(If you received an unedited version of this post, it was posted in error, my apologies)
In my last post “Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes ” I discussed our willingness and ability to make life changes.
Whether you want a new job, a new love, a new car, better health, weight loss or whatever, change is easiest when it is broken into small measurable steps. Effectively managing each step will build momentum that can keep you on track toward the change you desire.
There are multitudinous reasons many of us do not achieve the changes we want,
- We don’t clearly identify what we want
- We keep our goals to ourselves
- We are unwilling or unable to verbalize what we want
- We want major changes to happen quickly, grow impatient and give up
- We lack personal accountability for the results
- We depend on others and blame them for our inability to achieve the desired outcome(e.g. trainers, coaches, parents, loan agents etc) and fail to accept responsibility for our actions or lack thereof
- We don’t REALLY want it and are not REALLY willing to do what it takes
- We fear of achievement, we fear the opinion of others, we fear sacrificing what is necessary to give up, we are fearful in general
- We lack action, and/or delay action (e.g. raising children, need to make more money or have more time etc)
- We over-think and delay action to the point of stagnation and apathy
- We listen to the negativity of “naysayers” and give in to peer pressure
- We seek and expect perfection
- We don’t create a measurable and realistic plan
- We measure our results against the successes of others
In my experience, the most challenging aspect of achieving major change is trying to hit the BIG change without acknowledging the steps to get there. You can’t wish it, or will it to be, you have to take conscious and deliberate planned action.
So how do you make changes happen?
- Decide what it is that you want to change. Write it down! Be as specific as possible. Say it to yourself in the mirror every day!
- Create a step by step plan. For example, if you want to go back to school, the beginnings of a plan might look like this 1) research the cost and requirements for online learning by xx/xx date, 2). gather the required documentation needed for admission (transcripts, High School Diploma, etc) by xx/xx date 3) find out about required admission tests if any by xx/xx date… Whether it’s a trade school or graduate school, learn about it and put a plan of action in place. The key is to have a plan with measurable and realistic timelines. Set reminders on your computer or mobile device and take action!
- Don’t delay! What are you waiting for? Start now, stop making excuses. There will never be a perfect time. Start with the small steps and keep chipping away at it.
- Talk about it! Sometimes talking about the change you desire will inform someone who knows someone who can help or advise you. Telling friends/family what you’re up to and asking them to support you might lead you to unexpected support or encouragement. Don’t expect or depend on the support of others, but embrace it when it is available.
- Visualize the change you want in your life. How is your life different? What do you see around you? If you CAN see it you CAN achieve it.
- Be Open…Sometimes the initial desired change morphs into something different. By way of example, you intend to go back to school to complete your MBA (Masters of Business Administration) you start business classes and learn that you dislike business. Remaining open, and after a conversation with a classmate, you decide to switch your concentration to Psychology. The key is not to give up. Follow your inspiration and joy. Honor your likes and dislikes, and make the shift DON’T quit!
- Be clear about “WHY” you want to make a change. Wanting to lose weight for a big event is great, but it is not a BIG enough reason for a lasting life change. Wanting to be healthy and avoid health issues that exist in your family (as an example) is a much bigger WHY. Whatever your WHY is make sure it is about YOU not what others think or to please someone else. Changing for or because of someone else is a recipe for failure!
- Stay focused. Discipline and commitment to oneself are critical for lasting life changes. Ignore people who speak ill of your impending change. Live your life!
- Surround yourself with like-minded people. Those of us who have made successful, major, lifelong change can share experiences and encourage you to keep pushing forward.
- Forgive yourself but don’t make excuses. If you slip or miss a day or two of doing something, let it go. Don’t make excuses like “I deserve it” or “I had a really bad week!” Remember, what you deserve is to achieve your desired change!
- Celebrate each step!
Changing your life or yourself is not easy. But, the truth is it is really just a decision! A decision that is backed up by self-discipline, commitment, dedication, and patience.
Let’s make big change together!
YES, we CAN!
Love, Light and Lasting Change!