Thursday, June 07, 2007

Halt! Don't change a thing! Well, not yet.....
( or The Big 90 Day Challenge.)


Did you know that making changes to your life can do you harm? It can cause more trouble than sticking with those bad old habits. What? You're surprised?

Some years ago David Niven wrote a book called "100 Simple Secrets of Successful People " which is a surprisingly good read if you can get hold of it. In it he says "For 87 percent of us, declarations of self-change produce a temporary improvement in self-image followed, in a few weeks, by disappointment, which make our self-image worse than it was before the declaration." He goes on to say that if we keep on trying and failing we can reduce satisfaction with our lives by 40 percent.

None of that will come as a surprise to those of us who have tried and failed. How do you feel about yourself after you have tried yet another diet but ended up gaining weight? How satisfied are you with your life? What does it do to your opinion of yourself?

Making any sort of change is not easy, whether it is personal or corporate. No one ever grew to be a Tall Poppy without taking some chances, and making some changes in their lives. They were strong enough to venture into new territories and they succeeded in establishing themselves there. That is why they are tall poppies and we are not.

Aaron Potts from Today is That Day is a Tall Poppy who specialises in helping others make the most of themselves. He has laid down a 90 day challenge which involves people making a significant and important change in their lives within 90 days. He has called it 1o,ooo Fists to Freedom.

In his words "Anyone who puts a comment on this post with a measurable goal that can be compared to where they are now vs. where they will be in 90 days - and accomplishes it - will get a cool $100 cash straight from me to you."

Now before you all race out and start changing things in your lives, remember the consequences of failure. I am not saying that you should never change for fear of failure. What I am saying is that you should not start out on the path of change without being totally committed to it. You must prepare yourself before making change or you will end up back with the 87% of us who fail yet again. They key questions is "How badly do you want it? "

If this post has spurred you into action then here is some advice for you gathered from change specialists.

1. Understand the need to change.

Really understand what are the consequences of not changing, and what the change will do to you or for you. Spend time thinking about it before going ahead. How will your life be after the change? What is in it for you?

2. Belief in yourself.

Are you talking yourself into this or do you really believe that you can do it? Do you know it in your heart and in your brain? If you don't have total belief that you can do this then there will be many reasons popping up to stop you.

3. Commitment to change.

You know that this will be a difficult road and that you will fall along the way. You will need to keep on no matter what obstacles appear on your horizon. Can you honestly say that you will do this no matter what? Failure is not an option.

4. Map your first steps.

This is all about breaking habits, and habits are routines that have settled themselves comfortably around you. They are things that you do without thinking. The only way to get around those habits is to draw up new ones. Plan out your first days, your first moves, your first 'no thank you'. See, hear and feel yourself doing things differently.

5. Support.

Major change is very draining and when we become tired it is so easy to give up the fight, and take the easy old habitual way out. You will need support to keep you going, to fight the odd battle for you, and to remind you of your goals. Supporters keep you emotionally strong and mentally focused.

6. Perseverance

They say that it can take 21 days to change a habit, but what they don't say is that it might take 2 or 3 attempts before you make it to the 21 day mark. Part of the strength in successful people is that they refuse to accept failure. Instead they use it as a stepping stone to the next level. Failure only becomes failure if you actually give up.

7. Reward.

Something that we forget to do is to celebrate our progress. You have to acknowledge how you are progressing because it is part of the mapping your way process. What you are looking to do is to create a success habit. Behaviourists say that people actively try to repeat a success experience by repeating successful behaviour. This is how you will build new habits. Success makes us feel powerful and exhilarated. It energises us for the next steps. Reward yourself for your successes as a regular part of your growth.

Making a significant change in your life is certainly not an easy thing to do, but it can be done. Prepare yourself thoroughly before you begin and keep your eyes on your goal. I wish you the best in whatever you decide to do.

If you want to take up the 90 day challenge don't forget to post here. Let me know how you go.

3 comments:

Aaron said...

Anne,

You are leading the way with style! Not only helping to inform people of a great opportunity, but giving them some free, out of the gate coaching to boot!

You truly are a Tall Poppy, and I sincerely thank you for helping to spread the word about the 10,000 Fists to Freedom Challenge!

Madame Stuff said...

Just wanted to add my 2c + GST and say I agree wholeheartedly with your post. I'm consistently amazed by the number of people who claim there aren't enough hours in the day and use the age-old excuse that they don't have time to achieve their goals.

You have the same number of hours in the day as Einstein, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King and Richar Branson!

Nicole said...

Great post Anne. Change is a big thing and with your tips, they can help people really decide on what they want. Thanks for pointing us in the direction of an inspiring blog. :)