Immersed in a rich, biotic environment, it was imperative for our hunter-gatherer ancestors to monitor both humans and animal predators in order to survive. What invoked the hyper-vigilant behavior to watch and observe was a healthy form of fear – you know, the primal emotion for safety and self-preservation.
Contemporarily, over time, through the natural selection process, this innate human characteristic has evolved into, not so much awareness of dangerous people, places and things, but pursuing a lifestyle and taking actions that are familiar and comfortable. That’s why so many people naturally resist change and personal growth.
Resistance to change is the action taken by people when they perceive the change to be a threat to their usual activities of daily living. The key words here are, “perceive” and “threat,” as the alleged threat need not be authentic or enormous for resistance to occur. Resistance may take many forms, including active or passive, overt or covert, individual or organized, aggressive or timid. Resistance may cause arbitrary objections, illogical disagreement, depression, anxiety, anger, procrastination, or simply maintaining your status quo, or “same-old-same-old,” and surreptitiously reverting you back to the old ways you’ve always done things.
The fact is, in order to grow physically, mentally, intellectually or financially, you have to grow personally, and this often requires an uncomfortable change of familiar daily routines and behaviors that you’ll naturally resist. Have you ever started a new diet or exercise program, only to stop after 30 to 90 days? So, the problem isn’t recognizing the need for self- improvement, making a decision to change, then taking your decision into action, but in consistency and sustainability of your newly formed behaviors. So, why is this? Of course! Because of your natural instincts for survival, or more modernly, comfort and safety.
So, how do you overcome this seemingly etched-in-stone internal mechanism to remain the same? Here are 5 sure-fire methods to suppress and reprogram your natural instincts for comfort and transform them into consistent, sustainable, effective daily behaviors:
1. Identify and WRITE down your VISION in a daily planner; e.g., where do you want to be 1 year from now (or 5 years, for business)? How and where do you picture yourself in a year? What’s your dream-life like?
2. Identify and write down the GOALS that would satisfy your vision; e.g., gain more customers, increase sales, lose 50 lbs., be promoted to manager, improve my cardiovascular system, improve relationships, etc.
3. Write down the ACTIVITIES necessary to complete each goal with MILESTONES along the way to record your progress, e.g., Lose 50 lbs.: plan daily meals, count calories, observe fat, carbs & sugar content, power-walk 4X a week; Milestones => lose 10 lbs a month => lose 2.5 lbs a week.
4. PLAN your day the night before each day begins by physically writing down the activities to perform to chop away at your goals – This way, you’ll stop thinking and negotiating with yourself, and stop following old, ineffective habits, and merely look down at your daily planner and just do the task!
5. PLAN your month (yes, month!) before your month begins during the 4th week of each preceding month by physically writing down the weekly activities needed to perform to get closer to obtaining your goals.
The key words here are, PLAN & WRITE (by hand, no word processors!). You must commit to writing down your yearly, monthly and daily plans that support the accomplishment of your goals if you want to counteract your natural human instincts for security, staying comfortable and remaining the same. Otherwise, 9 times out of 10 you will subconsciously maintain or revert back to your status quo without asking yourself permission and then sabotage your success instinctively!
The reality of achieving your goals is that it doesn’t matter how small the tasks are, as long as you complete those tasks consistently and sustain them over-time until your goals are accomplished. You can choose to grow or you can choose to remain the same. It’s up to you. But in order to be successful, you must make a commitment to grow consistently and never settle into a non-growth pattern.
Enjoy this new spin? Click “Like” and give me your BoomeReaction in the comments below. How do you overcome YOUR natural instincts to remain stagnate?