Six Steps to Acquiring a New Value

January 14, 2021 –

Resisting change is what people do. Life prefers the status quo. Our bodies react to reject anything new or foreign including the acquisition of new values. Because of our comfort zone, we work to maintain a sense of “normalcy.” We resist change, just as the body resists a new exercise program or diet plan.

People resist gaining new values because it calls for change. As someone has said, “No one likes change except a baby with wet diapers.” People will go to great lengths to avoid change even when it‘s to their advantage to do so. Change most often comes when it‘s in your self-interest to change.

Change is a reality of life. To act in a new way, you must acquire new values. Tweaking a value does not change behavior.  These six action steps are helpful in replacing old values with new values, and old behavior with new behavior.

  1. Identify the value you want to acquire. Be specific. Studies prove the more definite and focused you are in defining the value, the easier it will be to add it to your internal value set.
  2. Determine “why” you want the value. Is the behavior reflective of this value important?” If you answer “yes,” then you will be motivated to acquire the value.
  3. Visualize the response created by the new value. See yourself acting in a way compatible with the value. The clearer you see yourself doing the new activities, the faster you will incorporate the new value.
  4. Ask God to help you internalize the new value. The acquisition of a new value means the forsaking of old values, behaviors, and attitudes. It takes great effort to acquire new values.
  5. Daily engage in the activities the new value dictates. Throughout the day remind yourself of the new implanted value and the resulting action it generates. 
  6. Recognize the potential for relapse and prepare for it. By nature, we work to maintain a sense of “normalcy.” This process is called homeostasis. Life retains the status quo. We feel uncomfortable attempting something new or different.

People are designed to resist change.  Just as the body fights to reject a foreign implant, the heart may reject the new value. In these cases, you need to be in God’s Word and on your knees in prayer. Prayer reinforces this desire for a new value.