Successfully Change your Life
Change is belief-driven. Whatever your belief, that’s your reality at any given moment. In my book Grow Yourself a Life You’ll Love, I share a concept with the acronym B.A.F.A. Your Beliefs determine your Attitudes. Your attitudes determine your Feelings. Your feelings cause you to Act. Feelings/Emotions power up your change-action motor.
The 7-Step Formula for Successful Change
- 1. Analyze the problem and set clear, specific goals
- 2. Give a sense of urgency to the desired changed behavior
- 3. Act as if the change were already accomplished–actually wear the new behavior
- 4. When challenges come, remember the goal and work through them
- 5. Enlist the support of family, friends, and change-friendly resources
- 6. Measure progress and make necessary adjustments
- 7. Expect to succeed
Consider this example. You have terrible knee pain. You’ve tried all the creams, drug store pain medications, wraps, braces. Still, every step hurts. Okay, enough, you’re reached your motivated must-do stage. You sit in the orthopedic surgeon’s office and hear your knee needs medical intervention. Great! You’re ready to do whatever it takes to fix your knee. You know the surgery and recovery will be painful but look forward to the promise your knee will be fully functional and pain-free if you are diligent in doing what you are told post-surgery.
Then, the doctor says, “But I can’t operate until you lose at least 50 pounds.” Whoosh! Hit with a medicine ball.
Cut-to-the-Chase Steps to Ready Yourself for Must-Do Change
- Change Beliefs That Keep You From Changing–Beliefs
These are hard to change because they represent an acceptance of a statement or a set of circumstances. For example, you own the belief you’ve tried everything, and nothing worked for you. You are telling yourself a lie. How so? You did not try everything, because if you had, you’d have found something that worked. You’ve likely heard the story of Thomas Edison’s experiments to create electricity and his response to someone who pointed out how many times he failed. Edison responded that he had not failed, but rather discovered over 3,000 ways that didn’t work to create electricity. You need to examine your failure beliefs around the change you choose to make and replace them with change-friendly beliefs.
- Changing Your Beliefs Will Help Change Your Attitudes
You need to examine your attitudes once you get rid of your change-stopping beliefs. Look at your opinions, the way you see things, and your outlook to see how they stand in the way of change. Why? Examining them can allow you to make appropriate attitude adjustments. This step moves you from can’t to can. Then, in positive attitude mode, you need to unpack the how-to of losing your 50 pounds so you can get your surgery. Look at all your options: do-it-yourself, hire a coach (I’ve kept my weight within 20 pounds of my first diet at 11 for over 60 years), enter an outpatient hospital program, go to a weight-loss doctor, a nutritionist or sign up for one of the popular national diet programs. This choice depends on your lifestyle, budget, and personality.
- Changing Your Beliefs & Attitudes Will Power up Your Feelings
Motivate you to Act on Your Commitment to Lose Your 50 Pounds to Get Your Knee Surgery. At this point, you’ve done the mind work to feel ready to make your change.
- Is Your Motivation Strong Enough to Build the Commitment to Act with a Solid Plan to Reach Your Goal?
Only you can answer that. When you get ready, monitor your beliefs, attitudes, and feelings all along the way to your goal. And let no one stop you from change success.
Remember to take responsibility for the condition you want and need to change. It’s not likely an Act of God, somebody else’s fault, or some situation’s fault. Consider what one client told me, I’m fat because it’s in my DNA. Everybody in our family eventually gets fat after 40 and dies fat unless they get cancer. Predisposed to obesity? Maybe. Impossible to be slim after 40? We worked, and she lost weight after 40 and kept it off for 15 years that I know of until she moved to Florida.
Sticking with the 50-pound barrier to surgery example, consider
- At age 11, I decided I must lose weight because boys did not like fat girls. My Mom did not change the way she fed our family. I changed what I chose to eat, drink, and leave alone. After 15 pounds, my father paid me $1 for each lost pound with a warning: If I gained any weight, I must give it back. Losing 38 pounds took almost a year. Even on my birthday, I did not eat cake, other junk food, or drink soda.
- When I did the County Jail Ministry, we ate lunch with the inmates. I noticed inmate weight gain was common. One woman in for less than a year said she put on 80 pounds. A fellow inmate, a dancer, decided to keep her figure. She avoided carbs as if they were poison. I watched her pick out the vegetables from her soup and drink the broth, watched her remove the cheese from her grilled cheese sandwich, and throw away the bread. She told me she shopped carefully in the prison commissary. She gained no weight in the nine months I knew her.