Set Yourself Up for Success
Susan committed to eating a healthier diet and wanted to make sure
she'd follow through on her goal. The first thing she did was go
through her pantry and threw away chips and anything with sugar. At the
grocery store, she bought fruits, vegetables and healthy proteins. She
assembled healthy snacks ahead of time, so she'd grab them instead of
looking for something inappropriate.
She used hypnotherapy to imagine staying on her plan, resisting
temptation and enjoying her new treats. Through this mental rehearsal,
she established a new habit and lifestyle, and easily avoided impulse
snacking. Because she took control of her environment and developed
strategies ahead of time, she created the conditions for success.
This same process can be used for any habit or situation you want to
improve, personally or professionally. There's an old saying, "If you
fail to plan, you plan to fail." If you leave the details to fate,
hoping that you'll take the right action in the moment, you probably
won't. Either someone else will decide for you, unexpected situations
will get in the way, or inertia will keep you in place. And you'll just
fall back on what's familiar and automatic.
The Problem with Will Power
Will power will only take you so far. You need to have strong motivation to be able to get yourself moving in a new direction. Usually, your will power flags if you get tired, stressed, bored or the results don't live up to your expectations. Think of the last diet you were on. You probably stayed on it for a while and then began to slack off a little at a time. The slide began with Fettuccine Alfredo at the restaurant with your spouse, then birthday cake at your best friend's party, and finally you gave up when you went on vacation.
Set Up the Conditions to Succeed
Will power will only take you so far. You need to have strong
motivation to be able to get yourself moving in a new direction.
Usually, your will power flags if you get tired, stressed, bored or the
results don't live up to your expectations. Think of the last diet you
were on. You probably stayed on it for a while and then began to slack
off a little at a time. The slide began with Fettuccine Alfredo at the
restaurant with your spouse, then birthday cake at your best friend's
party, and finally you gave up when you went on vacation.
Instead of relying on will power, set up the conditions ahead of time
that will get and keep you on track. Do you want to lose weight, start
to exercise or make follow up calls for your business? How can you
design the situation to ensure you'll fulfill your intention? For
instance, to permanently lose weight, reframing the concept may help.
Rather than thinking of being a diet, consider it a lifestyle change.
Decide that you don't eat certain foods or only a moderate amount of
them, not only now, but from now on.
To begin an exercise program, get a buddy or schedule reminders in your
phone. Set out your clothes or shoes so you almost trip over them.
Start small, with a few minutes a day, and then increase the time as
you get into the habit. Design the circumstances so that you know
you'll do it with very little effort.
How can you make sure you make those follow up calls? The night before
you could decide on the list of people to call and put it on your
computer. And you could reward yourself with something healthy, such as
a break with your favorite book, when they're done. Another solution
would be to have an accountability partner that you'd call or email
when you've completed your task.
Figure out how you can set up the situation so that you'll behave the
way you want. Formulate guard rails to keep yourself from drifting off
course. Make as many decisions as you can ahead of time, so when a
challenging situation arises, you're prepared with a solution. The main
item you need to develop is commitment to your vision, as Susan did. If
you want it badly enough, you can create the conditions so that you're
Copyright © 2009-2023 Linda Ann Stewart
All Rights Reserved
As a focus coach, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart motivates women to focus and transform their business through deliberate actions that break through distraction and overwhelm to greater success, freedom, wellbeing and prosperity. Register for her FREE Design Your Best Day guide and guided meditation at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/guide.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.