I recently came across a rather simple idea for how people can change, how they can create the relationships they want, the job they want, and ultimately the life they want.
It is a three part concept:
- First, choose the area of your life that you want to change and then ask your self, “If I do nothing what will my life look like one, two or five years from now?” If it was exactly the same as it is right now five years from now, how would you feel about it? If it got worse, how would you feel? Write it all down.
- Second, looking at that same area of your life, imagine it as the best that it could be. Allow your fantasy to travel, even hallucinate the ideal circumstance. Be creative, dream the impossible dream. Don’t hold back. Write it down.
- Third, ask yourself what small step could I take today that would move me closer to that impossible dream? Rather than thinking about the big steps, think about an incremental step that would inch you closer to what you want. Changes are incremental and cumulative. Think about where you might be three years from now using this approach compared to where you would be if you did nothing as in step1.
Let’s take an example. Suppose you wanted to have your own business. And imagine that it was the most amazingly successful business ever. Each detail of the business was perfect, exactly what you want. You can clearly see it in your mind and you have written it down so that you won’t forget it.
Now ask yourself what small step you take to move incrementally closer, e.g., search on Google to see whether any such businesses already exist. Or going to the library to find a book on starting your own business. Nothing big, nothing difficult, just a small step.
Next week ask yourself the same question, “what can I do this week that will move me incrementally closer to making my dream a reality?” As you can see simply by taking incremental steps, one week at a time, you will have moved a bit closer to achieving your goal.
A similar approach can be taken to create a better relationship.
- The first step, “what will my relationship look like next year or three years from now if I do nothing? How will I feel then?”
- The second step, “what would I ideally like my relationship to look like? If I had a magic wand and could create the perfect relationship with my partner, what would it look like?”
- Thirdly, “what incremental step could I take this week to create that relationship?” Perhaps it would be to simply offer a daily compliment or give a gratuitous hug each day. Each week ask yourself the question, “what incremental step in addition to last week’s step could I take this week that will move me slightly closer to having the relationship that I want?”
- Once again remember, changes are incremental and cumulative. Where would you be if you did nothing as in step 1?
You can apply this approach to almost anything that you want to change in your life. Pick an area and give it a try. You will be surprised with the results.
[Dr. Dreyfus is a nationally recognized clinical psychologist, relationship counselor, sex therapist, and life coach in the Santa Monica - Los Angeles. The profits from his latest book, LIVING LIFE FROM THE INSIDE OUT along with his other five books, are being donated to charity through the website Book Royalties for Charity and can be purchased through Amazon.com. Please become a friend on his Facebook Fan Page by indicating "like" on the page by clicking here. You can also find more tools to help you experience a more fulfilling life by clicking here to visit his website.]