All life is impermanent. There will always be change and throughout your life, you are going to have to adapt to the constant changes in world around you. I am firm believer in what Michael Singer’s argument that ‘The purpose of life is to experience life.’ If you want to experience life to its fullest, you need to be able to evolve with it and adapt to the changes. It is the ability to do this that allows you to be more of the person that you genuinely want to be.

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Simple motivation to make changes

Even when you know that change is required, it can be very difficult to find the motivation to make changes in your life. Motivation alone is not enough but it certainly helps. The following are some simple strategies to help you find the motivation to make changes for the better in your life:

1. Identify the change you want to make

Most people spend little to no time thinking about what they really want from life. Sure, they may spend a little time daydreaming but that is just at a superficial level. If you want to get more of the life you desire, you need to spend a few minutes each day deliberately thinking about what it is you want and what progress you are making in getting there.

Deliberately thinking about the change you want to make allows you to become more specific about it. The more specific you are about it, the easier it becomes to know what you should and, just as importantly, should not be doing. Think of the last time you bought a new house or car; It started off as a small idea but as you took the time to think about what you did and did not want, your search narrowed down until you identified the exact house or car that you wanted.

Whatever change you want to make in your life, get specific.


2. Identify the habit which will get you there

Many of the changes you will want to make in your life will take some time to make. Thinking about everything that needs to be done from the beginning to the end of the change can be very overwhelming. In fact, it can seem unactionable leaving you unclear on what you need to be doing.

All the great traditions of the world tell us that we should live in the present moment and take one day at a time. This is also the best way to make any change or chase any goal. To do this effectively, you need to identify the daily habits or rituals you need to engage in to complete the change. For example, if you want to lose weight, your habits may include food items to include in your diet, food items to exclude, exercising each day, getting adequate rest etc. Each day, you just need to track the completion of the habits/rituals.

The daily completion of these habits and rituals will give you a degree of feedback as you know that you are making progress.


3. Identify the real benefits

Understanding the real benefits of the change you are trying to make in your life is a major source of motivation. If you take the example of losing weight, it is quite easy to think that the only benefit is looking better but when you take the time to think about the change, you will identify many more benefits. For example, with weight loss, you might identify the following additional benefits:

  • Greater protection from chronic illnesses
  • More energy
  • Better sleep
  • Improvements in every system of your body e.g., digestive system
  • A whole host of benefits which are specific to you and your life.

In addition to the direct benefits, there may also be additional benefits which are worth remembering. I have recently had to begin improving my own health. To start with, I am focusing more on eating whole foods and cutting out processed garbage such as sweets (candy), chocolate crisps (potato chips) etc. I have also decided to cut out takeaways and takeaway coffees.

After deciding this, I realised that it would save me €60 per week – over €3000 per year; which is more than half of my annual mortgage payments. If I had to earn that as additional income, I would have to earn approximately €5000 so that I could pay the tax and social insurance and be left with the €3000. Instead, I can make that money by cutting out foods that are doing me harm. Not bad.

Imagine if you were to write down all the benefits of the change you are aiming to make and, read that list each day to remind yourself why you are doing your daily habits and rituals. You would surely be a little more motivated.


4. Focus on implementing the habits

It is extremely easy for me to just say ‘perform your rituals and habits daily’ as if that is the key to success with making your desired change. But it really is. It is that simple, but you must never confuse simple and easy. Simple means that there is nothing complicated about implementing the key habits that you have identified to successfully make your intended change. And there rarely is anything complicated about that.

However, implementing the necessary habits/rituals day after day, over a prolonged period is not easy it. To get up day after day and repeat the same processes, when you know that you are not going to see the results and benefits for a long time; is not very easy. It takes effort. You will slip up from time to time but that is just life. When that happens, you need to get back on track as soon as you can, without beating yourself up. Just remember that every time you complete one of your habits, you have taken a step closer to successfully completing the change.

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5. Congratulate yourself for completing the habit

Building on from the previous point, you need to realise that success is in actions you take, not just the results you get. If you are to wait for the outcome before you believe that you were successful, you will be waiting for a hell of a long time to feel like you have achieved something. That is not being fair to yourself. Every time you have taken a step towards the desired outcome; you have been successful.

While each of these small successes may not be anything to write home about on its own, they all add up to immense success. As such, you should take a moment to congratulate yourself on a job well done, each time you compete the habit. Doing this consistently reminds you that you are making progress and will provide you with a little extra motivation.

Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting

Before you can achieve great goals and change, you must set effective goals which challenge and inspire you to take the consistent action.


For more great advice to set and pursue great goals, check out 'Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting'.



Conclusion

Changes are a natural part of life. You will continue to face change until the day you die. This will require you to choose who you want to be and how you want to respond. But whatever change you choose to make; it is going to take time to make any meaningful change. I am not a firm believer that making change is all about motivation, but I do believe that regular doses of motivation will certainly help you to get to where you want to go. The steps outlined above will ensure that you get those regular little hits of motivation. Feel free to take it and adapt it to meet your needs.


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