
“In logical progression, what we believe determines our attitudes, affects our feelings, directs our behavior, and determines our success or failure:
This works for both negative thoughts and positive thoughts. Both thoughts follow this progression.
So, if you want to transform how you think, for example, you have to change your programming – those thoughts which you allow into your mind.
The same is true for our health. If we eat unhealthy food, we will become unhealthy. A steady diet of junk food will not result in a healthy body. We were not created this way. “Garbage in, garbage out.”
So much has been written about habits. I would encourage you to read about habits, their power, and how you can truly make effective changes in your life. I recommend the following books:
The thoughts these authors share will change your life. They really will. But not by merely reading. It will be in the doing.
If you feel stuck…if you feel hopeless…if you struggle…if you are disgusted you are where you are…CHANGE YOUR HABITS, CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
TRANSFORMATION happens through effective habits. Jeff Olson, author of The Slight Edge, says that true change happens – not in huge dramatic moments – in the everyday effort of moving closer to our goals. More to come on this.
Look at your habits. Looks at your goals. If your current habits do not move you towards what you want, change them. Every day, change them.
There may be a thousand little choices in a day. All of them count.
Dr. Shad Helmstetter
We are fast approaching 2020. Many of us are looking ahead and formulating new goals and direction. Resolutions will be made. Later they will be broken.
What causes us to do this year after year? And when so many of us fail to follow through?
Why do we even set goals for ourselves?
Let’s look at health goals. Millions of people right now are thinking about their health goals for 2020. Losing weight. Eating healthy foods. Exercise. Reduce medication. Those are all great and noble goals.
But for millions, these goals will be a fading thought very early in the year.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the failure rate for New Year’s resolutions is said to be about 80 percent, and most lose their resolve by mid-February.
People will lose the desire to do what it takes to meet their goals. A warm cinnamon roll on a frigid February morning will win the day, and the slippery slope from that fresh baked goodness will loom large. Within days, health goals can be obliterated. “Oh, well, next year.”
Look back on your life 1 year ago. Reflect on this:
“Well, ummm, I guess I’m really the same as I was back then. Actually, I’ve been this way for years.”
See, becoming better is not simply a matter of desire. Who doesn’t want to become healthier? More in tune spiritually? A better mom/dad/person? More secure financially?
So what’s missing when we set goals and resolutions yet fail to follow-through so quickly?
Let’s break this definition down:
Allow me some liberty here. When I think of TRANSFORMATION, I think of the word repentance. When someone repents, there are 2 actions required:
To truly change your life (health, relationships, development, finances, etc.), this sense of repentance needs to be applied.
Health: I am turning from foods that harm me. I am turning to foods that heal.
Relationships: I am turning from behaviors that harm others. I am turning to behaviors that build bridges and create peace.
Finances: I am turning from undisciplined spending. I am turning to creating a plan to move me towards freedom.
Personal Development: I am turning from haphazardly moving through life. I am turning to intentional ways to grow.
Do you see the difference?
Let’s explore how TRANSFORMATION can happen in your life. Today, it is December 21, 2019. Think ahead to December 21, 2020.
Fact: you can TRANSFORM your life. You can! In the posts to come, let’s learn and discover how TRANSFORMATION can become possible in our lives. I need it! I bet you do, too.
In the posts that follow, let’s learn together how we can TRANSFORM our lives. We’ll explore the TRANSFORMATION definition, creating habits, the power of documenting your progress in a journal, accountability, the idea that TRANSFORMATION is not a one-and-done proposition…and so much more. I’ll great resources that I’ve read/listened to from great people.
Do you want to remain the same person you’ve been for years (decades)? I don’t. True change requires TRANSFORMATION.
Join me in the journey! Let’s become better.
As we prepare for 2020, take some time to ask yourself some key questions. When many think of goals, they become overwhelmed by the sheer number of goals they believe they “should” have.
I’ve asked my own leadership team these basic questions. Try them on for size…
What things have you identified that you need to change to make you a better manager of people?
What are 2 to 3 things your team – if they really focused on – could make the most positive impact in 2020?
Take time to document your answers to these questions. If you lead managers, ask them how you can support them in this process. Then in coaching sessions, regularly review these questions with your team to keep them on track.
Your doesn’t need dozens of goals. They need focus. And your support.
Make 2020 a great year for your team !
I was featured in an article from our local paper about goal setting. The article was written by Lisa Green of the Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
“Holiday shopping, impeachment hearings, trade tariffs and the volatile stock market may be capturing many of the headlines, but in many workplaces, the year-end also means looking ahead.
It’s goal-setting season.
And that’s also true in many nonprofit organizations, even though they bear the challenge of realizing goals not just with paid staff, but through the generosity of time, talent and sometimes treasure from volunteers.
What could be.
What should be.
Just thinking about the word can be daunting and yet energizing.
Achieving goals certainly requires more than vision and creativity.
“We might say we set goals, but sometimes we set hopes and dreams,” said Jim Johnson, a co-founder with his brother Jere Johnson of the local leadership and networking event called First Fridays.
Planning and being intentional are key, said Johnson, who is also vice president of member services at 3Rivers Federal Credit Union.
He suggests wrapping a SCARF around goals, using this five-pronged approach:
S: Specific goals are necessary. You have to get down to the details about what it will take for success.
Saying “I need to read more” might be a good concept, but it’s not specific enough. “I will read 12 books in 2020” will get you there, Johnson said.
C: You have to commit to your vision and goals. “Be passionate about achieving what you set up for yourself,” Johnson said through email, after a brief telephone interview. “Your goals should move you.”
A: Align your activities, behaviors, thoughts, and time around achieving your goals.
R: Review your goals regularly. “It is easy to get off track,” Johnson said. Review allows you to adjust and renew your focus.
F: Filter activities, attitudes and even people that don’t move you towards your goals. “If they don’t, ditch them,” Johnson said. “Don’t accept time wasters.”
I came across these notes I wrote over 2 years ago. I thought I would share them here.