If you own a business, you know how important it is to develop systems for getting things done. But have you ever thought about a system for making changes in your personal life?
If you were to ask, you’d find that most people would like to make at least a few changes in their lives. They want to weigh less, stop smoking, start exercising, get better grades, build better relationships, and get a better job… all manner of things.
But if you ask specifically about how they plan to do it, often the picture begins to blur. They are not quite sure, or they have a vague idea but no real plan. Unfortunately, this is where they set themselves up to fail. If we can’t see it clearly, we simply cannot be it.
You see, if you have a good system in place before you start – a system that you know is likely to produce good results if you follow it – then you are dramatically increasing your likelihood of success. A good system will help you clarify goals, identify specific desired behaviors (or undesirable ones you’d like to change), keep track of whether the behaviors are performed, and provide rewards when you attain a goal or sub-goal. A good system becomes the ignition key to the engine of your life!
With a good system, you also have the support required when you need to tweak your approach to change, in order to make it stick. A little flexibility in the system allows you to make quick course corrections, in order to stay on track toward your goal. A good system will help you plan for and deal with relapses or setbacks.
A good system can make the difference between sustained results and a flash in the pan, and will help you turn a new behavior into a habit that you don’t even have to think about. Finally, a good system will help you focus your thoughts in a way that eliminates the negative self-talk that pulls you off track, while it increases positive self-talk for additional support.
So, if you’re serious about making changes in your life and you are committed to success, then maybe you owe it to yourself to approach change systematically.