Want to make lasting improvements in your life? Here’s a pared-down guide based on the steps in Tory Johnson’s new book, Shift for Good: Simple Changes for Lasting Joy Inside and Out:
Step 1: How fed up are you, really?
In other words, are you finally sick of the way things are now? When you’re at the point where the pain of the present outweighs the pain and sacrifice that change demands, you’re ready to shift.
Step 2: What are you willing to give up?
Big change requires big sacrifice. There’s no way around it. If you want to shift for good, nothing can be more important than tackling your goal. You must be willing to give up things that are near and dear to you, including certain behaviors, to succeed. You must be ready to commit fully—be willing to accept the shift as an all-or-nothing deal, as hard as it sounds. The process is hard but becomes easier to live with over time.
Step 3: What’s your plan?
There’s no winging it if you’re serious about making a significant life change. You need to establish clear, concise rules in order to eliminate ambiguity. Make a simple plan for how you’re going to take on your issue.
Step 4: What’s your daily accountability?
It’s easy to slip up when nobody’s looking. It’s also possible to fool yourself into thinking that you’re on track when you’re not. Take a moment to review each day to see which emotions and attitudes reigned: calm or panic, happiness or anger, joy or joyless. If you consistently practice the action steps you outlined in your plan, you’ll see and feel results. Progress begets progress, which makes daily accountability important.
Step 5: How will you develop patience and celebrate your victories?
It’s hard to go from panic to perfect overnight, no matter how much we want it to work that way. A journey toward wholeness takes time. To stay motivated, celebrate teeny victories with rewards that won’t derail your success.