Here’s What it Takes to Get Anything You Want

You have a goal. You know what you need to do to reach it. Yet you’re not reaching it. The most likely reason is that you’re doing the same things you’ve always done. Something has to change.

I am going to discuss how to create the necessary change of habits to bring your goals closer to reality.

Perhaps you are working in a job that will never provide the kind of lifestyle you desire. Maybe you’ve started a home-based business on the side and want to get it moving along. Maybe you feel stuck in some other way and don’t know how to get unstuck.

Good. Change begins with awareness that you’re not where you want to be.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Change … It looks great on paper. But for a lot of people, it’s not so easy in practice. There are three reasons for difficulty:

  • The goal was not clearly defined. Don’t expect much action with a vague goal like “I want to make more money.” Be specific: How much money? By when? “I want to be making $100,000 a year in the next 12 months” is a much easier goal to work with.
  • The steps to achieve the goal are not worked out. Look at the goal and break it down into do-able steps. Each step becomes a sub-goal to achieve on your way to to the overall goal.
  • The steps are not implemented.

That last one is The Big One. Most people know what they want. Many work out the steps. Fewer actually implement those steps.

No matter what you think the reason is, it comes down to this:

The consequences of not making a change are in balance with the benefits of remaining the same.

Read that over again until you’ve really got it: The consequences of not making a change are in balance with the benefits of remaining the same.

It’s easy to grasp if you look at it in terms of losing weight. If you wanted to lose 20 pounds, you know you’ve got to start exercising, cut out junk food and eat more healthy foods. But instead, you continue to eat junk food and don’t exercise.

The consequences are that you will continue to be overweight, feel unattractive, and be tired all the time. The benefits are that you don’t have to get all sweaty exercising; you can continue to eat pie and ice cream without restriction.

If you look at the benefits and consequences as two sides of a scale, you would see that they are in perfect balance: the benefits are good and consequences are not so bad = balance.

Natural Consequences

Life can do things to make the consequences of outweigh the benefits. For instance, a health crisis, such as a heart attack from unhealthy eating habits, would cause you to suddenly realize that pie and ice cream and avoiding sweat don’t seem so important. The consequences of not changing (dying, having a shorter life) are much greater:

When the consequences of not changing are out of balance with the benefits, a rational person takes steps to change.

Similarly, in business, if you are endlessly procrastinating, not taking the steps you know you need to take to get started or to expand; life may impose consequences that force you to act.

Self-Imposed Consequences

For people who really want to get things done in life, waiting for natural consequences to kick in is not practical. You’ve got to set up a sort of external situation that exerts some pressure on you. The consequences have got to be sufficient enough to get you to act.

Some of the consequences you can use to do this are:

  • Loss of money
  • Public humiliation
  • Social pressure

Here’s an example that incorporates all three: Let’s say you want to lose 25 pounds. If you’re a girl, one way you might increase the consequences is to pay in advance for a room for you and a girlfriend at a fancy resort. Buy a new, slimmer bikini. Then declare to your friends on Facebook that you’re going to lose the weight, go on vacation, wear the bikini and make boys drool. Believe me, you will lose the weight. You will fit into that bikini. You will wear it proudly on the beach and post plenty of photos on Facebook, too. The consequences of not taking the actions you know you should are too great.

The Environmental Factor

Sometimes, to create action and change, increasing the consequences means changing your environment.

We can sometimes become too comfortable in a less-than-ideal situation. The consequence of not acting to change it is not great compared to the range of possible benefits. So we remain in the environment.

That was a big one for me. I’d been pursuing Internet marketing for a couple of years but had yet to make any sales. I was sleeping and working in a rented room, driving a 30-year-old car and living on the $870-a-month I received from a government assistance program for students—even though I’d quit college a year earlier. I’d sleep ’til 2pm every day, work until late, then stay up watching movies. I was getting nowhere.

The consequences of not taking action were that I’d continue to get by in the same way I’d been getting by. The benefits were that I didn’t have to risk anything. I had a secret fear of being seen as a fraud. So not taking action was a sort of safety for me.

Eventually, I realized that I’d never succeed in Internet marketing unless I changed my environment. I had to get out of my little room and had to stop accepting government assistance. Shortly after, I got off the assistance program and leased an office for a year, despite having no positive cash flow.

I’d sufficiently increased the self-created consequences. Now, with no “fall-back” income and and extra $690-a-month office rent, the consequences of failure to act were suddenly much greater than the safety of nursing my fears and risking nothing.

Did I act?

You better believe it: I promoted a webinar to my list and got some paid sign-ups… before I’d even put together a program. But doing that forced me to create my first info products. The resulting webinar wasn’t great but it was a start. I had broken through and thing would never be the same.

Final Thought

By reviewing any stalled goal in terms of (1) how specifically you’ve stated it, (2) if you’ve properly broken it down into achievable sub-goals, and (3) whether or not you’ve actually implemented the steps, you can get it back on the rails and move closer to making any goal or dream a reality.

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