Preparing for Change
I’m going to kick tomorrow.
Humans are wonderful, resilient animals.
We can fail repeatedly, then wake up one morning and begin doing things that lead us down a whole better path.
Farrell’s quote above is a lyric from the song Jane Says. Jane was a real person and she was a heroin addict. She was Farrell’s roommate and he wrote the song observing her chaotic life.
Googling the song, I was happy to learn that Jane did get clean and has remained so for years.
Preparing for Action
In six weeks, it will be a new year and we often use January 1 as a signpost for making positive changes in our lives.
But I’m writing this post in November, because Preparing for Change is critical and the lack of preparation is one of the reasons people fail.
This morning I'm going to lay out how to prepare beforehand for the change you want to make.
There is no one formula for adaptive change and often it is idiosyncratic. Still, here are some things that have worked for me and some things with an evidence basis.
Choosing What You Want to Change
What do you want to change? Pick one thing. You don’t have to change everything in one year.
In 2022, I’m going to do this one thing > ________________________.
You will find that if you can change one thing a year, even one small thing, after a few years, you’ve changed a bunch of stuff.
Plus, and maybe more importantly, you have learned how to change and will gain confidence in your ability to change.
This is one way to master free will.
Imagining Yourself in a Year
Next, take some time to imagine yourself in late December of next year after making the change.
What will you look like? What will you be doing? How might your life be different? What else might be different besides the one thing you’ve changed?
Take some time here. Go into detail. Look in the mirror.
Planning for Change
Make a plan beforehand.
What resources will you need to make the change?
If this is a nutrition or weight thing, what knowledge will you need to gain about nutrition?
If this is an exercise thing, what is a good plan that you can follow and that is realistic?
You have six weeks to do some research.
By Christmas, you will want to be close to ready. You might need certain types of clothes or running shoes. You might need a nutrition plan (here’s a good one btw).
You might need to join a gym or buy some dumbbells. You will definitely want to do these kinds of things beforehand.
Begin just a little bit before January 1. Take a short jog on December 26 or whatever. Sounds dumb but its not.
Finding People Who Have Made the Change
Go find people who have made the change you want to make and get with them or follow them.
This is incredibly important.
You can do this locally in the real world (joining your local Roadrunners if you want to start being a runner) ...
Or you can do this online. Twitter and Reddit are powerful tools for getting inspired, learning, and connecting with others who are doing the same thing you are.
Action Phase > Jan 1, 2022
I will revisit this in the second half of December in a post with the word Action in the title. It will be about taking the change action.
Meanwhile, if you have any questions, reply to this email or leave a comment below and I will get back to you soon. If you are reading this on the web, you can email me at email@example.com.
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