How many times have you attempted to make a positive change in your life only to find yourself days or weeks later still holding onto that good intention but without any tangible results?
Whilst most people start thinking about their new years resolution in the last week of December I find it far more beneficial to think about my plans for the coming year around about now. The one thing I know for sure about change is that if I wait for a chance then the moment passes me by. If I plan and commit myself then things have a funny way of falling into place, but I have to put the effort in.
Weeks, sometimes months and all too often years can pass us by and that good intention is still sitting patiently on the back burner. Sometimes we fantasize about what our life might be like if we follow our secret passion, free ourselves from that old limiting pattern or take that leap of faith that we have always wanted to.
What is it that you want to do?
I have been researching, practicing and supporting others through positive change for almost 20 years. I’d like to share my 21 key insights into making lasting change in the hope that you can finally see that long held desire manifest in 2017….
- Change is not a 1 off event, the key to change is repetitive action, it takes effort but it’s worth it!
- Consistency, it doesn’t matter if it is once a day, once a week or once a month. Consistent action is the secret ingredient of repetitive action. Make an action plan, set a reminder and stick to it. Commit yourself to taking a small step each day towards your goal.
- Write down your action plan with a time line. It doesn’t matter if it changes 1000 times. Getting it down on paper gets it out of your head and gives you an opportunity to reflect, assess and refine.
- Make sure it’s a change that you really want to make, if you are simply trying to satisfy other people’s expectations it’s never going to happen.
- Understand what the motivation is behind your decision. Getting clear about the why can help you get clear about what steps you need to take to get there.
- Don’t wait for the perfect conditions to start, get started and you will figure out the rest along the way.
- Train your inner critic. A helpful inner critic is a supportive inner voice that encourages you to analyse your action plan, manage risk and gives you a well needed boot into motion. If your inner critic is a runaway train of judgement do what you would do with any brow beater and tell it to back off. A compassionate inner critic is a far more useful motivator.
- True change is an inside out process. What do you need to learn and who do you need to become to create this change?
- Input equals output. Do your research, read, listen to podcasts. Inform yourself before activating yourself!
- Identify and eliminate your blocks. If your block is time outsource some of your tasks. If money is an obstacle ask for help, find free resources or offer a trade. If a lack of support is a block join an online forum for ideas and inspiration.
- Roll with resistance. Instead of ignoring that inner resistance take some time to understand what is holding you back, quite often there is a wealth of information that when addressed can propel you into positive action.
- Amplify your strengths and minimize your limitations. Get to know your limitations and find ways of filling these gaps but the way to truly set your world on fire is get to know your strengths and build upon your assets.
- Face your fears. I remember an exercise in a seminar years ago that was designed to overcome fear, the facilitator said ‘you know that one thing that you’ve just said in your mind that you will never do, do that!’ We all heard each others inner groan, it was written plainly in the terror on our faces and then we did it and the terror was replaced by elation. Far too often we procrastinate and put off the very thing that is pivotal to our success. Own it and overcome it.
- Learn to tolerate discomfort. Change takes effort, it is uncomfortable facing your fears and limitations, its even more uncomfortable putting yourself out there not knowing whether you will be judged, laughed at or simply overlooked. All too often we take our first leap of faith and the silence is deafening. Do it anyway. Do it again and again and again. When you learn to tolerate discomfort you become less rocked by curve balls, the internal ones and the external ones, and maintaining your progress becomes easier.
- Pace yourself, change is not a sprint its a marathon which is why the preparation is so crucial. Candles that burn brightest often burn out all too quickly so keep yourself on a low burn so that you can go the distance.
- Don’t wait for willpower to show up. Willpower is like that unexpected guest that shows up at the least convenient time and exits without saying goodbye. Instead just keep showing up. Show up and deliver when you are tired, cranky, would rather be somewhere else and doing something else. Keep showing up and so will your results.
- Choose your internal state of being. It is hard to do your best when you don’t feel your best so find ways to cultivate that inner state of positive creativity. Some of the things that I use to help me get my motivation mojo going is rocking music, inspiring podcasts, exercise and time in nature. If I can combine a couple of these all the better. Find your kick starter and use it.
- Learn to live outside the comfort zone. Through my years of working with change I have noticed that comfort zones do not stay stable, they either expand or contract. So if you are not deliberately expanding your comfort zone it will be contracting. You don’t need to go to great lengths to expand your comfort zone, frequent small steps are just as powerful as infrequent outbursts of courage. Drive a different way to work, make conversation with a stranger, go to a workshop or try a new restaurant. Start small and watch yourself grow.
- Expect the unexpected. Unpredictable things will show up, deal with it but don’t become distracted by it. If you need to refresh your focus and refine your plan and keep going.
- Celebrate the small wins along the way. You have worked hard, allow yourself to bask for a moment in any positive feedback, share your wins with mentors and friends. Lock these small success away in your memory bank and use it during times when you might have a crisis of confidence or hit a road block.
- Start now, the universe rewards action and there is no better time to get started than now. Ready, get set, go!
If you are ready to ignite your fire for 2017 and could use some support call me for a free 15 minute consultation to see if working together could help you realise your goals with greater ease than ever before then give me a call on 0419 101 665 or send me at email firstname.lastname@example.org
It has been said that “the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” (Lao Tzu). So take that step, get started right now and begin to enjoy the life that you were destined to live.
Nurture yourself, Nurture your life, Nurture your world