December 17, 2013
Most of us not only want to survive, we also want to grow and develop. That means change. You’ve all heard it—the only things guaranteed in this life are change and death. In that order. Every time I’m reminded of those inevitabilities I’m re-energized to find ways to increase the color and breadth and depth of my life.
Rather than sitting and waiting for life to roll over you with the random changes it offers to every one of us, here’s a formula to create change that is in your best interest:
Change = Intention + A Plan.
There’s no getting around it. Intentions alone look like all the New Year’s Resolutions we’ve made, and then made again, for more years than we’re probably interested in counting. Intentions are lovely ideas that reflect our hopes, dreams, values and self-image. And as lovely as they may be, they’re like shifting sand if they aren’t attached to a plan—a plan that is concrete and measurable. If there’s anything we like less than random change, it’s not getting positive outcomes for our efforts. A plan isn’t a guarantee, but it tends to up the odds that we’ll get the outcomes we’re looking for.
So pay attention to your good ideas over the next couple days or weeks. If you notice you’ve got a good one that you’d like to see express in your life, clarify your intention around it, and then create a measurable plan to accomplish it. And keep it simple. The Japanese idea of kaizen–small, consistent steps leading to big change–applies here.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. My intention is to meditate every day. There are a bazillion reasons/excuses for why I don’t always do it. So one morning as I was internally berating myself for my slacker ways I clarified my intention, i.e. I want to meditate for at least a few minutes every day. Next I sat myself down to come up with a plan to make it more likely that I’ll be successful making that intention a reality.
My next blog will describe the plan which will also include an invitation to you to play along if you’re interested in holding yourself more accountable to your own meditation practice.