So you want to change an area of your life but don’t know where to start. Your pattern looks like this:
- Come up with a lofty goal.
- Try like hell to acheive that goal – for a few weeks.
- Burn out and give up before you see results. Here’s an idea:
Before making another resolution to yourself, resolve to first develop a system that works. – Click to Tweet
Read on to learn a system that works, and to get a free download that you can use to make the system work for you.
A System that Works
A while back, I employed an executive coaching firm, Buidling Champions, that has a great system for seeing change in any important area of your life:
Professional life, Love life, Health, Finances, etc…
These areas are called “Accounts”. I like that term because it brings up the image of a bank account. Make consistent deposits to an account, and in time, you’ll have a heatlhy balance to draw from.
Michael Hyatt details this approach in his eBook, Life Plan - which I highly reccomend. I have since adopted and adapted this system to work for me.
Here are my 3 P’s for Creating Change that Sticks:
- Paint a Picture.
- Identify a** Purpose**.
- Plan it into reality. Here’s a visual for the 3 P’s Framework.
Notice that Purpose is on the bottom but is marked as #2 not as #1. That’s because, though it’s the foundation of the pyramid, it’s actually easiest to identify AFTER paining a picture. Read on to see why that is.
Paint a Picture
You want to make a change for a reason. There is some outcome that you desire.
Therefore, start by painting a vivid picture of what that outcome looks like for your chosen account. Write the picture out in 250 − 500 words (1/2 page – 1 page).
For an example, see below. It’s my “Picture” for my health account at age 60.
I wake up after a sound sleep. It’s dawn and it’s quiet, but I awake without an alarm. I haven’t used one for years. I thank God for another day as I walk to the bathroom. I start the day with a short session of meditation and a little stretching. I feel awake, alive, and full. After a cup of coffee, it’s time for my weight work out. I perform a 30 minute resistance training workout that’s evolved over the years. Throughout that time though, my staples have become multi-joint functional movements, like squats, deadlifts, shoulder press, bench press, rows along with push ups and pull ups. I finish my workout with a set of 50 push ups and 10 pull-ups. Then I drink my post workout protein shake. I’ve slowed down a bit with age, but at 60 my workout would punish a lot of 30 somethings. I am continually amazed at the compound strength benefits of years of resistance training. After going through email, it’s time for lunch. Lunch today, as most every day, is a Big Ass Salad with all sorts of vegetables, some healthy fats like avocado and olive oil, and some good clean protein. I also add cheese – my guilty pleasure. I wash the meal down with an iced tea with lemon and a little sugar. Unlike the sluggish afternoons of my early Twenties, I’m focused, energetic, and even a little playful. I meet up with business associates and my thought process is clear as we make a few decisions regarding fairly complex situations our business is facing. I realize these decisions are important and difficult, but I make them without stress or angst. Afterwards, I grab a quick snack, macadamia nut butter and an apple. I then finish a large glass of water, my fourth of the day. I come home from work early to surprise my wife. She gives me a big hug, and I pick her up and spin her around with ease. After a quick nap, we head into the city to meet up with our oldest son, his fiancé and a couple of their friends. My son’s friends ask if we were married young. Confused, I respond “Not particularly. Why do you ask?” They simply can’t believe that I’m old enough to be his father. I look like I’m in my 40’s, or so they tell me. I choose Fish for dinner with a side of veggies. We wash dinner down with a drink… ok maybe two, and head home to bed. I feel appropriately tired. I’m eager to get to sleep, so that I can wake up and do it all again tomorrow.
Identify a Purpose
Your purpose comes after picturing your desired reality because purpose is an abstract concept. It’s much easier to pull out (or abstract) a concept from a concrete picture than out of thin air.
With your picture in mind, you can now read between the lines and pull out the purpose that makes that picture so exciting to you.
To get at that purpose, simply ask “What’s the point of my picture?” Answer this question in a sentence (or two at the most).
Here’s my Purpose Statement for my health account at age 60:
To live in a state of exceptional physical, mental, and emotional health in order to most enjoy life and serve others.
Plan Your Reality Now,
pick ONE major goal that is measurable and time-bound. I like to make it an annual goal that I can track progress on throughout the year. My goal for my health account this year is:
To be under 15% body fat and over 175 pounds by the end of the year.
(In case your curious, I am currently 194lbs and 22% body fat.) Now make concrete plans for actions that will create the results that you pictured. Break the actions into four categories:
- Annual Actions
- Quarterly Actions
- Monthly Actions
- Weekly Actions Next, put them in a grid. Mine is below.
Then, put them on your calendar.
Bingo bango. Your dreams are now planned into your real life. You’re ready for action.
How to Execute Plans (+ FREE Download)
Now that you have a system for making change, it’s time to work the system.
Here’s how to do that in a way that ensures that you actually make progress.
Start with ONE account. Start with just one account (Professional life, Finances, Health, etc…). Do not add a second account until you see measureable change in the first. Trying to accomplish too much at one is a recipe for disaster.
Hold your picture with an open palm. Don’t worry about getting the picture of your future reality perfect on your first pass. It will likely change with time. The point is to get you headed toward health and happiness – NOT to pressure yourself into a death march of change.
Make your plans SMALL. Once you identify a big goal to acheive for your chosen account, reduce it by 10%. Do the same when planning your commitments. Limit yourself to small steps. This will gain you momentum and keep you from frustration.
Partner Up. Find one person who you can talk to about the change that you are seeking to make. Have them check in with you on your progress. This will keep you accountable. Aight, so
click here to get your free workbook that walks you through ‘The 3 P’s for Creating Change that Sticks’. Now it’s time for you to take action.
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As well, leave a comment to let me know which part of my 3P’s method resonates most with you. Holla!