There are two primary reasons people fail to change:
- They didn’t really want to change. They casually set a small goal but have no deeper sense of motivation or mission that would compel them to change. They need a clear goal that would make them feel real pride, joy and congruence if they achieved it. This is ultimately a problem of deep and sustained motivation.
- They lack daily focus. They lose the connection with the dream because of distraction or competing interests. This is a problem of sustained attention.
To solve these challenges, try these 5 big ideas.
- Write down your goal (and why you want it) every single day. Don’t type it in your phone. Write it down with a pen or pencil every morning on a blank piece of paper. Write down what you want to change and why you want it to happen. Even if it’s the same as yesterday, write it down anyway. This will re-connect you with clarity and motivation every day.
- Put it in the calendar and do it every single day until it’s a habit. Schedule the change. If it’s not in your calendar then you won’t do it. Until it’s done every day, it won’t become a conditioned habit.
- Measure progress every day. Journal every night or use a self-rating system that allows you to track your progress and areas where you can improve.
- Share your goal with everyone you know. Your social environment can give you the motivation and momentum you need to stick to things. If you don’t verbalize it and commit socially, you won’t stick to it.
- Get a coach or a comrade. Find a coach to help advise you and evaluate your progress. If you can’t afford a coach, then get a friend/comrade who can go through the process of change with you. They’ll keep you motivated and accountable.
In this world where everything is changing, everything is so chaotic, these fundamentals will help you stay on track toward living #TheChargedLife.
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Hey, it’s Brendon.
I’m always asked, “Brendon, why can’t I make change stick?”
- “Why is it that when I have a big goal or a big dream or I know I need to change some behaviors and I start towards them, I just kind of fall off momentum or I don’t keep at it. I have that big New Year’s goal to stay fit and healthy and then it’s gone by February or I want to start that new diet and I break off after a week or a month at it or I have this new behavior change.”
- “I want to be nicer as a parent or nicer as an employer or I want to be more kind with other people but I find myself getting angry and impatient with them all the time.”
- “I want to change but I can’t. Why can’t I make it stick?”
Well, this is a session about that. The first 2 primary reasons that most people don’t make it stick is A) they really didn’t want the change. I’m going to assume that’s not you. But just let’s talk about other people for a moment.
Have you ever noticed that sometimes that people kind of fool themselves into what they think they want and they don’t really want it?
Meaning: If change isn’t sticking in your life, it’s because you’re being too casual about change. You’re thinking, “Ah, it’d be nice if I lost some weight. It’d be cool to be nicer to people.” But it’s not a change you really, deeply connect with. It’s not an ambition, a goal, a dream, a vision, an intention, a purpose that you have identified and you feel emotionally compelled and connected to. It’s something you feel like you have to do or you should do not something you feel compelled to do as a human being.
And so, sometimes to get change to stick, you need to stick back to your priorities. You need to find out your values, your purpose, something that is deep inside of you that demands that you do it. Something deep inside that connects you with change and makes you want to do it. That you feel pride and do it.
- It would make you feel alive.
- It would make you feel true to who you are.
- It would make you feel congruent or a person of integrity to do those things.
If change is just something like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah I will do it someday.” It’s not going to be important. It’s not going to stick. At least, not at the levels in which you do it for a lifetime or you do it at a major level.
I would say another reason change doesn’t stick for a lot of people is because they don’t focus on that change daily. They came up with the idea; they wrote some goals about it. One day, they were all excited. They could remember the goals for a couple of days and then, the goals went away and they moved on to the next distraction, the next idea, the next thing and they lose that connection again with the goal, with the dream. And that’s the problem. It’s just a problem of attention.
- The first one’s a problem of real motivation and connection with the change that you want.
- The second one is a problem of attention. It just, it kind of passes by.
So, how do we solve all that because I bet you recognize those challenges in your own life, don’t you? Hasn’t there been sometimes you wanted to change and you just didn’t really connect with it? You don’t feel motivated, you didn’t focus on it. Well, here’s the way to force the change in your life: 5 tips for you today.
And I say, you really have to force it. There are some changes that will come very easy. You feel compelled, you will be driven. Other ones, you know you should do but it’s hard. Here is how you make it through those ones.
First, write down the change and the goal every single day. Yes, write it down. I don’t mean like type it in your phone one time and look at it every day. I mean, remember these things, there are pens. Remember a pencil? And that you should use a pen and pencil on paper.
What I want you to do: Bust out that pen or paper and write it down every morning. What I want you to do, first thing: Get out of bed, drink some water and may be do some stretching or exercise if that’s your morning routine and then, write down:
- What’s the change?
- Why do you want it?
Every single morning. And you’re like, “Every morning?”
