If you are overweight and out of shape, going along to a gym won’t make a scrap of difference. Unless you go back, time after time, develop discipline around the issue, and make fitness development a habit! Just one trip won’t make a difference!
Perhaps the greatest challenge in making serious life changes is breaking out of the habits embedded over many years of use and daily reinforcement.
Changing habits is a huge issue; just ask any smoker, or someone who has tried to break or change a habit. Powerful self-discipline strategies are needed if you intend to break or change habits on your own. However, there is another way.
Automating your life change program can be a powerful alternate strategy, especially when you have so much else going on in your life. Setting aside a few minutes each morning and evening to set up your daily program may make the difference for you, and begin the mental reprogramming you need to make these changes work, and stay with you forever.
How does automating your life changes work?
There was significant research done by Pavlov, using dog feeding times and a bell, to record the use of stimulus and response to establish habits. This technique is essentially a prompt and reward for the appropriate behaviour once achieved. In a different but conceptually similar way, we program our minds each morning, and check off the results each evening, focussing on the positive achievements to feel the reward.
By implanting our goals, intentions and tasks in our minds each morning, we begin the process. For example, if your life change goal required you to take certain steps each day towards achieving it, by reminding yourself each morning by taking a few moments to note exactly what those steps are, your mind is then sent on a search for the opportunity to complete those tasks. It’s not something you consciously have to do, as your subconscious mind is already at work on the project.
During the day, your mind will locate the opportunities you need to complete those steps, and make you aware when it has found them.
To be specific, if you put the thought into your mind “I need to get a map of the downtown area today” and note it in your to-do list, while you are out and about, your subconscious mind is looking for where you might find such a map. When you near a newsagent, post office, information booth or other such likely place, it will pop a thought into your conscious mind and you will remember to look for the map you need.
The same applies to either changing or creating a new habit – put it into your subconscious mind early in the day and let your subconscious do the work for you.
As with everything, the more you do this, the more practice you have, the better you become at noticing when your subconscious mind prompts you with one of your daily steps “to do” from your morning routine.
Once you have completed the task or the habit-forming action, you will feel a little sense of self-satisfaction and your self-discipline requirements are done.
In the evening, you sit with your program for a few minutes and review your day. On the list is the task: “Purchase a map of Downtown”. Check it off, and you have rewarded yourself in a tiny way, for achieving that mini-goal. If it was the new habit, you check it off also.
Of course, there are habit changes and other steps towards your goal that you will take each day. Each morning, you note them in your program. During the day, you find and achieve them, and in the evening, you check them off.
Doing this provides you with a visual and an emotional record of your achievements, and your daily use of this system begins to embed the new habit or activities into your subconscious mind, so that you no longer have to consciously work at the habit or activity to remember it – the new system has automated it and it is already happening.
A final step in the process is recording your achievements on a monthly sheet with a check mark, showing your monthly activities at a glance. Each day you completed or achieved the tasks and goals you set yourself is recorded for you to see, along with your moods and emotional state – the subject of the next blog. The chart Shows you your progress for the month at a glance, a visual pat on the back for your progress and success!
How do you set up self-discipline automation?
The program is the Life Change 90 program, a 3 month program designed to enable you to change your life over this 90 day period, with all of the Life Change tools you need, and many bonuses in addition. One of them is the Self-Discipline that the program develops.
Once this self-discipline is programmed into your subconscious, you automatically look for opportunities to advance your goals and life change process through your subconscious. It will seem like you are attracting, as suggested in the “Law of Attraction” promotions, all these wonderful opportunities to you. The reality is that you are training your subconscious mind to be aware of the opportunities when they appear around you, and to take action on them when they appear. The celebrations each evening for your achievements locks the successes and the new habits in place!
If you need support with it, you have the option of Life Change Coaching to really power through your life change process, and greatly reinforce your self-discipline with the accountability of having a Life Change Coach to support your efforts.
Next time: Your emotional state during times of change
Til next time, fair winds and full sails.
“If you wouldn’t follow yourself, why should anyone else?” ― John C. Maxwell