What is the one thing you would like to change most in your life?
One of my favorite pastors to listen to/read is Andy Stanley. He does a great job of taking a concept and putting it in simple terms. And, he speaks a lot about wisdom, which is something I hold in high regard.
One of his books is called Principle of the Path. The main idea is that “direction, not intention, determines destination.” This seems obvious, especially if you are referring to a car. You can’t get where you want to go if you aren’t on the right road.
Somehow this concept breaks down for many people when they apply it to their lives. They have all kinds of grand hopes and dreams, but they haven’t put things in place to help them achieve those goals.
How many times do you hear someone say they want to exercise, eat healthier, read more, start a business, etc., but then they take no actual steps to reach that desired destination? It’s easy to talk about wanting to do something. It’s the doing that’s the hard part.
I’ve been reading a book called Change Anything (Grenny, Maxfield, McMillan, Switzler). The whole premise is that we can indeed change anything we want with more than willpower. Yes, some people naturally seem to have more willpower than others, but there are skills that can be learned to help us successfully change aspects of our lives we are unhappy with.
Here are some sobering statistics:
1) Less than 20% of people feel they are managing their finances well.
2) Most relationships don’t fail because of chemistry, they fail because of behavior.
3) You are more likely to be killed by your own poor health choices than any other reason on the planet.
4) Fewer than 20% of individuals are able to kick an alcohol/drug addiction and stay sober.
Those facts seem so hopeless, don’t they? Yet, they should motivate us because these all involve a choice. Our lives are not merely left to fate. We can be in charge of our own destiny in many ways. If we give ourselves the proper tools, we can make significant changes. In the research done in this book, people improved their chances of success 1000% by using the following principles:
1) Personal motivation: connect to your goals (imagine, envision, inspire yourself)
2) Personal Ability: learn a new skill related to your goal
3) Social motivation: Surround yourself with people who will properly encourage you
4) Social ability: Get a coach or accountability partner
5) Structural motivation: Give yourself short-term rewards or punishments
6) Structural ability: Make positive changes in your environment
Now, I’ve just taken an entire book and made it a short blog post. There is obviously a lot more to the process. However, using these key ideas might get you going in the right direction toward making improvements in your life.
I have started a 30-day goal group with the moms I work with on Friday mornings. I’m anxious to let you know how it all pans out. Collective motivation can be quite inspiring! I’m already feeling more driven and we don’t officially start until February 1st.
Want to make a change? Use these six principles and see if you can set yourself up to be the most successful you’ve ever been at creating growth in your personal life.