It’s the start of another year. Have you said to yourself over the last days or weeks that “this year it will be different?” “This year things will be better?”
Are you still dreaming of those changes, dreaming of that success—or are you ready to make the change and do the things that will lead to the changes you’ve dreamed of and longed for.
Too often we are willing to be content with dreaming of our success instead of doing the things that will actually get us where we dream of being. Dreams are great, dreams can inspire us, but until we actually put our own efforts into turning those dreams into reality, that’s all they are.
Are you starting another year in the same place you were at the start of last year? Have you given up and decided that things are never going to change for you? Do you want it to be different? Do you REALLY want it to be different?
Then pick just one thing to change. It doesn’t have to be big, and it doesn’t have to be grand.
Just pick one thing to change. Focus on that change and see what it does for you. And once you’ve mastered that change, pick another one. And after you’ve mastered that, pick another. And then another. . .. Getting the picture now?
Remember, life doesn’t get better by chance, it gets better by change.
If you want to change your job, if you want to change your life, if you want to change you, you can do it. The only thing stopping you from improving yourself, your life and your circumstances, is you. Yes, that’s true. No matter how much you want to tell me about all the reasons you cannot change, it’s still true. It’s up to you.
You can change if you want to. It won’t happen overnight; it never does. It will take time. It may take a week, a month, even a year or more to see big progress, but unless you start, nothing will change.
Andy Warhol once said, “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”
And Bill Blackman reminds us, “Great changes may not happen right away, but with effort even the difficult may become easy.”
Yes, it can seem impossible in the beginning, but as you persist in leaving behind old habits and adopting new, with time and effort the changes will become easier. When you first begin, it may seem harder than ever. Our brains—and our bodies—can be resistant to change. We like to be comfortable, and change is uncomfortable. So, if feels weird or it feels hard or you feel some pushback and some resistance when you first begin, just know that means you’re on the right track.
And remember, don’t let yourself get hung up on the fact that maybe that ultimate goal is a really big change—and big changes feel even scarier than small changes. T. Harv Eker reminds us, “If you want to make a permanent change, stop focusing on the size of your problems and start focusing on the size of you! “
So, how do you start to make the change?
First, change your thoughts. According to the wise Norman Vincent Peale, when you change your thoughts, you change your world. Begin visualizing in your mind this change. How will it improve your life? What will it feel like to have made this change? How will you feel when you’ve done it? Hold on to those thoughts, and whenever you feel your resolve start to waver, bring them back. Write them down if you need to, so you can re-read them as often as you need to—at least every day to begin with.
Next, break it down into manageable steps. This is where the “pick the one thing” comes in. Start with the first step. Work on it and don’t give up. Even if you falter, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start again. There is no limit on how many times you can start over, as long as you don’t quit. Remember, the more you do it and the longer you persist, the easier it will become. It won’t have changed any, but you will have—and that will increase your power to do it.
Once you’ve mastered step one, celebrate your victory and go on to the next step. Keep doing it. Repeat the process as long as there are steps to be taken. And one day, you will wake up and realize that you have achieved your goal. YOU made the change you wanted in your life.
Sometimes you may feel stuck. You may feel like you’ve run into a wall and you’re struggling, either in your head, or actually physically. That’s normal too. This is why we have other people in our lives. A support network is essential to our success and our progress. You CAN do it alone, but if you enlist the right help, not only will you get there, you’re likely to get there much more quickly.
Share your goal with a few select people who are willing to support you in your change. Not the ones who will let you off the hook, or commiserate when you say it’s too hard, but the ones who will hold you accountable, who will encourage you, and who may even make the journey with you. For some people and some goals, that may be enough.
A Coach Can Help You Make the Change Faster
For others, though, you want to enlist the help and support of a coach. A professional coach can help you eliminate the mental blocks and help you find and develop strategies and resources to move past other obstacles in your progress. A coach definitely will hold you accountable for your progress or lack of it, they will encourage you, and they’ve been on similar journeys before you. If you really want to move forward, a coach can help you skyrocket your progress and avoid much of the foundering we often find ourselves in when we try to go it alone.
What’s your big goal for this year? Would you get there faster with some help? If you’d like to find out more about how coaching can help you with that goal, whether it’s personal or professional, leave a comment below or message me here for a free, no-obligation coaching discovery session.
And let me know how that big goal is going. Whether you choose to work with me or not, I’d love to cheer you on to success this year.
My reaction & opinion is same as Jennifer . Great work and expressive writing. Thanks a lot for sharing such a nice stuff.
Thanks, Jon. So glad you enjoyed it.
This year, I’m focusing on changing my perception of fear. Fear of failure. Fear that no one will like what I’m writing. Fear that blogging won’t work. Fear of what my friends think of fear. Fear. Fear. Fear.
When I step back and realize what I allow fear to do to me, it’s a wonder that some days I even get out of bed (and I have 4 kids and a husband to take care of!)
I too echo getting a coach to help. Mine this past year has been super helpful and really encouraged me to stretch my wings and fly. The Headspace app is also a favorite a mine. I like how it gives me a short meditation that allows me to be present with my feelings and releasing them, without going into the death spiral of fear & failure.
Great suggestions. I love the Warhol quote. For me, change really starts by writing—thoughts, concerns, possible solutions. I need to do that this year!
Thanks, Jennifer. So glad you enjoyed it. It begins with the writing it all out for me too. That’s one of the ways I can clarify my thoughts and look at them with some objectivity. happy new year!
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