Have you been putting lipstick on a pig? That is, trying to make a deep change by doing a superficial action? Do you wonder why, at the end of the year, the pig that you have been spiffing up with lipstick still looks likea pig?
Making changes can be a hard thing to do. In order to make change that sticks, you have to get creative, go deep and connect that change to something meaningful. As Albert Einstein said, doing the same thing repeatedly and thinking there will be a different outcome is insanity. In order to have a different outcome, you need to do something differently.
Is there a change that you or your group want to get some traction on this year? Are you ready for an easy, step-by-step way to explore the actions you really want to take to make the change you want? Let's get started!
Click the link to download the GET MOVING, GET CHANGING ACTION GUIDE
HOW TO MAKE PROGRESS ON THE CHANGES YOU WANT
PART ONE FOUNDATION
1/ Get Clear
It is important to first be crystal clear on what the change is that you actually want. Any kind of murky, muddy picture will not gain any energy or traction. If you are confused or vague, you will be directionless and the universe will have a hard time responding.
E.g./ Murky picture: "I want to get fit in 2013." The universe asks "what does being 'fit' mean to you?"
Clear picture: I want to reduce my BP and be able to stop taking meds. I want to be able to walk for an hour without getting tired. I want to stop my arm fat from jiggling. I want to fit into the Size 8 pair of jeans buried in my cupboard.
2/ What's your WHY?
You must identify your compelling "why" and connect your desired change to something that evokes feeling or emotion in you. This is the step where most people need to go deeper and keep drilling down to a compelling, passionate, heartfelt reason for the desired change.
E.g./ "I want to get fit." Why? "So I am healthier." Why do you want to be healthier? "I will feel better and live longer." Why do you want to feel better and live longer? "So I can watch my grandkids grow up and be able to be active with them." Why is that important to you?
"Because my grandkids are so special to me, I love them so much, they bring me so much joy and I want to spend as much quality time with them as I can."
Ah, there, now you have linked your desired change of getting fit with a compelling picture of being joyfully active with the grandkids you love right into your old age.
3/ Assess your Current State
Where are you right now? Every change starts with the very important awareness piece. Get real and identify where you are right now. Be specific. No judgment here, only a simple identification so that you can start to measure your progress. Being able to see incremental progress is what will keep you going.
4/ Identify what hasn't worked
What strategies have you employed in the past that haven't worked to achieve the change you want? List them here. Then ask yourself why you think those past strategies failed. Again, this is about simple awareness, not judgement.
PART 2 MOVIN' ON AND MAKING THE CHANGES
1/ First Instinct
Think about the change you want to make this year. What would your first response be if I asked you HOW are you going to achieve "x"? What do you think you need to do?
2/ Passion Pulse Check
On a scale of 1-10 , how passionate do you feel about that initial response? How compelled are you to want to follow through on that initial response? (If your first instinct is an action that did not work for you in the past, you may not feel so gung ho about repeating that action). If your answer is not a 10 - then go to Step #3. It is time for a little creative thinking to find a change possibility that connects with you more strongly.
If your answer is a 10 - then you are ready for action. Start thinking about what small, daily, incremental actions you want to take to move you ahead. Refer to your S.M.A.R.T goal worksheets in your Action Guide as a checklist for your planning.
This is the really important part of the change process. Often we approach our change with the same lens and the same tactics. It is time to get creative and find some new ways to make the change we want.
Get comfy, sit down with a nice hot toddy and take 10 minutes to brainstorm and spew out all of the possible ideas you have about making the change you want. Ask a friend to help spark some ideas if you get stuck. Think out-of-the-box, think of possibilities that seem to be a stretch. Write down things you have not yet tried. