Every day we must change. From the very simple, such as what we will wear to the very complicated, such as what we will do vocationally. Life does not allow stagnation. It demands change.
For the purposes of this article, I will assume that you are in touch with what you need to do. That you have good direction in the areas you need change. … I will also assume for this writing that motivation is not your problem, that you are willing and ready, to make the changes you need. These are big assumptions but assuming that these things are true. Then comes the thousand pound gorilla question. … How do we change? How do we improve our performance, to address the need we recognize?
Good question! Here are some ideas to help you: seven steps to help you make the changes you believe you should make. Seven basic ideas that will help you improve your performance, when you see the need.
Step #1 – Realize the area of deficiency.
Write it down. I remember that one of the hardest deficiencies to correct in my selling performance was a tendency not to listen deeply enough. Through work and time, I replaced this tendency with a habit of active listening. But first I had to realize what I needed to change. I had to honestly admit it and be clear about what I wanted to fix, with a course correction. So in the same light. Be honest with yourself. What is it that you need to change?
Step #2 – Identify the corrective behavior or action.
Write it down. Replace your negative with a positive. If you have a trait that you do not like. What is the trait that you want to replace it with? It is very important that you do not generalize this. You must see specifically and know clearly, the solution that you need to build into your life. Change without clearly identifying the replacement ideal will be short-lived and not last. What is the outcome that you seek?
Step #3 – Recognize the moments that you need to change?
Arresting a problem area of your life is like going after a rabbit. First, you have to catch it and it will not stay still. How do you catch the rabbit of your problem? Do you realize when you do the thing, you need to change?
Learning to sense the moment, when change is needed is half the battle. When your attention is sought in a department store, often they will flash the lights. That grabs our attention. When attention is needed in school, they will ring a bell. That grabs our attention. Sometimes, to make sure we get it, an announcement is made on the intercom. That really drives the point home.
This is what we need to do at the moment when change is needed. We need to let the lights flash. We need to let the bells ring. We need to make an announcement to ourselves. This is it! This is the pregnant moment we are looking to do differently. Recognize the moment, when change is needed.
Step #4 – Have a moment of heightened consciousness.
When we realize the moment when change is needed. Remember, you have won half the battle. Seize the moment. Carpe Diem. Consciously think the replacement ideal. Get crystal that now is your moment of opportunity. See it for what it is. No longer a moment of inadequacy but a new moment of growth. Turn the channel in your mind, on the old thought or practice and replace it with the new thought or trait.
Step #5 – Act upon the realization.
Consciously practice the desired trait, behavior or performance. Do the desired change. Fill the void of the old pursuit, with your intended new course of action. Practice the new meaningful directed action, at the very moment where you were tempted to do the old thing.
Work on the new behavior or purpose, with each moment of realization.
Step #6 – Repeat the cycle until your course is corrected.
Les Brown has said it best; “It’s not over till I win.” And it’s not. You are not after a one time change but a renewed mind and performance. Practice and keep practicing the change you seek, until it becomes a habit. Repeat the positive cycle.
Be patient with yourself. Just like the old ideology or problem did not happen overnight. Effecting real lasting change will not happen suddenly. Keep on keeping on this process, until the change you seek has become a way of life!
Step #7 – Note your success!
Reward yourself. More specifically, reinforce the change that you have effected in your life with positive gratification. Go do something special! Have a private victory dance! Mark the moment! Celebrate the victory of your course correction, with an internal Atta-Boy or Atta-Girl and an external observance to note it.
A good example of this is found In the Old Testament. Here, Patriarchs and leaders of the people marked special events in their lives with an altar. They made a place of remembrance that caused them and others, to see the good thing that happened there. Even-so, Build alters of gratitude when you affect positive changes in your life, with the help of your Higher Power. If you do, they are likely mean more and to last longer.