Just as critical to achieving lasting change is to focus on the benefits of changing our behaviour. Imagine the best case scenario in your mind’s eye and how much better your life would be if you kept to this resolution or goal. Imagine every detail of what your life would look like with your new changes in place. Take this time to list the benefits of achieving the change you desire and place this list somewhere you will see it every day, like your mirror or fridge. In visualising the value a change can make to our lives we reinforce the reason we desire to change. If you ever find yourself lacking drive re-read this list, visualising your new life as you go through it. This should serve to boost your motivation and resolve to continue to implement the change.
In making resolutions or goals it is vital that they are in alignment with our values. For example, if one of my values is to really listen to my friends and I made a new year’s resolution to call a friend for ten minutes each week that would not be in alignment with my values because to really listen to a friend may take half an hour or more. If we set resolutions or goals that don’t align with our values we will experience internal conflict and there will be part of us that doesn’t want to change as by doing so we would be moving further away from our principles. When our values, resolutions and goals align we move towards who we want to become which makes the process of changing easier.
To ensure my values and goals were aligned I wrote down a list of my values in the back of my diary right before my goals. I call it my Mission Statement. Why not write down your values in your very own Mission Statement now? It will remind you of the type of character you want to foster (invaluable in times of trouble or conflict) and will ensure your goals help move you closer to your values in life and, ultimately, to who you want to become as an individual. To give you an example I have shared my personal Mission Statement with you below:
My Mission Statement
Listen to people as if my life depended on it
Respect others and treat them well
Demand respect and good treatment from others
Tell those closest what they mean to me
Laugh at the absurdity and keep a sense of humour
Immerse myself in the task at hand
Always have faith in God
Pray, pray, pray
Trust in Gods perfect timing
Invest time into friendships and romance
Listen to parents
Write with a view to move others
Always seek to improve myself
Plan ahead and be SMART with goals
Only give advice when asked
Your goals and values do not have to be related, however, your goals should not conflict with your values as listed in your Mission Statement. To have a resolution that is aligned with one of my values (above) I could go to church and read the bible to strengthen my faith in God. Equally I might decide to make a resolution totally unrelated to my values but nevertheless not in conflict with them, for example, I might decide to take up skiing.
Next week we examine which resolutions and goals we want to achieve and how we can implement permanent change in our lives.
What values would you like to live by? Are your goals and resolutions in alignment these values? Would any of the changes you want to implement in your life conflict with your values? Please comment and join our community to gain encouragement, insight and support.
- List the best case scenario benefits to achieving the change you desire. Keep this list somewhere visible at times when your motivation is low, like the fridge or a mirror.
- Write your values down in your own Mission Statement and ensure the resolution or goal you have chosen is in alignment with your values. If it isn’t choose a resolution or goal that is.
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