Why is it so difficult to accomplish a goal?
Is it because of a lack of will power, or desire? Is it because of not having the right tools to accomplish it? Or is it because the goal is too unrealistic, and hard to accomplish?
Though those are factors of success, there is one thing that has been proven to be the biggest factor in whether or not someone accomplishes their goals…experience.
What you have experienced in the past plays a vital role in your ability to change or modify behavior. Think about it, when a person thinks of weight loss, they think about what they can’t eat, or the pain of working out, rather than the benefit of accomplishing the goal. When a person thinks about breaking a bad habit of substance abuse, they think about not being able to experience that high. When a person thinks about saving money, they begin to think about what they can’t buy rather than what they will be able to.
The approach to creating transformative and permanent change I’ve been taught, and have previously taught to others was based on the model of the Perception Pyramid. This pyramid begins and ends with thoughts. The cycle of behavior begins with your thoughts, which lead to emotions, which lead to words/actions, which lead to your perception of yourself, which then begins the cycle again. A person’s actions were primarily based on their perception or thoughts about themselves.
The problem with the cycle arises when a person wants to break the cycle and achieve different outcomes. This issue arises every year with New Year’s resolutions. A person can set their new goals, make statements of positive affirmation, but usually a person who was at one point extremely motivated to accomplish a goal will find that the passion will fade, and will resume the previous bad habit. I’ve always wondered what the problem was, or what is missing in the equation? Why can’t people make the permanent changes that they desire to make?
Here is what the latest research says on behavioral change from my friend Dr. John Townsend.