Three Change Strategies for Personal Success

July 6, 2011 05:23 AM

By Ron McMillan

In farm transitions, change is inevitable. Yet so many of us fail when trying to make significant changes in life because we’re stuck in the willpower trap. This is the false and tragic assumption that the key to overcoming hurtful behavior and developing new habits is having the strength—the willpower—to change. When we slip up despite our best efforts to change, we assume we are weak, deficient or just didn’t want to change badly enough.

Here are three strategies for personal success:

Identify Crucial Moments

Individuals who identify and prepare for the few moments when they are most at risk of behaving poorly are more likely to change behavior.


Create Vital Behaviors

Those who establish rules in advance are more likely to overcome temptation and change their behavior when a crucial moment hits.


Control Your Environment

If you want to control your life, you have to take control of your surroundings. Make doing the good things easy and accessible, and make the bad things hard and inaccessible.


Ron McMillan is the New York Times best-selling co-author of Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success. He is the cofounder of VitalSmarts, a speaker and a consultant. Contact him at or visit

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