What It Takes To Change

    You know you should do it. It’s good for your health, your career, and your family. You know you’d feel better and be happier. Really, you couldn’t have any more reasons to do it. So why is it so hard to change?

    We all have changes we’d like to make—whether it’s taking time to relax, start a new business, travel, create, meditate, eat well, exercise, spend more time with family, quit an old habit, or start a new one. We all have something we want to do.

    Have you talked about doing a certain thing for years? Do other things always seem to get in the way? What will get you over the hump?

    To make any significant personal change, at least three things need to happen:

    First, you need to see “what you’re doing instead” of that other thing you keep saying you want to do. Your time, energy, and attention are always somewhere. Where is your focus right now? Making a personal change requires being intentional about where you put your time, energy, and attention. It is about choosing your life. And you can only do that Right Now!

    Is what you are doing right now important and satisfying? Or is it just a default behavior? Are you waiting for some magical event to change your life? Or are you just unconsciously going through the motions? Recognize what you are thinking, feeling, and doing at the moment.

    Second, realize that whatever you are doing is just a habit. Saying “I’ll do that when such and such happens” is a habit. Thinking you’re unable to change is a habit. Feeling that life is hard is a habit. Most everything you do is just a habit. Habits don’t define the way things are or the way you are. They’re just ways you’ve learned to think, feel, and do things.

    Third, you can learn to do something different. That’s really what personal change is about—choosing to do something different with your time, energy, and attention. If you want to have different experiences, you just have to practice having them. You have to build new habits.

    Decide what you want to do. Understand what actions are involved. And repeat those actions consistently until you’ve grooved a new habit. You can repeat new thoughts, new feelings, and new actions.

    Some experts say that to form a new habit takes repeating something every day for 21 days, some say 100 days. I believe that number depends on the sincerity of your effort and how fully you immerse yourself in the process. I’ve seen myself adopt a new habit in a few days, if I really put myself into it.

    So, what does it take to change?

    It takes awareness of what you’re doing now and what you desire. It takes understanding of the actions involved in what you desire and fully-engaged repetition of those actions. That’s it. Repeat your positive intentional actions and watch your life change today! That’s the power of practice.

    In next week’s post, we’ll talk about the quality of attention that gives you the best and fastest results.

    Enjoy your practice,

    Kevin

    Kevin Schoeninger

    P.S. The Power of Practice program guides you to create your life through intentional daily practice. Click here to learn more.

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