Be the change you want to see in yourself

Inspirational thoughts, ideas, quotes, and articles.

A Step-By-Step Approach To Solving Problems and Fixing Behaviors

Posted by Catherine Morgan on July 22, 2007

Our first guest blogger for the week is John from Total Transformation Test, he’s done a great post…I hope you enjoy it.

Thanks John.

A Step-By-Step Approach To Solving Problems and Fixing Behaviors

If you’ve come here seeking quick fixes, simple solutions, or overnight change, I must regretfully inform you that I can’t offer any of those. However, if you are searching out honest suggestions on how individuals can reach their goals in life, I can offer you several.

I find that most of us understand a step-by-step approach to solving problems and fixing behaviors. Real world application becomes much easier for all of us when we have a clear road map- something we can refer back to when trying times come our way. So here is a deceptively simple three-step outline to aid you in following my post today.

1. Change Your Outlook
2. Gain Perspective
3. Create an Accountability Network

The name of this blog is “Be the Change,” and for my part, I intend to show you how to be the change by living the change. We all change, as change is a process that occurs from the day you are born until the day you die. The only difference between one person and the next is whether or not they choose to harness the power of change, confront the harmful choices in their past, and consciously work toward positive change in life.

The first part of living your change is deciding where you are going. This point is so obvious that I left it off the three step list. So take the time to set some goals. Your goals work best when they are well-defined (as opposed to vague) and accomplishable with a reasonable level of effort.

A Good Goal: I want lose 10 lbs over the next 2 months.

A Poorly defined Goal: I want to lose weight.

An Unreasonable Goal: I want to lose 10 lbs by the end of the week.

Start by creating at least one well defined and reasonable goal for the next few weeks or months. Your efforts to achieve this one goal will prepare you for the steps you will need to take to change your entire life- if you so desire.

Change your Outlook: Now let’s turn our attention to the much broader concept of changing your weltanschauung (world view). If you are going to make radical changes to your life, and I mean big changes, you probably need to have an a-ha moment (sometimes called a come to Jesus moment). Whether it is a heart attack at 35, the birth of your first child, the death of a loved one, whatever it might be, something needs to create a big impetus for change in your life- the kind of moment that creates enough momentum to push you through the difficult parts of your transformation. For me, my a-ha moment was when I jumped rope with my daughter and watched my belly bounce up and down. It was one of the most disgusting things I had seen- and I was both ashamed and disgusted with myself. While the appearance of my jiggling fat got through how obese I had become, it was the realization of what that meant for my health (something that came almost immediately after) that really shocked me into change.

So what does that mean for you? Find your own a-ha moment. Most of us have one, we often simply ignore them. We ignore them because they are quite inconvenient- if we recognized them we might be forced to make some major lifestyle changes that would be both difficult and life-altering. So go back in your mind and see if you have ignored any past a-ha moments. Dig them up and attempt to understand what they mean.

Absent an a-ha moment, review your life. What do you regret? What brings you the greatest level of discomfort in your own life? Finding this one area will be your impetus to change your whole life. It will help you go from living a directionless life, to a life of conscious purpose.

Gain Perspective: When you’ve identified your own a-ha moment, take a minute and step back. Learn how to look at your own actions with a detached level of objectivity. Why?

Defensiveness is a huge roadblock to positive change. Defensiveness creates excuses, rationalizations, and a head in the sand attitude that helps no one- especially you.

This isn’t something I can easily explain to you. It takes a long process of self-evaluation and reflection to reach this kind of perspective into your own life. But if you want to make the process easier I can suggest a few methods to aid you along.

1. Have a quiet time sometime during the day to reflect on your decisions from the previous day, as well as thinking about what you need to do the next day. Cut off all connections from the world around you, close the door, and spend some time with just you and your thoughts.
2. Whenever you find yourself experiencing strong emotions (i.e. anger, sadness, despair) take a deep breath and think about why you are so angry (or sad). Not only will it help you control your volatile emotions but it will give you a significant insight into your own flaws.

Create an Accountability Network: There are many times when an objective self-perspective isn’t possible. There are also times when we are in the grips of emotions like despair and we grapple fears of failure that seem too strong to overcome. It is during these times that we need an accountability network.

An accountability network can be your family, your co-workers, a church group, etc. The important thing is that your accountability group is composed of people who have a personal interest in your success. They should be people who know you well and see you often.

What can they provide you? Honesty, emotional support, and insight are a few of the benefits of creating an accountability network. These are the folks that will keep you honest about your choices. They will keep you on the right track. Most importantly, they are the people who will point out when you are rationalizing, making excuses, or avoiding an inconvenient truth.

Whether you apply these three steps to a specific goal or as a method to create broad based change in your lifestyle, know that living a life of conscious direction isn’t always easy. You will fail from time to time. But overall your life will be more fulfilling and enjoyable as you pursue your goals and move toward your dreams.


See more from John at Total Transformation Test.



2 Responses to “A Step-By-Step Approach To Solving Problems and Fixing Behaviors”

  1. tobeme said

    These are all great suggestions, much needed for so many. Changing perspective is key to overcoming your problems for when you change your perspective you may instantly find out it wasn’t much of a problem to begin with.

  2. Thanks tobeme. Perspective is a liberating force in life. It gives us the ability to look in and find those behaviors that require correction. And perspective is really nothing more than the ability to be honest with ourselves.

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