We all need a personal strategy for change.
Recently I facilitated an ASPIRE group process with a State Government Department. Using reflective practice, one participant said ‘I know everyone will be happy to hear I’m ready for change.’ The crowd cheered. We can all ask, what do I want out of this change?
Here are five ways to make change happen for yourself.
1. Choose to change.
We are all one decision away from having a totally different life. What are the differences between your current situation and values and where you want to be?
The reality is that you always have a choice; you just need to realise and acknowledge the issues that are holding you back and then step into a position of empowered decision making. Doesn’t that sound great? You can grow your resources (internal and external) to push innovation forward. It’s time to get out of your own way.
2. Push or Pull?
Have you been pushed into change where external factors forced you into a situation?
Have you been pulled to create change when you reach out to choose a mentor to work on the change you wish to create?
Either way, you’re in a blessed position of being in a situation where you have the impetus to act. As author Anthony Robbins points out, people will change when the pain of staying in the status quo becomes greater than the pain of leaving.
3. Goal One. Goal Two. Goal Three.
Change goals are great but won’t do you any good if you don’t know how to measure your progress. A good place to start is to write out the reasons WHY you want to change. Next, develop your goals and detail your action steps. These steps will need a set of metrics that you can check in with so you know you’re heading in the right direction. A realistic goal might be to attend a networking meeting once a month for six months. An unrealistic goal may be I’ll go to a networking meeting. See the difference? Which goal are you more likely to stick to?
4. Accountable effort
Good teams keep each other accountable while having a sincere concern for each other. If you share what your struggle is with change, then your team can help you reach your goals. People want you to succeed. You can also share your goals with a broader audience. By conveying to others that you you’re working on making changes, you help change perceptions that are working against you. Make it easy on yourself to reach your goals by sharing your story.
5. Bit by bit; little by little.
We all wake up on New Year’s day and think that’s it! I’m on the way to the gym every day and then you have breakfast and get talking and distracted and suddenly it’s July and your gym membership has expired. We’re taught to believe self-discipline is what brings about significant change in our lives but it’s actually incremental change that makes change happen. Experts suggest using ritual. Going to the gym can be a ritual that can increase from one day to three days a week in an eventual way.
In the face of change, whether it’s an internal pull or an external push, you have the opportunity to make it happen for you not against you. GO for it.