When does change happen in our lives?
Is it when we sign-up for a gym membership? Or when we quit that job that we hate?
Does change happen when we make an appointment with a therapist? Or when we enroll in an online college course?
No, change does not happen just because we take a single action. For example, how many people sign-up for a gym membership at the start of a new year? I mean, the gym during the first week of the new year is absolutely packed; hardly a free bench or set of dumbbells in sight. All those new faces in the gym are changing their physical life, right? Well, now think about the first week of February. Is the gym still just as packed? Absolutely not! It seemed like all those new people were do something to change their physical lives. So why did it not last?
I believe that permanent change begins with a decision. It’s really that simple. This is because when we truly make a decision to change some aspect of our lives, we take action. And consistent action produces results. When we decide to change something in our lives, change happens.
Now, I know that you’re thinking about the gym reference. All those new people in the gym made a decision when they signed-up for the membership. So why didn’t lasting change happen? Well, I do not believe that they really decided to change their physical life. Those new people in the gym didn’t actually make a true decision.
A true decision is when we make something a must. When something becomes a must for us, we have made a commitment. When something is a must, there is really no thought to the process. There is no convincing ourselves to get out of bed in the morning to go for that run. There is no having to pump ourselves with inspirational videos or phrases (sure, those are great, but they don’t produce real results). There is no procrastinating or wasting time. When something becomes a must for us, there is only consistent massive action. That is it.
In fact, when we make something a must, we make it a necessity, a need. When we are thirsty, we find a way to get water. When we are hungry, we find a way to get nourishment. When we need more money to provide for our family, we somehow find a way to get that money. There is no other option but getting what we need. When we truly decide, there is no other option but getting what we must have.
No, the people who signed-up for a New Year’s gym membership but gave up did not make a true decision to change. They made a decision to try it and see. A permanent change in their body and health was not a must for them. Sure, it was something that they wanted, but they did not need it. If a permanent change in their physical life was truly a must for them, then they would not have stopped going to the gym. If anything, they would have started going to the gym even more frequently. But they did not. A permanent change in their physical life was preceded in priority by their work hours, getting the kids to their after-school activities, going to the grocery store, mowing the lawn, watching that episode of “Law and Order” that they DVR’ed, having a couple smoke breaks, and getting some extra sleep.
Now, I am not saying that the decision to get in better shape takes priority over your children or your job. But I am just trying to show you that in order to get what we want, we have to make our goal/desire a priority; it has to have influence in our lives. What we want has to become what we need. We consistently, and without hesitation, take action to get what we need in life.
So in order for permanent change to happen in our lives, we must first make a true decision about what we are going to have. Because when we make a true decision, what we want becomes a must for us, it becomes a necessity. And we are always willing to take massive action to fulfill our needs in life.
P.S. I plan to write more about how to make something a “must” in the future.
But for now…