Most of my clients want to actualize self-improvement. They have specific goals but aren’t able to find easy methods to achieve those goals. They want to improve their lives but they end up feeling stuck, as if they aren’t sure what they need to do to affect the desired change.
What are your goals? It’s time to take an inventory of your intentions to improve your life. I use the word “intentions” because many people want to see change in their lives as long as the situation changes exactly as the person would direct. As you read this column today, I want you to ask yourself, “What do I want to change in my life?” Follow that question with, “Am I willing to do what it takes to make the needed changes?”
Willingness is the toughest part of the change because it involves “doing what it takes” to accomplish the goal. If your closets are a mess, are you willing to get up a half-hour earlier for the next two weeks to complete the job in its entirety?
If you want to put your spouse’s affair behind you, are you ready to release your partner from your anger? Are you really ready to let go of your bitterness and rebuild the trust? This undoubtedly means letting go of the anger, resentment and fear that accompanies infidelity.
Letting go of old behaviors is typically needed for new goals to be accomplished. I have a client who absolutely hates having sex with her husband because she has felt sexualized all of her life. Although he has spent the last five years abstaining from sex and letting her be the initiator, she continues to maintain that she needs more closeness so they can rekindle that part of their relationship. She wants to find more closeness and do it “her way” and yet “her way” hasn’t been working.
Let’s look at people who say they want to obtain a better-paying job. The take-home message is that they are dissatisfied with their income, but the bottom line is that they need to figure out what they need to do to make themselves more marketable. Maybe they need more education or a certification that will make them more money. Perhaps they need to move to a different location.
I know you may be saying, “I make $18,000, have three kids, and don’t have time to breathe…let alone go back to school.” The truth of the matter is that your income is not going to get better until you better your circumstances and you can accomplish what seems like the impossible if you sit down and ask yourself, “What do I need to do to make this possible?”
Now let’s do an inventory of your goals. Ask yourself:
- What do I want to change?
- Am I willing to do what it takes to make that happen?
- What do I need to make the change possible?
Give yourself at least 20 minutes and write a response to each of these questions. Next, decide what you need to do to support your goal.
Change can be difficult, but instead of procrastination or wanting to do what YOU want to do to make it happen, ask yourself realistically… what will it take to accomplish my goals? Then create the support to make your life different! What you are doing is not working. Isn’t it time to do something different to get what you want out of life?