No doubt you have heard someone say, "It’;s not that easy to do [this] or [that]." They go on to say that there is more to it than just deciding that you will do something differently. While the actual tasks to change one’;s life may be challenging at best, the decision itself is not difficult to make. In other words, it is that easy – if you want it to be. The keys to making a decision and changing your life for the better include the following high-level steps:
1. Decide to do something different in your life
2. Visualize your desired end state
3. Believe that you can achieve that which you’;ve visualized
4. Identify and take small steps leading toward your visualized end state every day
5. Celebrate after each completed step
As you can see, you first make a decision. An example might be that you have always wanted to write a book, so you decide that you will be an author. At this point, do not worry about how long it will take and the detailed steps involved. Your only thought at this step is that you have decided to become an author and write a least one book.
The next step is to visualize and see yourself as an author. You think about your book in the finished state. You may even visualize your book’;s cover with your name on it. You can see it selling in hardcover, paperback, and electronic format wherever books are sold. You see yourself signing copies of the book for your family, friends, and collections. In your mind, the book is already written and published. Again, you are not concerned at this stage about exactly how you will get to this point. It is important to create a visual – as vividly as possible – of yourself achieving that which you desire. You will repeat this visualization exercise every day until the goal is reached.
The next step is to believe that you will achieve your goal. This, too, is a very important step. You have to believe deep inside yourself that you will reach your goal. You must believe, because invariably, you will encounter people who will tell you otherwise. In the example we are using, some people will tell you that it is very difficult to write a book. They will tell you that you know nothing about writing a book and they will wonder why you think you can do such a thing. The only thing that matters is what you think and more importantly, what you believe.
Now that you believe you will achieve the goal and no one can deter you from reaching it, identify small steps that will help you achieve your goal. Once you’;ve identified small steps leading toward your goal, ensure that you take one or more of these steps every single day. If you happen to miss a day or two, that’;s not a problem. Just pick up where you left off and keep going the following day. In the example of becoming an author, you may decide that every day you will write at least one sentence, paragraph, page, or chapter no matter what. You will find that some days the words flow like water and you will write a chapter. Other days you may only be able to muster a sentence. That’;s fine. Whether you write a sentence or a chapter, you will be one step closer to achieving your goal at the end of each day.
The last important thing is to celebrate the achievement of your steps. Continuing with the example used so far, you may celebrate at the completion of each chapter by going out to dinner with friends in recognition of your accomplishment. Alternately, the celebration may be as simple as giving yourself a day off from writing, and just thinking about the progress you have made. No matter how you choose to celebrate, just ensure that it is something that is meaningful to you.
Before you know it, your goal will be reached. The steps outlined previously can help you achieve almost any goal. The first step is the most important one. You must make a decision. No matter the situation you happen to be at this point in your life, the decision to achieve most, if not all, of your goals is still absolutely yours to make.