Want to make changes that stick? Create a new mindset and a support system to go with it. Professional Life Coach, Tiffany Peterson explains how.
Change is the one constant in life we can count on, yet so often when we want to create a positive change in ourselves or in our lives, we struggle to create change that sticks. We may always be starting again that exercise program, or working once again to get our home organized – whatever it may be, you’re not alone in the frustration and struggle to navigate the change process.
When one is striving to create positive change in their life, we often will face resistance – either of ourselves or externally from others. Something to be aware of is that our brains are wired for certainty, which translates into safety. When someone is creating change in their lives – even if it’s perceived as positive change – it’s still outside the familiar comfort zone and into the unknown, which creates fear, doubt, distraction or simply a lack of motivation to follow through. Knowing this is a normal part of the change process will help you navigate those obstacles as they arise.
In embracing a new change, consider these three suggestions to help support you.
1. Go Inward First. Before starting the action step of change, go inward first and ask of yourself questions like, “What do I really want this to be like? Why do I want that? Do I choose it?” Sometimes the things we are claiming to want and working towards could be someone else’s goal or the pressure of the group you associate with. You may be putting their expectations upon you so first evaluate what you really want. Allow yourself to explore what YOU want – not what others want for you.
2. Claim Your Decision. Once you’ve gained clarity as to what you really want, consciously choose it for yourself. Own it. Put a stake in the ground. Say out loud or put in writing your claimed change. Oftentimes if I am struggling to follow through on something that I may keep talking about that I want, yet I’m not doing it, I may not have made a true decision around it. I love the thought with our goals that “Doing isn’t difficult. Deciding is.” – Foster Hubbard. See, if I haven’t really decided, claimed to be healthy and in shape as my choice, it’s easy to hit snooze when 6 am comes.
3. Get Clear on Your Why. We set many goals or at least think about them; yet our follow through or lack thereof is directly attached to the motivation or the why to change. Let’s say you have a goal to increase your sales and make more money. You can have the number of the income that you want; however, the number doesn’t motivate you. Ask yourself, “why do I want that? What will I do with the added income?” Get clear on why you want it, where that money will go, how it will help you and your family, how you will give back, the memories you will create, etc. The why is what will motivate you long term. It’s worth your time to journal out your why for change so you can use that fuel to help you move through the uncomfortable parts of change.
4. Release Perfectionism. This is key!! If we are serious about creating long term change, we must allow ourselves the room to navigate it with openness and exploration versus it having to be perfect. What perfectionism creates is the “all or nothing” mentality. It’s the I eat completely healthy all the time or forget it, I’ll never be good at that so I’ll have another diet coke and three donuts experience. I like to see that PROGRESS is the most important goal, not perfection. So with the healthier eating example, aim for 80/20, where 80% of what you eat and drink is healthy with a margin of 20% or so that can be for those snacks, treats, or foods. Otherwise if we have the punishment, “I’m not good enough” tactics, we will either deal with depression type feelings or we will rebel. Give yourself room to make progress without the measuring stick of perfection. To aid in this, I like the goal setting formula by Raymond Aaron called MTO – which stands for Minimum, Target, Outrageous. Allow your goals or new desired change to be scaleable, which again is about progress, not perfection.
5. Get Support. I know that when I’m serious about truly changing something in my life, I hire a coach or get involved with some form of a mastermind or support group. There are many ways to get support – you can enroll a friend who is working on the same goal to help keep one another motivated. You’re more likely to put on those running shoes if you know your neighbor is waiting for you. You hire professional coach or counselor. You can join support groups. A friend of mine has wisely said, “Accountability, not ability, determines our results.” We may think that we’ll only be able to change if our willpower is strong enough. When you’re changing old habits and patterns, willpower likely isn’t enough. You need support to overcome the limiting beliefs and emotions that will come up as well as the constant distraction that life brings.
As we begin a new month, pick one goal or change that you want to focus on. By choosing ONE area or goal and focusing on it versus say trying to change 10 things at once, your odds of follow through and success will significantly increase. Get clear on why that is important to you, make it scaleable, and enroll support around you.
For more information and FREE resources to create your ideal life visit www.TheLighthousePrinciples.com