It’s more difficult to unlearn the old than to learn the new.
Change is like trying to move a locomotive out of a sand dune.
It happens one grain of sand at a time.
Each grand of sand is a thought, a muscle memory, an automatic reaction, an excuse, a habit that needs to be moved out of the way.
Leaving your locomotive in the sand dune is easy.
Getting the sand out of the way so your locomotive can do what it was designed to do is difficult.
And change involves moving each thought, muscle memory, automatic reaction, excuse, and habit that gets in the way.
Sometimes it takes moving them more than once.
Over and over – doing it differently until you get measurable progress.
And you can’t celebrate progress by burying your locomotive in the sand you just moved.
I’m changing my eating patterns, so celebrating progress can’t involve a big slab of chocolate cake.
I’m changing how I do my job, so celebrating progress can’t be about allowing old tasks & to-do’s to make their way back onto my desk.
There’s only so much change energy you can leverage toward any goal before burning out your system.
Selecting the most important thing to change is key.
You can’t maximize for every positive goal at the same time.
Trade-offs exist to force choices about priorities.
Having too many goals means all of them are priorities.
So when goal accomplishment means conflict between resources directed to achieve the goal, the result is often quitting all the goals.
Selecting a single goal means all the change energy goes toward the one goal.
The only resource conflicts in that case are between the one goal and “how we’ve always done things”.
This is a good thing.
Because the sand grains of thoughts, muscle memories, automatic reactions, excuses and habits are telling you where they are.
These conflicts are like old ways begging to be found, rooted out and replaced.
Once they make themselves known, move that sand grain somewhere else.
Change the thought, muscle memory, automatic reaction, excuse or habit.
You can’t move all the sand in one fell swoop.
Focus your energy where it will make a difference – one change goal at a time.
How you change is more important than what you change.
We are uniquely designed to be who we are.
This means we change according to a uniquely designed pattern.
Following the rules, checklists, frameworks and 30-day challenges that worked for others often won’t work for us individually.
If that rule, checklist, framework or challenge goes against the uniquely designed pattern of how you change, you will fail.
If that rule, checklist, framework or challenge goes with the uniquely designed pattern of how you change, you will likely succeed.
Align how you change with who you are.
The change goal is important.
How you get there is even more important.