What do you want to change?
Most people like some degree of change in their lives. We go on holidays to have a change. We do home renovations, try new foods, change jobs and numerous other things in the interests of change. Some people say they don’t like change but it’s likely that there are changes occurring in their lives that, by and large, are welcomed. What we don’t like very much is when the speed of change is too fast, or if we have no control, or say in the change. In the workplace most employees object to change being “done to them”.
Most of us having varying degrees of success at changing our lives. It’s a frustrating thing when the changes we seek to make don’t work out for us. When this happens repeatedly, we can end up feeling disillusioned and doubt our capacity to bring change to our lives. Sometimes it leads to a level of despair. We feel stuck. Luckily, we now know more about how to achieve change. We just don’t apply that knowledge very well.
Step 1: What do you want?
It begins with having some clarity around goals and focus. In essence knowing what you want to change. This doesn’t have to be crystal clear but you do need to have some sense of what you are working toward. A lot has been written about goal setting and there is a view nowadays that it is overrated as many people lead successful lives without doing a lot of goal setting. You don’t have to write your goals down (though for some people this works very well) however, you do need to have some sense of direction.
Step 2: Identify who can support you
Ask yourself: Who can help me? Finding people to assist you in achieving a change is really important because as a social species we need support. However, our supporters need to be constructive. Too often the people we get to help us end up doing the reverse because they frame things in terms of what is missing, or what is wrong. When we think from limitations, gaps and negatives we have our attention on all the wrong things. This is one of the reasons why getting a professional coach can be powerful in assisting you to bring change to your life. A coach helps you to work through the steps described in this post. A coach works from your strengths and acts as a catalyst, a supporter, an encourager, and sometimes a constructive challenger.
Step 3: What is the timeline and what are the steps. Is the timeline realistic?
Once we have a goal or a focal point that provides forward momentum, then we need to work on a timeline. Most of us know this idea well. Creating a timeline obviously makes you think ahead. It also requires some steps or stages to be placed along the timeline. One of the main shortfalls we sometimes experience is not so much in identifying the steps and stages but rather being realistic about how long it takes to reach them. Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, once said that we overestimate what we can achieve in one year and underestimate what we can do in ten years. Over time we need to review the timeline and its stages and adjust it as we move along. One of the main factors in human motivation is a sense of progress. A good read on this Dr Jason’ Fox’s book called Game Changer.