Making the decision to change can be hard. But what trips people up most is knowing how to go about making changes that will have a big impact but will also last.
I remember that feeling.
Coming out of treatment I felt like I’d been struggling for so long. I’d been doing the same thing for at least 10 years and didn’t have a pot to pee in or a window to through it out of. I recall thinking, “I don’t know what to do. I know that God has a plan and that He’s with me… But I have no idea where to start.”
One thing was clear, though. I could either lay down and die, and let my addiction, and my life choices get the better of me… Or, I could rise up and decide I was not going to let this moment define me. So, I made a decision. I chose to fight.
At that moment, I knew I had to do whatever I had to do, for as long as I had to do it if I wanted to get to the other side of the pain and mess I was in.
From that point on I made this my mission statement.
“If I want to go someplace I’ve never gone, I’d have to do something I’ve never done.”
Seems simple enough, but you wouldn’t believe how many people stay right where they are because they aren’t willing to do the work to get to a better place. It happens all the time. And I’m not just talking about addiction… Anyone who wants to improve their lives or their circumstances will face this same challenge.
There is always a moment of reckoning where you decide to give up or stand up and push forward. And the thing is no one can do that for you. It’s something you alone have to decide and that you alone have to set in motion.
So, I decided the best way to get where I wanted to go was make little commitments. To me, it made sense because many times we get overwhelmed by all the changes that need to be made. By making smaller achievable commitments, I knew I would be able to make progress and see change.
What I learned is that small goals and commitments are more achievable. A lot of times people set huge goals and end up failing because they don’t see progress. They end up losing motivation and becoming discouraged. In fact, sometimes the goal is so big it keeps them from ever getting started because it seems too overwhelming.
But I was able to keep smaller, more achievable commitments. As I began making progress, it made me feel good. And that made me want to keep going even more.
Meeting my commitments also made me feel confident. And that made me think my goals were possible and that I could actually keep going. I became even more consistent which is what brings success.
There’s a saying that goes something like this, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” That means you need to know where you want to go so you know the right steps to take.
For me, I knew I didn’t want to live the way I had been. Plain and simple – I wanted a better life. So, I set goals to get me to the life I wanted.
Here are some things I committed to:
- Don’t go around the friends who encouraged me to make the same bad choices.
- Find better, more healthy places to hang out.
- Practice keeping my word by doing what I said I’d do.
- Go to church every Wednesday & Sunday for one month.
- Seek out a mentor who would speak the truth and hold me accountable.
As I kept each one of these commitments, my life changed. I’ve kept those commitments, and my life today is completely different.
So, what about you? Are you going to sit in the same place day after day complaining about your life? Or, are you going to do what you need to do to make it different?
If you are looking to make changes in your life, I encourage you to take time to write down five or six small commitments that will move you towards your goal. Look at them every day, and honestly decide if you’re keeping your goals.
The thing about making and keeping little commitments is that they become habit. Little changes over a long period give big results. It worked for me, and it can work for you.
Go get it!