The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.
This quote makes my kids crazy. When they are incredulous because I think I know what they are going to do in a given situation, that is my response. When you’ve known someone from the exact moment of birth, it doesn’t take psychic powers to anticipate their actions really, really well. My kids should know. They can predict mine, too, even though they’ve only known me a fraction of my life. People simply are incredibly predictable.
When your past life doesn’t exactly showcase what you want the rest of your life to look like, it’s a problem. How do you get yourself to move in a different direction? To have different results? To have the life you dream of?
The key is not psychics, it’s physics.Â Newton had it right.
Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.
His logic isn’t just for flotsam cascading through outer space. It applies perfectly to personal development and habits. Humans are creatures of habit. Rarely do we make positive life changes — particularly big, meaningful ones —accidentally.Â Whatever we have been doing, we are highly likely to continue doing, until (and unless) another force compels us to change course.
If you want to change your life, you need to create the compelling force that will alter you current trajectory.Â In order to move forward in your life — in the direction you want to move — you need to create the forces that will nudge, compel, and coerce new behaviors, new habits, and new actions out of you.
How do you create that force? The answer is in the two quotes above.
Change Your Past
If you past is full of positive behaviors — the ones you need to propel you to the life of your dreams — you are very likely to move in the direction you desire. No matter what has happened in your life, no matter what your past is comprised of right this minute, you can change your past to make it conducive to the life you want.
How?Â Sorry, no. I don’t have a time stopping rewind remote clicker thingy. (I wish.) But the mere passage of time makes it possible to fill our pasts with the things that need to be there.
In just one short day, everything you did today will be part of the past. In a few days, you’ll have a few more past days. In no time at all another year will be gone. How will those days contribute to your new past?
Start today. Start where you are. Make this day a day that will become a positive part of the past tomorrow.
Once your past is filled with the good behaviors you need for backup, it’s relatively easy to keep things going. You don’t need a great deal of willpower or planning. Force of habit is a strong determiner. Now your job is simply to keep the obstacles and barriers to a minimum.
When I was a teenager, I was taught a powerful concept by the youth leaders at church. They told us to “decide beforehand.” In other words, before we were in the heat of the moment, before we were in the middle of a rush of peer pressure, before we were in a situation where we might be tempted to do something we shouldn’t — while we were able to think clearly and rationally — we should decide what our boundaries were and what we would (and would not) do in a given circumstance.
This advice applies to most any situation where you might “give up what you want most for what you want at the moment.” If the pressure of the moment is likely to take you off the path to what is really significant and important, then consciously deciding how to avoid, deflect, or redirect that pressure, can serve you well when and if it comes your way.
Be on the lookout for things that might get in your way. Look for circumstances (or people) who influence you away from what you really want. Decide how best deal with the situation. Can you steer clear of it? Can you face it head on? What can you do to get past the obstacle undeterred.
Happy New Year
With 2011 just a few hours away, take some time consciously plan what the coming year will bring. May it be your best year ever. Make your life amazing.