There is a story about the ruts wagons, carriages, and such made when our society had dirt roads. Every carriage using these roads had to continually use the ruts that were already made on the road. You couldn’t make new tracks on that road because of the depth and solidity of the dirt over years of use. They just could not be altered or dislocated. This same story can be applied to the habits, behaviors, and situations we are faced with in our life.
Have you ever been in a place of being stuck? At one point in my life, I traveled the same road, continuing to repeat the same patterns of behavior getting the same results even though I wanted new ones. I didn’t know how to change and implement new habits. I needed help. I didn’t have the tools until I learned what they were and how to use them.
Becoming an adult with understanding and knowing is a wonderful thing. The tools I am sharing are what have helped me move to a road of my own making. I don’t like spinning my wheels and following a path that is not productive. That doesn’t feel good to me and it certainly doesn’t take me where I want to go.
Here are some steps to help you create a new road with new tracks to make your journey easier. As you go through these steps journal the process for your review later. This will also act as a motivator to keep up the good work you are doing.
- Recognize and acknowledge that you are stuck repeatedly traveling the same road in the same ruts.
There is a saying that goes something like this. “If you keep on doing the same thing expecting different results nothing will ever change. You must decide to change your behavior and do something different to get different results.”
- Reflect and investigate your patterns to find the behavior that is keeping you from making a change.
- Once you discover the non-productive behavior or habit that you keep repeating, review the harm it is doing to your life path.
Make two columns in your journal and title them “positive” and “negative.” Make a list of the behaviors you use concerning the area you want to change. This exercise should show you how out of balance you are from repeating these actions. What we want to see is a high number of positive results.
- After this exercise, you will realize and can see what that behavior is doing to hinder your growth and success in life.
- Ask yourself, “Is this where I really want to be?” Then ask yourself, “Do I want to stay here for the rest of my life or even an extended period of my life?”
- If your response is “NO” with a determined attitude, then you are ready to
move on to a new path to make new tracks.
Only you can decide and implement what you want your life to look like.
- Determine what you want to change in your life. What can you do to take the first step? You are only taking baby steps here. One small step at a time.
- Make sure this step is manageable and can be worked into your schedule. You will have to be willing to make adjustments.
- Set a date for this behavior change to begin and another date for the change to be completed. Dependent on what it is you are working on, the “thing” may not have a completion date.
- Make sticky notes with affirmations, inspired sayings and encouraging words. Place them in your space to help you stay focused and on track. That means you can see them wherever you are – in the car, around your desk, on the refrigerator, on the bathroom mirror, by your bed, and so on.
- I strongly suggest that you not share what you are doing with non-supporters. These people will only try to sabotage your progress. You are not strong enough to handle this yet.
- Lastly, you will want a strong supporter. One who can help you maintain accountability for the direction you have chosen. Not a yes person, but someone who will be authentic with you. You want to stick with this new path on your journey reaching a measurable level of accomplishment and success.
All of these steps take discipline. I have learned that anything worth having is worth working for. Being consistent in your actions to achieve the outcomes you desire is critical. Your success ripples out to others who observe your behaviors giving them a sense of hope. People observe, therefore, you are an example of one sort or another. Through your adjustments in behavior, you will begin to feel more alive with each accomplishment made toward your ultimate goal.