Ask the Expert: What Can I Do to Create Lasting Change?


Today’s “Ask the Expert” column features John Wendorff, Chief Encouragement Officer
with The Personal Marketing Company.
Q: What can I do to create lasting change? 
A: Next month is the month that will separate the agents who thrive in 2017 from the ones who just hold on. I’ve found that fall is the ideal time to create lasting change because something about moving from summer into autumn really motivates me.
But, the challenge is keeping the change alive after the initial rush of enthusiasm leaves us.
We all know that feeling: the initial “pink cloud” of emotional energy when we first decide to make a change, followed by the inevitable letdown when the newness of the change wears off. I’ve experienced it dozens of times.
First, the initial rush, then the long slide back into our old behaviors, with predicable results.
However, I’ve been experimenting with a different kind of behavioral change. The behavior of not stopping anything, but starting something new, which will hopefully replace something else, over time.
The technique is called substitution, and I think it has enormous possibilities for many of us in this industry.
Here’s the way substitution works. Suppose I want to lose weight. There are two ways I can approach it. First, stop eating all the things I love that don’t love me back, or stop sitting on the couch and watching so much TV.
Or, I can start eating an apple every day, walking more and concentrating on doing the right things. Ideally, my new behaviors will take over from my old behaviors, and I’ll naturally eat better and move more.
What about fear of loss, fear of failure, fear of rejection?
Well, what if, rather than focusing on stopping the fear feeling, we started acting with courage? We select one thing to focus our attention on that’ll give us the feeling of moving forward with courage, instead of away from fear.   
I believe humans were built to move toward things they want, not away from things they don’t want. We get so focused on what might happen (fear) that we don’t make forward progress.
Pick something that’s important to you, and then decide to use next month as a test. This one thing must move you forward to your goal. Agree to invest 15 minutes each and every day in moving forward.
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Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.

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