The ability to create lasting change is both a science and an art. The key is to leverage the power of steady progress by splicing in desired behaviors.
“If you will change, everything will change for you.” ~ Jim Rohn
Making truly lasting changes in my life has been a series of painful and triumphant moments. Once I make a decision to pursue a certain course of action, I am ready to snap my fingers and have it be so, desiring to skip over all the pain and mess of Resistance, slow progress, and stalling out along the way.
When I crafted my goal cards for 2020 at the end of last year, I knew I wanted the entire year to be focused on what I called “Building the Ultimate Runway.” Each goal would be a part of re-crafting an aspect of myself, my business, and/or my life that would help to construct the infrastructure I needed to take off to the stratosphere in 2021.
At the top of the list was optimal health.
From Self Sabotage to Success
I had made significant progress on instilling healthy habits and rituals in 2018 and 2019, but once I had attained a certain level, I oddly abandoned my commitment. I turned away from myself, opting to hide out once more in behavior that chipped away at my energy, focus, sense of self, and creativity.
Not a smart move when in the midst of writing a book and taking an enterprise to new heights.
I chose to double down in 2020 and really commit once and for all. Health would be my top priority, and I would stay the course. I needed a strategy, though. A way to stay out of the weeds of self sabotage and the ick of impatient forcing of new habits.
I knew if I were going to be successful in making last changes, I needed to throw a monkey fist.
A monkey’s fist knot is used by sailors to throw a line from ship to shore. It is tied to the end of a heaving line and then onto a cable, giving the line enough weight to throw it a distance without requiring having to throw heavy cable. Heavier and heavier sections of cable are spliced into sections of the lighter line, enabling easy handling of the lines.
Splice in Desired Behaviors
In my case, the heavy tie lines were my desired healthy habits and rituals. But like the unwieldy cables being thrown from ship to shore, it is much easier and expeditious to splice in graduated steps in order to create the neural pathways for new behaviors to take hold.
I recognized that my “all or nothing” mind would lie to me, telling me I simply must chuck that heavy cable now, straining every muscle in my body. If I were to believe those mind chatterings, I’d then watch the heavy cable (my health goals) splat onto the surface of the water at the edge of the pier.
My journey toward making last changes this year has been slow, frustrating, frightening, and lonely. It has also been steadfast, uplifting, emboldening, profoundly moving, and joyful.
I have relearned the lesson that I do not have scale Everest by Friday. Instead, I can splice in a strategic progression of better and better thinking and action.
Create Lasting Change
I now know without question that tiny changes in our thoughts and behavior accumulate in powerful ways, providing us with evidence of progress in as little as one month (or less). Consistent progress (no matter how small) is what ignites us like nothing else…giving us essential motivation, courage, and renewed energy to continue our adventure into the unknown.
Once we are clear on our heart’s desires and have our sights set on what it is we truly want, we can craft monkey fist behaviors and thought patterns to weigh the ends of the lines of the heavier habits we seek to instill in ourselves. We can then throw the monkey fist and connect dream vessels, great or small, to any port of our choosing.