How to Change Your Life in 6 Simple Steps

There’s no secret. Anyone can do it.

“Winning is not a secret that belongs to a very few, winning is something that we can learn by studying ourselves, studying the environment and making ourselves ready for any challenge that is in front of us.”

1. Start with a problem you’d like to solve. And a future vision you want to achieve.

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you might not get there.” — Yogi Berra

The first step is defining the problem you want to solve. And giving yourself a better vision for your future.

“Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything.”

To be clear, vision isn’t everything. It doesn’t guarantee success. Creating a new-age vision board won’t convince the universe to come together and magically deliver all of your goals.

“Remembering that destination will help you make the single most important distinction in life, which is to distinguish between an opportunity to be taken and a temptation to be resisted.”

Look at your life. For all of the areas going well, chances are that you have some type of vision to direct your efforts. And for those areas you’re struggling, the future is more of a haze. Without that vision, you can’t focus your energy. You’re more likely to simply repeat the same actions, hoping for different results.

2. Give yourself a compelling reason for change.

“Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.” — Charles Eames

If the change were easy, you would have already done it. The reason you’ve put it off is because it’s not easy. It’s not straightforward. And there’s a very real chance of failure.

3. Create a 90-day plan.

“A vision without a strategy remains an illusion.” — Lee Bolman

You have a vision and a call for action. It’s a good start. But unfortunately, that’s the easy part.

“The single greatest motivator is ‘making progress in one’s work.’ The days that people make progress are the days they feel most motivated and engaged.”

Where do you want to be in 90 days? What are the key results that would make you the most proud?

“Without an action plan, the executive becomes a prisoner of events. And without check-ins to reexamine the plan as events unfold, the executive has no way of knowing which events really matter and which are only noise.”

4. Break it into daily actions.

“All men can see the tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved. Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances.” — Sun Tzu

Just because you’ve watched someone succeed, it doesn’t mean that you can achieve that same level of success. As Tzu notes, tactics are only effective if they’re in pursuit of a larger strategy.

“First lay plans which will ensure victory, and then lead your army to battle; if you will not begin with stratagem but rely on brute strength alone, victory will no longer be assured.”

You progress at what you do every day.

“Well-being is attained little by little, and nevertheless is no little thing itself.”

5. Cultivate a Supporting Environment

“If you hang out with chickens, you’re going to cluck and if you hang out with eagles, you’re going to fly.” — Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You

In 1966, the Surgeon General started putting warning labels on cigarette packs to advertise the horrible health impacts. The tobacco companies fought back with their own alternative fact propaganda, but most people saw through their façade. Yet this increased knowledge had little impact. The percentage of smokers from this time through 1973 went from 40% to… 40%.

“Self-control is simple when you understand that it involves putting yourself in the right situations to develop the right habits.”

6. Measure and Adapt.

“Action and adaptability create opportunity.” — Garrison Wynn

Drucker’s old adage, “what gets measured gets managed,” has stuck around for so long because it’s true. When you measure something, you give it your attention. When you give something your attention, you prioritize it among the 10,000 other things all vying for your time and energy.

“All failure is failure to adapt, all success is successful adaptation.”

Start Today. And Keep Moving Forward.

“Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished.” — Daniel Gilbert

Change can be hard. But it doesn’t need to be.

Enemy of the Status Quo.

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