The greatest secret to making New Year’s resolution’s work is understanding the power of change. Want to lose weight? Get a better job? Go back to college? Find a spouse? Get closer to God? Whatever it is, understand that real change is one of the most difficult things we’ll ever do. In fact, even the threat of death doesn’t make some people change. A recent study indicated that within only two years, 90% of open heart surgery patients go back to their old eating habits – the same lifestyle that got them there in the first place. For real change to happen in our lives, we need more than wishes and resolutions. We need to understand how to embrace the kinds of techniques that allow real transformation to happen.
As a media consultant and television producer in Hollywood, I’ve spent my life helping organizations and individuals understand how change can enable them to move to the next level of success and effectiveness. In the process, I’ve learned some important keys to help you as you make your resolutions for 2011 work:
1. Let go of your past: Every football coach knows the saying, “It’s not how many times you fall that matters, it’s how many times you get back up.” Past failure is a good teacher, but ultimately, it doesn’t matter, because you have no control over your past. But you have to do something: Stop looking back. Get your eyes off the past, and start focusing on the future.
2. Know your destination: If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never know when you get there. Before you start the journey toward change, know specifically what you want to accomplish. And don’t forget to reward yourself along the way. Goals are great, but if they take too long to achieve, you’ll give up. So create “mini-goals” to encourage you along the journey.
3. Take Control of your Priorities and Eliminate Destructive Distractions: Don’t allow insignificant distractions keep you from changing your life. Like re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic, millions of people spend enormous time on things that really don’t matter, while their lives spin out of control. You’ll never reach your goals unless you understand the power of priorities. Spend less time on what seems “urgent” at the moment and more time on what really matters.
4. Overcome Fear and Insecurity: What are you afraid of? Insecurity and fear keep more people from achieving greatness than anything else in my experience, and in most cases, it has very little basis in fact. The great religions of the world tell us that human beings are originals. From Christianity’s perspective, you are a child of God, created in His image. What could possibly keep you from reaching your potential? Every day, take a first step into an area that you’ve been afraid of, and everyday, you’ll be placing a new brick in the foundation of a better life. The old Southern preacher was right: “God didn’t make no junk!” You are special, you are unique, and there’s nothing that you and God can’t accomplish together.
5. Find Personal Cheerleaders: Surround yourself with friends who believe in you, and eliminate negative people from your life. I cannot stress this enough. Spend less time with people who drain your energy and resources, and more time with people who love and support your dreams and goals.
6. Appreciate the Mystery of Life: Life isn’t about finding all the right answers, it’s about asking the right questions. So often we waste time and money on simplistic self-help answers. But the fact is, life just isn’t simple. It’s a complex process, but at the same time, it’s a wonderful process of discovery. Let go of the need to have all the answers, and allow a little mystery to happen in your life!
Changing your life is a process, but these simple keys will allow you to enjoy the journey and experience real change in your life.