The Process of Change

Change can be a scary word.  I have heard people say they hate it and others saychange process they thrive in it.  The one true statement about change is that it is going to happen whether you want it to or not.  Nothing will ever stay the same.  However, it is a person’s choice as to whether they are triumphant  or take the victim role during change.  There is that point where a person has to decide to get on the ship and take the wheel or be tossed around the angry waves in the sea.

Other than change being inevitable, there is an aspect of it that has a magical quality.  A person can initiate it and guide it.  That is the type of change that can be elusive, almost like the unicorn never seen but heard and talked about.  This is the change people desire. Starting on that journey can be exciting and exhilarating or tedious and tiresome.  It’s how a person views it and the work they’re willing to put into it.

So how do you start?  You have to look inward, but there are some general guidelines about any change.

1.  What is the motivation?

What is that catalyst in your life that makes you desire a different reality?  The degree of intensity of your catalyst can greatly affect your success in changing in your life.  It can fuel the fire to become a great blaze or just produce a little bit of smoke.  You have to go inside and do some inner work.  It’s not just that you’re unhappy or dissatisfied, but why?  Once you look in the mirror and truly admit why you want change, then you have your foundation.  The truth of your drive is what will make you successful.

2.  What is your goal?

You now know what is motivating you, next you decide what the actual goal is.  You want things to be different and know what is at the heart of that desire, but what do you really want?

I always encourage people to dream big.  This is the moment to take away the restrictions and ask yourself what you would do if you have the world.  it can really surprise people and reveal the depth of their heart.  It’s a beautiful moment.  The thing most people don’t realize is that they CAN have the world.

Then comes the process of taking your bigger than life dreams and your reality and merging the two into something tangible.  Set your first goal as something that is reachable.  The more success you have under your belt, the easier you can build upon those strengths to reach your over the moon goal.  Don’t stop dreaming, just dream smart.

3.  Make a plan

You can want things for a hundred years, but that is not enough.  We don’t live in a “wish upon a star” world.  Wishing gets you nowhere.  Think  about what steps need to be taken to get to your goal of change.

I like to think about it as building a ladder or a staircase.  You take one step at a time.  It’s so important to know what steps to take.  I really encourage people to write it down.

The physical act of writing and seeing it plants it in your brain.  That doesn’t take into it the obvious aspect of it being a road to follow.  You can go back and review it once you’ve reached each stage.  Then you know where you’ve been and what comes next.

4.  Set your reward

Change is at best painful.  Giving up behaviors and putting in new practices is hard and takes work.  There is a part of change that involves grieving.  To reinforce your new habits and life, rewards are essential.  We have to embrace the good and remember it.  Celebrate it.  Make your reward count.  You might think it’s good enough to lose that 20 lbs.  That’s reward enough.  It’s much more effective to add a cherry on top of that sundae.  You have to ask yourself how your life will be different at that point and what is one thing you will be able to do that celebrates your hard work.  Make it count and be something you really want.  I like people to also try and make it something they can visually see, then it’s a reminder.  Every time they see that object they can think about their journey and their success.

5.  Get started

Don’t wait for the perfect day or time.  Once you have your plan get started.  Taking that first step can be hard.  It can be scary and cause anxiety.  One way to help that is to not do it alone.  Either enlist someone who can be honest with you and provide accountability or take someone along with you on your journey.  Having a partner and companion can be invaluable to your success.

The single most important thing to know about getting started is that you can never reach your goal unless you do.  Take a big deep breath, hold your plan tightly in your hand, step out strong and confident to your first step on your journey.

6.  Evaluate

With each step you complete, take a moment to pause and look around.  Look into your heart again and ask yourself some serious questions.  Do you still want the same goal?  Does the plan you set up still go straight to the goal?  Do you need to change things just a little bit.  All these questions are essential for your success.  It’s OK to alter things along the journey.  You’re a different person with each step you complete, so the journey and how it’s traveled may change, too.  Revel in the fact that change is already taking place.  Do a mini dance on the step you just reached, take a breath and go forward to the next step.

7.  Celebrate

Once you’ve reached your goal, celebrate the heck out of it.  Don’t be shy and give yourself you’re reward.  Know that you are part of an elite section of humanity that conquered their fears to reach their dreams.

Kristen Palser
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