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Personal Accountability

Want to Change? Ask Yourself These 3 Questions

by Scot Chadwick

Focus is one of the most powerful elements to help when you want to change. Some have said that focus means to “Follow One Course Until Success.” What is that course? Take time to clarify what it is that you want and why you want it.

Maybe you want to change but you don’t see a path forward. While you will need a plan and process to change, first define your direction without thinking about how you could ever make this happen. Don’t limit the good change that you desire. As it is said, “What would you do if money—or time—wasn’t a factor?

1. What Do You Want to Change?

What aspect of your life do you want to change? The necessary or desired change might be obvious right away. But you might also brainstorm and write down several ideas to help you be clear and specific.

What problem do you want to solve?

Take stock of who, what, and where you are now. What problem do you want to solve? What do you want to change about your character, your attitude, your thoughts, your words, your actions, your relationships, or your circumstances?

How does this proposed change fit with other priorities in your life? What can you focus on now that might allow other changes to follow more easily?

Be sure to make the change about yourself and not other people. You are responsible for you, so what will change about yourself?

2. What Will the Change Look Like?

Once you’ve clarified what you want to change, think about what the change would look like. What will be different about you? What is your desired outcome?

What will be different about you?

Ask yourself: what is success? How will it be measured or otherwise determined? How will you (and others) know if you have changed?

How does your proposed change move you forward toward your bigger goals? Write your own ending to your life’s story. What do you want people to say about you when you’re gone? Why not live your life now in light of that eventuality?

3. Why Do You Want to Change?

Why do you want this? What do you expect to gain as a result? What is drawing you forward? What is compelling or exciting about this change?

What do you want to avoid? What is undesirable about your present condition or situation? What makes it unwelcome in your life? Why do you want to avoid the prospective result of not changing?

Who really wants this change? Is this something that you desire? Is change being forced upon you by someone else?

Are you really committed to the change? If so, you are more likely to accomplish it. If not, why not? Do you need to modify the goal to make it personally desirable or at least palatable?

Are you really committed to the change?

Identify your real concern by asking “Why?” Repeat this process until you are satisfied that you have isolated the fundamental reason that you want to change. Evaluate your reasons as appropriate.


So, you want to change, right? Take sufficient time now to clearly define your direction. Clarity at this stage will help you when it comes time to craft your plan to move forward. You will be more committed to pursuing the change through good times and bad times. Remember to focus—“Follow One Course Until Success.”

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