Three Key Ingredients to Strengthen Your Commitment to Make Lasting Change

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In the 3 C’s for Creating Lasting Change, I mentioned that for any change to occur, you must be open to embrace the three C’s – commitment, consistency and calculation. Today, I would like to expand on the first – COMMITMENT.

If you recall, commitment is a pledge that you make to yourself to do or not do something and for this to occur, you must believe that the outcome is possible (achievable) and will be positive. The following are 3 key ingredients to strengthen your commitment to make lasting change. You must:

Be clear about what the outcome will look like. In other words, have a clear image of what you want because as Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you might end up some place else.” You can do so by merely closing your eyes and visualizing it. What is important is that you experience your goal through your senses – how does it look, smell, what do you hear, how does it taste and finally how does it feel.

Focus on what you want. This is very important because what we focus on is what manifests itself in our life. For instance, if I want to lose weight and I focus on what I cannot eat – ice cream, cakes etc. the likelihood that I will be successful is minimal. However, if my focus is eating the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables each day. The probability of my success increase significantly. To keep focused, I suggest that you get a picture or a physical thing that represent what you want to achieve. Put it in clear sight so that it is a continuous reminder.

Make the reason for change compelling. About 12 years ago I took my kids to Disney. I remember barely being able to keep up with them because I had gained so much weight. That was it for me. I made up my mind while I was on vacation that I was going to lose 30 pounds. I could hardly wait for the plane to land at Newark. The first thing that I did when I got home that afternoon was look up the location of the closest Weight Watchers to my home. I was so excited to start that I didn’t pay attention to the hours of operation. When I got there they were closed. The good news is that I did what I had to do and I did lose the weight.

If your reason for change is not compelling, there will be nothing to get you through the tough times. Believe me there were tough times. For instance when I plateaued and it seems like no matter what I did, the weight would not budge. In fact, some weeks I gained a pound or two. However, what kept me going was my need to move around with my kids without being out of breath! My need to change was compelling enough that it pulled me through the tough times.

Until next time…     BE POSITIVE!

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