If you are anything like me, you may have had the thought, “Tomorrow will be different.”
How has that worked out for you?
I can’t speak for you, but I have said that over and over again with little to no results.
The frustrating thing is that we generally know what needs to change in order to achieve our goals, but we too often avoid the very thing that I need to embrace.
Thomas Edison once said; “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up”.
We talk about being successful, we dream about it, we even make public declarations that we are going to change; yet we seldom do.
This process brings to mind Paul in Romans 7:15 when he says, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”
Here are 5 steps that have helped give me the direction I needed.
1. Find Your Passion. My wife makes fun of me all the time for being passionate about our yard. While our grass is by no means golf course quality, I take pride in having brought it from an embarrassing eye soar to the lush green lawn it is today. What are you passionate about? What in your life do you truly enjoy doing? Everyone is different in this area, yet everyone is the same. We all have vastly differing talents and desires, yet we all, generally, want to be successful. Even if you are not in the exact job or field that you would prefer, find something that you are passionate about and focus on it. People notice when you are passionate, and people follow passionate people.
2. You Have to Believe. The biggest obstacle I have ever faced is myself. Self-doubt can be a one-way ticket to mediocrity. No one wants to be known as okay, just okay, nothing special, yet we often view ourselves this way. It is so easy to assume that those we view as successful must never struggle in this area. Given the same education and abilities, the difference between a mediocre life and a successful life is what one decides to do with that little voice that constantly tells them that they cannot do it, that they are not good enough, and that surely they must not be qualified enough. Believe in yourself, because if you do not, then who will?
3. Shift Your Identity. The great thing about your identity is that it is like play dough. If you do not like what you see, then start over or maybe try a different color. Our identity is mainly comprised of the thoughts and feelings we have about ourselves, whether we realize it or not. Do you want to be a runner? Get off the couch and start running. Do you want to be a positive person? Stop dwelling on the negative and stay away from negative people. Nothing will keep you down more than hearing the constant “doom, despair, and agony on me” that many often sing for all to hear.
4. Stay Focused. Setting goals is the fun part. While I think it is great to set high, lofty goals; you must make a plan to follow through. Take it a step at a time. For example, I have wanted to become a morning person for a long time. My wife and I have two young children, so it is next to impossible to accomplish anything significant when I get home in the evening. I decided that I was going to impose a 21-day challenge upon myself. For 21 days I decided that I would get up at 5:00 am. I am on day 16 and the results have been incredible so far. It has allowed me to catch up on my reading, eat a more healthy breakfast, finish some projects, spend more time on my daily devotions, and even start this blog. My neighbors probably think I’m crazy when when I am out spreading fertilizer while they are driving to work before the sun comes up. I’m not going to lie, I got a few strange looks. I just waved. Sticking with your goals is critical. I decided to pick one area of my life that needed to change and so far I have conquered it. My workout routine is next. Remember, there are no magic formulas, only hard work.
5. Do it. As Nike would say, “Just Do It.” Its that simple. We can have all the knowledge in the world, but unless we apply it, what good is it? As I mentioned earlier, my most significant obstacle to becoming who I want to be is myself, and yours will be the person with whom you brush your teeth. Do not become complacent. Set your sights on your dreams, identify the steps it will take to get there, and do it!
Decide to live your life intentionally. The fitness pro Ben Phillips once said, “The difference between who you are and who you want to be, is what you do.” Do things that push you towards who you want to be. By becoming more aware and making conscious decisions to change and better ourselves, we can become the people we have always wanted to be
What changes have you made in your life that have given the greatest rewards?