Are You Ready to Transform?
What do you secretly want to change in your life? Now is the time to start.
I’ve been recently reflecting on this quote by Donald Miller from his book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: “A general rule in creating stories is that characters don't want to change. They must be forced to change. [...] Humans are designed to seek comfort and order, and so if they have comfort and order, they tend to plant themselves, even if their comfort isn’t all that comfortable. And even if they secretly want for something better.”
I believe Miller intentionally used the word designed. Our brain is designed to be a threat detector. It’s constantly scanning our environment for threats, which at one time were sabretooth tigers and lions. Our brain seeks comfort and order, because neither was guaranteed. Today comfort and order, while not guaranteed, have never been available to more people, and it has brought with it a long list of positives
One thing that lacks is a primal challenge to survive, to change and adapt. To thrive in uncomfortable situations and to push ourselves to be more, accomplish more and set a higher standard. Unfortunately, our mammalian brain has forgotten the importance of this as we have collectively created a society based on comfort and order.
Time to Make A Change
This is problematic when we want to make a big change. It’s easy to be lulled back into comfort and order. We have nearly all begun a new healthy habit, adopted a new mindset or bought a new fancy piece of workout gear, only for it to become a distant memory in a few short weeks. We all know the feeling. What we don’t consider is that is part of our brain’s default mode. Techno-industrial society has evolved so quickly in the past 300 years our brains have hardly had time to change and adapt.
So we have to make a conscious effort to “trick” our brains into optimal states primed for growth, change and transformation. So what’s the trick? Let’s examine this through the lens of someone who has the goal to exercise more in 2020.
Your Current Strategy for Beginning to Workout More:
Step 1: State what you want to do. Simple. You want to work out 3 times each week. But after work, commuting to the office, time to eat, socialize, watch Netflix and get enough sleep it’s easy to see how what we want quickly gets brushed aside. Stating what you want is a good start, but it is incomplete.
Step 2: Consider how you are going to do it. You decide to set aside 1 hour 3 days per week to exercise. You even plan to bring a meal, protein shake and not schedule any social activities during that time. But, life happens. Traffic is bad, there’s an emergency at home, you double booked yourself for a night out with friends. What + How is better, but not strong enough.
Step 3: Discover WHY you want to change first. If you wants to get in great shape for a friend’s wedding, there’s chance of success, but most of that chance lies with innate motivation. But, if you want to lose weight and get in shapte so that you can enjoy a long active and healthy life with your family, and potential kids and spouse in the future that’s different. It brings a deeper purpose and meaning to the activity. So when your schedule is full and traffic is backed up, your reason for going to the gym is strong enough to get you there. Start with why.
Here’s the trick. Start with Step #3. Start with Why? Then discover your how and what. Combine all 3 and you have a solid recipe for success.
Here’s a quick exercise for when you are considering creating change in a particular area of your life. Ask yourself why 5 times.
A good exercise is to insert your goal and your reason into the following sentence:
I want to _______________ because _____________.
Then, insert the reason into the first part of the sentence and repeat the process over and over again. For example:
- I want to get into shape because I don’t have the energy to be productive after work.
- I want to be productive after work because it’s important to spend quality time with my family and friends.
- I want to spend quality time with my family and friends because their relationships bring positivity, joy and connection to my life.
- I want to be an amazing friend/family member because I believe it’s part of leading a good life.
Now we’re getting somewhere. Suddenly, your goal of getting in shape isn’t just about getting into shape. It’s about being intentional with how you spend your time, prioritizing for your family and friends, and living a healthy fulfilling life you’re proud of.
I hope this helps you get started! If you are looking for more support along your journey contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or check out the Coach Readiness Assessment to see if you are ready to take the next step on your journey.
P.S. When you are ready here are 5 ways we can connect:
1. Want to learn more and begin creating your life with intention? Schedule a Strategy session with me today: Schedule Strategy Session or email me at email@example.com. I’d love to hear from you! Really!
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