Looking into the future
I remember years and years spent on setting the intentions for the New Year. So many times I promised myself to get less distracted while working, learn to do one thing at a time, focus more on achievable goals, deal with procrastination and do other things, just to become a better version of myself. The change wasn’t comming in a way I wanted and it took me a longer while to understand why it was so.
First and foremost – change will come when it is about to come. As you will not make the tree grow faster, so you will not speed up yourself transgressing the threshold of change. If, despite the fact you really want it to happen it doesn’t, it means you are not ready yet. That is at least one possibility. If it is not your case and you feel you want to move forward, there are other reasons why the change doesn’t come.
Pipoint what do you really want
When you are willing the change to happen, it is really important you name it as precisely as possible. “I want to be less shy”, “I want to be more focused”, “I want to have more friends” are too general desires. Try instead to be as specific as possible: “once every three staff meetings I want to speak out my opinion”, “during 60 minutes spent in front of the computer I want to focus specifically on the given task”, “once a month I will go for a coffee with a newly met person” – these are the concrete outcomes we can target and measure afterward.
Who wants the change to happen?
Next step is to determine whether it is really you who is looking for the transformation. By you I mean your inner voice, coming straight from your heart. It is the mature version of yourself, knowing your strengths and weaknesses, being able to distinguish your real needs from made-up ones. There is also a parent-you. This is the inner voice ordering you things such as: “you should”, “you must”, “you have to”, “you need”, which derives from the past, when your parents, guardians or other people having an impact on your upbringing were planting in your head their own views on live and their own values. These are neither your views nor your values but they are still in your head. There is finally your inner-child. This is an immature you, lacking something from the past, usually attention, love, acceptance, security, peace, etc. Your need of change comes from an insatiable need, example: you want your partner to tell you more often you are smart, because in the past you lacked support or compliments from your closest ones. The change will only happen if it comes from the mature version of yourself. So instead of wanting more attention from your partner (next year I will loose my weight so my partner is more interested in me) you may want to discover ways to love yourself more and feel good with who you are (next year I will find two ways to accept myself the way I am or I will lose weight for myself).
Bunch of excuses
After you define your need and discover its origin, it is time to ask yourself how motivated you are to make the change happen. This is usually the moment when all the excuses appear: I won’t make it, I won’t find enough time, I am too tired, too old, not enough experienced, too shy, too active, I am a woman, I am a man – you name it. All the excuses appear as a protection against the change. Isn’t it better to stay in the comfort zone, exactly where you are, where everything is already well known, even though it pinches you here and there? Hey, nobody forces you to change! If you want to stay where you are, do it! Just remember, what Billy Cox said once – life will only change when you become more committed to your dreams than you are to your comfort zone.
Envision your success
You may also say “I want the change to happen but I lack a strong motivation”. This is the moment when it helps to envision your success – imagine yourself being already in the desired moment. You have not only reached the goal but you are also taking advantage of it and living your life fully. Feel the taste of being there! See how it impacts people around you – your closest ones, your friends, colleagues and even the wider group of people. Take a look how it changes your everyday life…
Don’t jump in the deep end!
It is a good moment to ask yourself the key question: what is the very first step I can make to move toward the change? REMEMBER it has to be very small, nothing big – jumping in the deep end doesn’t always bring effects. Especially if you have been behaving a certain way your whole life or a longer time and now you want to change. Your success depends on creating a plan that consists of baby steps. Example: you want to launch your online business but never have time – currently you stay at home with your kids, have to help them with remote school, you have to cook, clean the house and in the evening you are already so tired that the only thing you are dreaming of is going to bed. A very small step would be putting down on the paper the idea of your dreamed business – draw it or make a simple list of the components of your idea. You want to run a blog? What do you need to make it happen? Which elements are necessary to launch a blog? Name them, put them in the order – all the details which need to be done to make the blog work. Spend 30 minutes, not more to draw/write down your idea. Put your thoughts into words and give yourself a few days afterwards to digest them.
How to stay motivated?
After you succed with your first step, make sure to stay motivated so you can continue your journey towards change. Ask yourself if there is anything or anyone that could help you sustain the high level of motivation. Some people need regular conversations with their partners, others like to write down their thoughts in their diary or stick an item to the fridge as a reminder. Finally there are those who need a coach as an extra source of motivation or a person to be accountable to. Anything you choose, make sure it is powerful enough to help you keep going. If you catch yourself stuck again, without any power to move forward, begin again the whole process from envisioning the future success.
Remember, it is you who can make a difference. No other people. Not the circumstances. As Tony Robbins says, if you do what you’ve always done, you will get what you’ve always gotten. You decide where you want to be! Happy New Year!