Have you ever wanted to change something, start to make progress but always find yourself failing to make it last long term?

Maybe you want to change something right now — your diet, income, morning routine — and make it last but can’t seem to make it happen.

man-looking-ahead-thinking-about-goals
Photo Credit: Elijah Hiett on Unsplash

The problem is that most people give up too quickly. Just look at New Year’s resolutions. Nearly 100% fail by February or sooner.

But making real and lasting change is possible. Follow these five steps to start creating the life you want.

1. Focus on progress, not results 

As Tony Robbins said, “The secret to real happiness is progress. Progress equals happiness.” 

Human beings need to grow in order to achieve real and lasting happiness. Even the most successful people in the world are still growing and reaching new heights. Success is a journey, not a destination. 

Whatever your goals are in your life, focus on making progress more important than actually achieving the goal. Even if it is a big goal that seems impossible, try to get a little better each day. 

Don’t be afraid to celebrate your mini victories along the way as well. You need to reward yourself for staying consistent and making progress toward your goals.

The easiest way to keep making progress on a consistent basis is to stay in a “peak state.”

2. Get into a peak state 

The state you are in determines how you move, feel, think, and react to any situation. For example, do you think you will set better goals if you are energetic, optimistic and motivated or if you’re sitting on the couch watching TV?

When you are in a peak state you handle tough situations better, experience gratitude at higher levels, and find answers much faster than normal. Unfortunately, most people aren’t living in a peak state by not sleeping enough, exercising enough, and overworking.

This can lead to some bad decisions, responding to situations poorly and overall a lower quality of life. Getting into a peak state is something you have to make a conscious effort to do every day. You need to set yourself up for success each day with an empowering morning routine.

Here are some ways to jumpstart your daily rituals so you start each day in a peak state:

  • Wake up earlier to have enough time to focus on yourself
  • Learn how to meditate or practice quiet mindfulness
  • Change your physiology (the way you move your body) by exercising 
  • Review your goals
  • Practice gratitude in a journal
  • Read or watch something positive and inspiring

The best part is that it doesn’t take a ton of time to get into a peak state. Even 5-10 minutes doing these activities can help drastically change your state each morning. 

3. Review your goals 

If you want to create lasting change you have to focus on what you want on a regular basis. Goal setting is great but if you don’t review your goals consistently it’s easy to forget about them and focus on busy work instead of the stuff that moves the needle.  

As Les Brown said:“If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you.” 

Make sure to spend at least five minutes each day reviewing your goals.

This could be visualizing them, talking about them with friends or writing them in a journal. Create the change in your mind before it actually happens to help make your dream turn into reality. 

4. Raise your standards 

As Tony Robbins said: “Lasting change is different than a goal. You don’t always get your goals, but you always get your standards.

When you raise your standards and turn “should” into “must,” you are making an inner shift to take control over the quality of your life. Your identity and self-image ultimately control your reality.

If you’re not getting what you want, it’s because you haven’t yet raised your standards.

5. Create a vision and rituals 

Do you have a clear vision of what you are trying to achieve in your life?

If so, are you working towards achieving that vision every single day?

Successful people always have a vision of who they want to become and what they want to do in their lives. Their vision is their blueprint to follow in life.  

While you need to create a vision you also need the rituals to back it up. As Jordan Belfort said: “You can’t have a champagne vision and beer standards.”

Not having rituals is the reason why so many people set resolutions that fail by February.  Here’s how you can change that: 

The 4-Step Process to Make Lasting Change

Step 1: Find an area you want to change 

It could be personal, relationship, financial, career or anything else. Write it down and describe to yourself the area you want to improve. Make this statement as specific and clear as possible.

Step 2: Write down your past rituals 

This step will require you to be brutally honest with yourself. It won’t be easy but it’s necessary to identify what hasn’t worked so you don’t revert back to old rituals.  

Remember, what’s gotten you here won’t get you to where you want to go.

Step 3: Create an ultra-specific vision for your life

What do you want? And why do you want to make this change?

Will it help your family, your friends, your children, or yourself? There is no right answer but knowing “why” you are making these changes is essential to making it long-term. 

Step 4: Write down your new rituals for who you will need to become  

To see results in any area of life you have to change your small, daily rituals. As Jim Rohn said, “Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.

Write out, in detail, what you will do each day, week, and month to help you reach your goals and turn your vision into reality. Put reminders around your house to help reinforce positive behaviors and begin to reprogram your new habits. 

Final thoughts

Change isn’t supposed to be easy.

Your brain is meant to hate change as it might bring uncertainty, uncomfortable situations, and new circumstances that it views as a danger. It’s okay to feel these fears but you have to push through.

Don’t fear change, learn to love it. Making change means you are growing, developing, and becoming a better, upgraded version of yourself.

As Socrates said, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.

Leave the past behind you and start making positive changes today.