At any moment, we can change our lives in the most awesome ways. At the same time, the best predictor of future performance is past performance. We can change, but we usually don’t–it’s a difficult pill to swallow. How can we improve our chances of creating personal change? Below are a couple brief thoughts.

I find it helpful to remember that a strong desire to change is necessary but rarely sufficient. We need plans and systems in our lives to keep us on track, because motivation always dissipates, even when we’re sure it won’t. No matter how great we feel at 10 AM, we’re certain to be less jazzed at 3:00 PM.

It’s also essential to be clear about what we think will actually cause the change we hope to see. If we’ve failed in the past, what factor will be different this time? A convincing answer to this question significantly improves our chances of success in achieving personal growth.