“We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.”
C. S. Lewis
Ever observed a person’s behavior once they admitted out loud they needed to change something in their life? It’s a fascinating process. People begin by first removing those cumbersome mental objections. They now realize the harm of their “habit,” which could work out in real life as engaging in a specific practice or failing to do so. In either case, individuals start to mentally recast their lives before actually doing so. They “picture” their life with or without this particular focal point as a better one.
Remember though, enduring change begins above the neck. Think about it. How often has someone started a diet, gone back to school, moved cross country, ended a relationship, without adequate mental prep and have it succeed during those early “de-tox” days and weeks? Doesn’t happen very often. It’s crucial to think, think, and think some more…before, during, and after making key changes.
Those who made lasting (and positive) alterations in their lives do so after spending some generous chunks of time ruminating about the consequences. They look ahead and count the cost from every vantage point. They anticipate possible pitfalls and stumbling blocks…and temptations to give up (or in).
One by one, individuals “erase” any mental objections to delving a new course of action. For indeed there are actual costs to be reckoned with as well as potential ones. When a person decides to exercise, it will necessitate a sacrifice of time and energy and demand a payout of self-discipline and persistence. Getting off the credit card debt debacle requires saying no to impulsive spending while countering spur of the moment indulgences with thoughtful financial planning. Repairing a fractured relationship will dictate an investment of time and emotion while looking for solutions to strengthen and shore up the shaky association.
See the connection here? It’s all about considering and counting the cost. Then deliberately deciding to make the leap. It’s risky to embrace change and sometimes it just plain hurts. But the payoffs, even amidst setbacks, are all worthwhile, strength-building exercises set in motion today for a healthier tomorrow.
Pause, plan, and then proceed.
Step back, literally and figuratively to evaluate your life. Don’t be afraid to retrace your steps in an effort to make positive plans for the future.
Research and record a new plan of action. Invite others who are succeeding where you want to as guides, mentors, and cheerleaders.
Move toward change and ask for accountability. One decision (or action) at a time (no matter how small) is a positive shift.