How to Transform Your Life in 4 Steps and 8 Minutes
This post was inspired by a recent episode of the Ray Edwards’ Show – absolutely one of my favorite podcasts. Ray is a copywriting expert, loves Jesus, and promotes prosperity with purpose. Find him here.
If I were to ask you “what do you want to change about your life?” you could easily list four or five specific things.
- Spiritual Growth
- Bla bla bla
Bla bla bla? Why…bla bla bla?
Because if you’re like most people, this list hasn’t changed in years!
This is embarrassing to admit…
Every now and then I’ll read through an old journal or notebook and come across a list of goals that I’d written out years ago. More often than not, they’re the same goals I have now…even the specific and measurable ones! “Lose 30 pounds by December 31.” The only difference is the year has changed!
So why don’t I change?
And more importantly…why don’t you change?
Henry Cloud sums it up: “We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing. Consequences give us the pain that motivates us to change.”
So there you have it…change comes down to pain.
Pain: Real versus Anticipated
You have to recognize that there is a psychological difference between real pain and anticipated pain.
My grandfather died of a heart attack. Like many men of his generation, he was a smoker. Every smoker knows that the anticipated pain of continuing to smoke is huge…increased chances of heart attack, lung cancer, etc.
But the real pain of going through today without lighting up is much stronger than the pain anticipated in the future.
Smokers “know” the pain of a heart attack is greater than the pain of quitting. The problem is that they don’t feel it because it’s vague and somewhere in the future. Which is why it often takes a medical emergency to give people the motivation to change.
So if you want to make a life transformation, you can’t just cognitively concede that the future pain of not changing will be greater than the present pain of changing. You have to know it emotionally – and even feel it emotionally – to have the strength to change.
How do you do that?
Four Steps to Life Transformation
In Ray’s podcast, he lays out the following four steps. If you write down your answers to each step, it will take you approximately 8 minutes. That’s not much time to invest to transform your life.
- Step One: Write down what you want to change (1 min)
- Step Two: Write down why you want to change it (1 min)
- Step Three: Write down what will happen if you don’t change (3 min)
- Step Four: Write down what will happen if you do change (3 min)
The key to making this work is to take steps three and four several levels deep. You do this by asking “then what” at the end of each answer.
Example: If I don’t invest in my marriage, it will lead to dissatisfaction in the relationship.
- Then what? We’ll grow apart and have increased conflict.
- Then what? The kids will start to have issues as they’ll sense the unrest in the home.
- Then what? Due to unmet needs, the temptation will increase for external relationships.
- Then what? Possible affair, embarrassment, pain.
- Then what? Divorce.
- Then what? Financial distress, child support, splitting the possessions.
- Then what? Custody battle, only seeing the kids half the time.
- Then what? Awkward birthdays and holidays split between the two parents.
- Then what? Emotional issues in the kids, increased chance they’ll get a divorce.
- Then what? Having to start over in the dating scene
- Then what? Possibly remarriage, dealing with issues of merged families.
- Then what? Always wondering what might have been if I’d worked on the marriage!!
(Wow…after all that I think I’m going to go hug my wife now!)
Do you see how powerful this is??
I went over 10 layers deep in listing out what could realistically happen if I don’t invest in my marriage. If you go that deep on Steps 3 & 4, you will understand that anticipated future change is absolutely real, and you will have the drive that you need to transform your life.
Here’s your challenge:
- Pick an area of your life that needs change.
- Go through the 4 steps.
- Use bullet points so it’s easier to re-read your answers.
- Tape them to your mirror or desk
- Set a “victory date” between 20-30 days from now
- Decide on a motivating reward which you get if you make the desired change.
- Review your list and your reward while brushing your teeth.
- Send me an email (wesley -@- wesleywiley.com) with a picture of you enjoying your reward!
To your success that matters…
[reminder preface=”Comments:”]If you’re feeling brave, share with us what you’re wanting to change & the reward you’ll get for changing![/reminder]