Yeah, until it stays. It becomes a habit. It becomes habitual that you are already doing it as a behavior.
You need to write it down every single morning.
“Brendon Burchard, write the same thing down every morning?”
I don’t know. If it comes out exactly the same way every morning that you are writing it down, cool. But most people, I don’t want you to look at the old ones. Every morning, blank piece of paper, “What’s the change I want? Why do I want it?” Every single morning. That is going to re-connect you with it. Write it down every single morning.
Second idea: Do it every single day. Actually schedule the change. So you’re trying to be nicer to your lover. Schedule something to do for them every day. Every day, actually in your calendar say, “Okay, from 2 o’clock to 2:30, I’m going to sit and I’m going to dream of a new way to be kinder or nicer or do something nice for them.”
Or if you are trying to lose some weight, you go and advance and you schedule the healthier restaurant where you’re going to go eat. You put it in the calendar and you go do the action. Eat healthier. It has to be something that you do every day and then, until you do it every day, your body will keep resisting it.
At first, it’s difficult but after a period of time, you’ve conditioned your body that, that’s just what you do. Your mind looks forward to it, anticipates it.
When your mind anticipates something and you do it, it releases dopamine in your brain; it makes you happy, satisfied, fulfilled. It makes you feel like, “Good job. That was the goal. We did it. We’re a person of integrity. We’re excited now.”
And that’s what you need to do. If you have a change you’re trying to make stick, write it down every day, do it every day.
Third thing you need to do: Measure it every day. At the end of each day, measure it yourself. Journal again or create a questionnaire or a self-rating system that you measure yourself.
How did I do in this category or these categories each day?
Actually measure yourself. It’s the oldest statement in the book from Peter Drucker. If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it. So, you need to measure it. So, how are you doing? If you don’t look at it every day, you let yourself off. Couple of weeks go by and you go, “Oh, I forgot. I am not even doing it.”
So, it has to be a close of day, at the end of your day, that’s when you measure the change and you want to measure things like, “How well did I do it? Did I feel connected to it? Is there anything else better that I could have done?”
And rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10.
1: I was a jerk and I didn’t do it.
10: Good job, stars, trophies, celebration.
That’s what you have to do every day.
Next big idea, fourth: Share it. Tell people about this change. Everyone around you should know about it. “Hey, guys. I’m going on a diet. Going on a diet. Going on a diet. Going on a diet. Going on a diet.” And if you’re writing it and you’re doing it and you’re scheduling it every day, people start seeing you do it and they start cheering you on.
Momentum can come from your social environment. You know what I mean? Get people to cheer you on.
Even tell people you don’t like because you know what? They’re going to judge you the first time and then, as you are doing it, when you fall off it, “Well, I thought you said you’re going to do this” and you go, “Oh, I was going to do it.”
It’s like you should let your enemies know about the changes you want to make. You will tend to make them better because now you will be like, “You know what? I better do this because I said I was going to. I don’t want them noticing that I’m not a person of integrity and calling me out on it.” So, use that to your advantage.
But also, share it with other people. Tell your family, your friends who are supporting, who do love you so that they can send you resources or cheer you on, get excited about it with you.
Last piece, big idea. Get a coach or a comrade. Get somebody who is outside of your peer circle, pay a coach or work with a life coach or a business coach who is a friend or yours and have them look at it with you every week and evaluate you every week or advise you on how to do it better.
And if you don’t want to pay somebody or work with somebody at that one on one level, then here is what you need to do. Get a comrade. There is no doubt that studies have proven it over and over and over in goal attainment studies that when you do a new action or you’re trying to institute a new behavior, you do it with somebody else.
So for example: You want to get fit, the best thing you can do—get a workout buddy. Go to the gym with somebody on a regular routine. You will stick to health longer. Go on a diet with your spouse, you will stay on it longer than if you were on it by yourself.
It’s that social accountability piece and frankly, it makes you excited. It’s like a social energizer. It gives you these things like: “I’m looking forward to doing this new goal with this person”. It just makes it feel more real and makes it feel more social. So, give those things a try.
Look, you deserve to have an extraordinary quality of life but if every time you start a change, you don’t stick to it,
- You can’t blame your past
- You can’t blame today
- You can’t blame your circumstances
It’s ultimately a matter of focus, will and discipline. And so, you have to motivate yourself for it. And so, you have to focus on it daily. Do the things we talked about from riding it to sharing it to scheduling it to doing it to managing it to getting a comrade.
If you will do that, you will start getting momentum and you will start to find yourself being a more of a master of change in your life. And in this world where everything is changing, everything is so chaotic, the more that you’re able to dance with that and make changes in your own life, the more you will feel what we call, #TheChargedLife.