If a formula for positive change without back-siding forever sounds intriguing be aware it takes mental preparation and constant self-awareness. Expect and prepare for relapses after you commit to changing negative behavior. Stress from changing the negative to the positive creates temptation to fall-back into old, comfortable behaviors.
You are less likely to self-sabotage your resolution, if you realize in advance, you will probably back-slide. The key is to never give-up.
When learning life-lessons, nothing compares to role models. Please – use me as a person who failed repeatedly at life changes – until I developed a formula to effect successful change without back-sliding.
You may want to read my formula with pen in hand!
Desire to Change
Without desire, change is impossible. Your desire to effect positive change is your pathway to liberation.
STOP and name one thing you desire to change. This step provides non-negotiable mental preparation before making a commitment.
Commitment to Change
Make a promise to yourself to follow-through with your desired change from resolution to completion. You keep promises to others, don’t you? You are important.
Let’s affirm your importance: “I am important and I commit to my desire to change _____________.”
Are you ready to make the necessary effort to effect positive change?
Effort to Change
The promise you made to yourself must be actionable. Let’s suppose that you committed to making conscious decisions. Assign yourself a date to make one small decision.
A positive action step is: “I’ll make a decision about _____________ by _________(date).”
Know this: You’ll make excuses not to follow through with your desire. Let’s prepare for relapses in advance to avoid back-sliding forever.
Prepare for Relapses
Scientific studies prove that our brain is wired to repeat behavior. When you are changing a negative behavior to a positive behavior, it’s necessary to repeat, repeat, repeat the positive behavior.
Let’s say you are committed to eliminating junk food and life begins challenging your resolution.
You have a flat tire in route to work. You miss an important meeting. Your boss is not pleased. The day continues to deteriorate. All of a sudden, you open your fist to find it’s clutching chocolate covered peanuts. Your first thought, “I deserve a little treat after this horrible day.” (Excuse making)
Your next thought, “I never succeed at anything I try to do. I always mess up”
You slipped up, back-slid, relapsed. Are you hopeless, unmotivated, a weak person?
Starting now, forget absolutes, like never, always, etc. and loosen your rigid standard. Quit abusing yourself. Finish the fistful of chocolate and get back on the correct path.
Try this: “I resolved to quit eating junk food, but if I relapse, nobody’s shooting at me. Tomorrow, I’ll make healthy choices, like fruit or nuts for a snack.”
Good save! You are holding yourself accountable.
Accountability Factor of Change
Holding yourself accountable is the only negotiable step in my formula for change without back-sliding forever. You will shortchange yourself if you skip this step.
PAUSE and list several areas of your life where you are held accountable.
Did you write something similar to this: Job responsibilities, parenting, marriage…
Now, ask yourself – “Am I as important as each item on my accountability list?”
Formula for Positive Change without Back-Sliding Forever
My formula for positive change is not quick; nor is it easy. But the rewards are big. Desire, commitment and effort won’t offer instant gratification. Look at how far you have come, not how much further you must go.
Do you want momentary pleasure or a lifetime of happiness?
Select one positive change at a time, work the formula, prepare for relapses and never give up.
You will succeed, I did!
Are you excited to read other articles written by this author?
Inspired by Good Housekeeping Article “You say you want to Change?”
Personal Experience with Positive Change