I was reading a book by Rick Warren where he discussed the process of improvement.
He said there are four things that need to happen to improve:
- You have to want to improve.
Seems obvious, but if you’ve ever tried to get someone to take on an improvement process who doesn’t want to do so, you know improvement only comes when the parties to be changed want it for themselves.
- You have to decide to improve.
Deciding is different from wanting. Deciding is making a plan. Deciding is making an investment. Deciding is signing a contract. Deciding is setting your heart, mind and body toward a goal. Deciding gives priority.
- You have to make an effort.
If it’s exercise, you’ve got to get moving. If it’s diet, you change how and what you eat. If it’s a relationship, you change the amount and quality of time you spend. Debt? Money spending. Lack of knowledge? You line up books and teachers to help you learn.
- You have to persist.
Almost certainly efforts to change will result in snags and setbacks. It isn’t easy to eliminate bad habits or to create new ones. It isn’t easy to get proficient at new skills or to incorporate unfamiliar tools.
Persistence says you get back up. It tries alternative ways. It remains hopeful and determined. It remembers the positive state that the ultimate improvement is intended to achieve and stays the course.
Where do your change efforts get stopped? How can you change to become more effective?