“It’s in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped. Choose Now. Choose Well.”
Making dramatic and significant life changes is a crucial part of your personal development. If you continue to do the same things in the same old way, you will continue to get the same old results. To grow, you must change. You must break bad habits. Learn new skills. And develop new habits that will propel you to success.
The secret of making a significant life change — to lose weight; to quit smoking; to learn a new skill; to develop a more positive attitude; to eat healthier; to become an early riser; — is to make a formal, committed and focused decision to do it.
I know this sounds obvious. After all, don’t we always decide to do something before we do it? Well, yes and no.
Most decisions we make are kind of fuzzy. “I’ll try to quit smoking.” “I’ll give it a try and see how it works out.” Our human nature always wants us to leave ourselves an out. We always want to be able to have a viable excuse up our sleeve to let us off the hook. “I tried but I couldn’t quit smoking this month because a stressful situation developed at work. I’ll try again some other time.”
The key to succeeding in making dramatic improvements in our lives, to taking our lives to the next level, is to make a formal decision that is committed and focused. That is, to make a contract with ourselves.
A contact is binding. It is a commitment that you don’t walk away from. You don’t enter into a contract carelessly and it is something you take seriously.
To make a significant life change, make a contract with yourself.
Here is your Cerebral Advantage Action Plan on exactly how to do it:
Step 1: Define your goal and make a formal decision to achieve it: Be very specific in what you want to achieve and, whenever possible, include a deadline. For example, don’t say “I want to lose weight.” Instead say, “Today I have decided to lose 20 pounds by April 30.” Write this down on a blank piece of paper.
Step 2: Define exactly why you want to achieve your goal: Make it as personal and emotionally driven as possible. This is what will keep you motivated in times of weakness. And make it virtuous and compelling. This allows your subconscious mind to buy into it. For example, “I’m disgusted with how I look and I’m not going to look like this anymore. And I want to be a good role model for my children so they grow up to be healthy and strong.” Write this down under your goal.
Step 3: Make a plan on how you will achieve your goal: For example, “I will lose 20 pounds by eating three balanced meals a day, eliminating all junk food, and working out at the gym four times a week.” Write this down on the paper.
Step 4: Make a formal commitment to yourself to achieve your goal: This must be a blood-brother like commitment. Give your word. Your solemn oath. Quitting, postponing, or backing down are not options. For example, “I will lose 20 pounds by April 30 and nothing, absolutely nothing is going to stop me! I give my word that I will not give up or ever quit until I have lost 20 pounds.” Write this down on the paper.
Step 5: Sign and date the sheet of paper. Fold it up and put it in you wallet or purse, so you have it with you at all times. This is now a formal contract you have with yourself. A binding contract. Just like any other contract you have, such as your mortgage or your car loan, breaking the contract is not an option. Once you sign the document, you have given your word, your solemn oath, that you will achieve your goal, no matter what it takes.
Step 6: Take action. Start immediately to execute your plan. Don’t delay an instant. As Einstein said, “Nothing happens until something moves” so get moving! And do something each and every day toward your goal. Get fired-up. Get excited. Get inspired. Be passionate. That’s the secret to staying motivated and to making your dreams come true.
Step 7: Continually examine each and every decision along the way that affects your goal. Continually ask “Will this help me to reach my goal?” If the answer is yes, then proceed. If the answer is no, then don’t do it. This step is absolutely crucial. Every decision you make that affects your goal must bring you closer to reaching our goal. No Exceptions!
Step 8: Continually monitor your progress: If, after a reasonable amount of time, you find you aren’t getting anywhere, then revise your plan, or get a new one. Remember, you are under contract to reach your goal. Failure is not an option!
Step 9: Reward yourself when you reach your goal. Do something really nice for yourself… a nice dinner out; a weekend getaway; a trip to the spa; …Something you wouldn’t normally do for yourself. Something memorable. Positive reinforcement is an important part of successful goal setting.
Relentlessly pursuing our individual personal development and aspirations of success often requires that we make bold changes in our life. To do that successfully requires that we act with boldness and with commitment. Decide precisely what you want to do, develop a plan on how you’ll do it, make a contract with yourself that you WILL do it, give your word that you’ll never quit, take immediate action, do something every day toward your goal, continually monitor your progress, and never allow yourself to drift off course. And reward yourself when you have achieved success.
That’s it. That’s how to make a dramatic life change the better. That’s how to accomplish true personal development. And knowing how to do this successfully is an essential life skill that will serve you well throughout your lifetime.
Below is an example of a contract that you can use as a template.
To your success… Think right, live well.
MY PERSONAL CONTRACT TO LOSE 20 POUNDS AND GET MYSELF BACK INTO GOOD PHYSICAL CONDITION BY APRIL 30
I will lose 20 pounds and get myself back into good physical condition by April 30
Over the past three years I have gained over 20 pounds of excess weight. I look fat. I am self-conscious. My self-esteem has been lowered. The worse I feel, the more I eat. I have no self-discipline. Well, that stops today. I’m not going to look like this any more. I’m going to take back control of my life and get myself back into shape so that I can feel good about myself again and so that I can be a good role model for my children.
• I will join a gym and workout at least four times a week
• I will solicit the input of a trained instructor at the gym to put together an exercise program tailored to my goals of weight loss and body conditioning
• I will eliminate all junk food from my diet
• I will eat three balanced meals a day
• I will limit my portion size at each meal and will never overeat
• I will limit snacks to only fruits and vegetables
• I will limit intake of alcoholic beverages to special occasions only
• I will get at least eight hours of sleep each night
I give my word, my solemn oath that I will implement the above plan and follow it religiously and that I will lose at least 20 pounds of excess weight and get myself back into good physical condition by April 30. This is a realistic goal and absolutely nothing is going to stop me. I further pledge that, once I achieve this weight loss goal, I will continue to implement the above plan so that the weight does not return and so that I get into the best condition of my life.
Name: ____________________________ Date: _______________
Date of Successful Completion: ___________________
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