For many, personal change is easier to desire than it is to achieve. However, as Thomas S. Monson has said, “It’s in the doing, not just the thinking, that we accomplish our goals.”
So what can you do to put that desire into motion and become a better version of yourself? Consider these five steps.
Step 1: Understand why you want to make a change.
Putting into words the reason you want to change will provide you with motivation to start your journey to change and then to endure even when it becomes difficult. Avoid assuming that you are making a change to satisfy someone else. Why do you care about making a change? What will your future look like if you don’t?
Step 2: Set a realistic long-term goal.
When you know what you’d like to change and why, set a realistic goal. Decide how you will measure your success in achieving that goal and when you expect yourself to achieve it. Write that information down. Look at it regularly to remind yourself what you’re working toward.
Step 3: Set small goals along the way.
To begin making sustainable progress, set small, manageable goals. For example, if you want to have a healthier heart, make a goal to exercise two or three times a week for a month. In a next month work to exercise four times a week. By the third month, you could reach your goal to exercise five times a week. In just three months, you’ve made a significant lifestyle change.
Step 4: Track your daily, weekly, or monthly progress.
Use a handwritten or digital chart to record your successes and fallbacks. Stay accountable to yourself, especially after you have worked hard to set goals you are proud of.
Step 5: Reward yourself for achieving goals.
Reward yourself when you have victories, both big and small. Rest, rejuvenate, celebrate, and get excited about hitting the next milestone.
If you need a bit of inspiration, check out this story about American basketball player Tyler Haws. Some of his fans assume he inherited his skill on the court from his dad Marty, who also played on a collegiate team. In reality, Tyler’s incredibly hard work turned him into a star.