Three tips for change

By Huw Jones

Ever made a New Year’s resolution that has bitten the dust before February? I have. It seems we are not alone. Most people fail at trying to make lasting changes in their life. Here’s three tips for change. A few things you could try that might make a difference.

Imagine in the run up to Christmas that I have decided I want to run the London Marathon (I definitely don’t by the way). But if I did here are five things to think about that might make a difference.

Goal v Strategy

Goal and strategy are often confused. Running the marathon is not the goal. The goal is actually intrinsic – it’s within you. It might be hidden – quite a long way down inside you. But it’s there, you just need to uncover or discover it.

Time to turn toddler. Ask Why? Here’s how it goes…

I want to run the London Marathon in April

Because I want to get fit

Because my health is not as good as good as it could be and I need to more exercise

Because I don’t want health issues associated with lack of exercise and poor diet

Because I want to live a long and healthy life

So that I can be an active grandparent with lots of energy to be part of my grandchildren’s lives

Ah that’s a good reason. That’s a goal.

So the marathon is the strategy not the goal. And when you cross the finish line, you’ll still have the goal. You’ll just need a new strategy.

Could v Should

We often beat ourselves up about the choices we make. To prepare for a marathon you have to train. But it’s not easy to go out running in the sleet of a February evening. After all the sofa is so comfy and warm.

Instead of “I ‘should’ go for a run” try “I ‘could’ go for a run”. This subtle change shifts the activity from obligation (should) to choice (could). And choices are empowering.

If you choose not to go it’s because there’s something more important to you. A more important goal in your life that involves comfy, warm sofas. Then you have a reality check – what could be more important than your future self running around with your grandkids. Running shoes and thermals on…

Think, Act ,Be

If you want to run a marathon, at some point you’ll need to become a marathon runner. You will need to BE a marathon runner.

But in order to BE and marathon runner you need to ACT like a marathon runner. This means making decisions like a marathon runner.

To make decisions like a marathon runner you need to THINK like a marathon runner.

It has to be in this order: THINK, ACT, BE. You can’t just BE a marathon runner without ACTing like one. And you can’t act like one without THINKing like one.

So when faced with a choice, ask yourself: What would a marathon runner do here? Then by making choices life a marathon runner you’ll be acting like a marathon runner. And when you’re acting like a marathon runner you’ll be a marathon runner.