You Don’t Want To Change Your Life!

Time To Change Your Life pictureChange is something that is happening all the time, all around us without us making any effort at all. We grow older without making an effort, we grow from children to adults without effort, our houses grow messy, without effort, our gardens grow untidy, without effort.

Change is natural and a part of all of our lives and is effortless. However, progress is something completely different.

Notice the difference in these two words, change and progress. This distinction between the two is very important, so what is different about them to you?

To me change is effortless and natural and doesn’t necessarily indicate that things will get better. Change is almost random and undirected, meaning change may not necessarily get you closer to your goals.

Progress though is different. It is directed change where you make changes to head towards a desired goal or target. It is consciously controlled and directed and part of a plan

Progress through change is usually accidental rather than deliberate, with the change just happening to be in alignment with your goal.

You want to change parts of your life, as do I, but you want to make progress in your life rather than just change.

Unfortunately for us all, making progress requires effort. Your house doesn’t magically clean itself. To make progress in keeping it tidy requires effort. Keeping your garden tidy requires effort. Your garden is changing all the time as everything grows, but to make progress in keeping it tidy requires effort on your part.

These subtle nuances of language actually make a massive impact on a sub-conscious level because words have meaning on a sub-conscious level that we don’t even think about.

When you use words your sub-conscious mind pays attention to the connotations (implied meanings) of the words whereas your conscious mind listens to the denotations (defined / dictionary meanings) of the words.

These can cause some conflict because the connotation and denotation of a word can be completely different.

When you talk about making changes, it implies struggle, hardship and it’s going to be difficult. By comparison, when you talk about making progress it feels much lighter, easier and less of a struggle. Just try saying to yourself, “I want to change my life” and “I want to make progress in my life” and see how different the two statements feel to you, even though they seem to be virtually identical.

Isn’t it odd how two words that are fundamentally the same thing can have such different feelings associated with them?

You don’t want to change your life, because that implies making random changes in the hope that one of them will be one you actually want.

What you really want to do is MAKE PROGRESS in your life, because this way you are directing your efforts towards a greater plan.

Action Point: Think about the progress you want to make in your life and notice how differently you feel when you think about changes and making progress. Start to talk about making progress rather than just making changes and notice the difference.

If you are feeling up to it this week, look at your language patterns and see how many conflicts are caused by differences between implied and defined meanings. Make a note of them and drop me a line with any you want to share, I’d love to hear from you!

Which Type Of Person Are You When It Comes To Starting The New Year?

Success With New Years Resolutions imagesWith the dawn of 2012, people’s attention is drawn to goal setting. It’s the time of year we all start to look at what we want to get from the year – a time when gym’s (in particular) rub their hands together in joy knowing their membership will swell with the keen who buy a membership but never turn up to use it.

When it comes to goal setting there are three types of approach most people take, none of which really work for them.

1) The Can’t Be Bothered : These are the people who can’t be bothered setting any goals or makes a vague attempt at setting them and does nothing to follow through. This will be your person who in a fit of inspiration joins the gym and ends up paying for a years membership because they can’t be bothered to go. The Can’t Be Bothered are the people who end the year pretty much the same way they started it.

2) The Over Achiever : This is someone who starts the New Year full of ambition and drive. They set wildly unrealistic goals that they have little chance of achieving and so many goals that you’d think there was 10 of them to do them. These people have never heard Anthony Robbins say “People dramatically over-estimate how much they can achieve in a year and under-estimate how much they can achieve in ten years”. They are so keen they want to do everything at once and will invest a small fortune in personal development programs, training programs, diet programs, gym memberships and so on in the first few weeks of the year. Unlike the Can’t Be Bothered they’ll actually give it a go but by February / March time they are running out of steam, overwhelmed and frustrated with their lack of progress because they’ve tried to do too much in too little a time. The Over Achiever typically ends the year in a worse condition than when they started because they’ve tried to do too much, spent too much money and lost their motivation (which they find in time for the start of the next year to repeat the pattern!).

3) The Under Achiever : Is someone who starts the New Year with a little fizz rather than a big bang. They feel their ought to set some goals so they do so, but they don’t want to tax themselves too much and actually have to make an effort so they tend to set things that are really easy to acheive without too much effort., Often times it’s things that they would do anyway such as go on holiday, get up in the morning and so on. Under achievers are frightened not only of failure, but of success too – if they succeeded what on earth would happen? As such an Under Achiever will go through life with little or no expectations with the sole aim of surviving. To an Under Achiever a year is a good one if they come out of it alive! They will end the year pretty much where they started it and be glad about it.

Do you happen to know anyone who fits in to any of those categories? I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to identify people you know who start the New Year like this.

Those who succeed in achieving their goals fall into a fourth category:

4) The Succeeder : This is someone who may well have fallen in to other categories in the past and decided enough is enough. It could be someone with their head screwed on right or just someone who is fed up of not having what they want from life and realise there is more to life than just surviving. The Succeeder recognises that there needs to be balance in their life and that they can’t do everything all at once.

The Succeeder sets goals that are both realistic and reasonable. They are goals that stretch their abilities, but not so far that it seems impossible. Their goals for the New Year means they have to grow and develop and not stagnate. Plus, The Succeeder is realistic about timescales and doesn’t take on too much at a time.

For The Succeeder, this means that they end the year in a much better position than they started it because they set goals that were :

Realistic – Goals that were realistic for them to achieve based on their lifestyle and history
Achievable – Goals that pushed them but not so much that they appeared impossible – their goals are achievable in the years timeframe
Timely – Goals that are set on a realistic timescale so they are not trying to do everything all at once and spread out over the year based on the available free time they have after work commitments, family commitments and so on

The New Year is an opportunity taken by many people to re-invent themselves and to try to better their lives. Think about which if the categories above you fit in to and which category you want to be in. This year you have an opportunity to take the first steps to creating the life of your dreams … dare you take those steps?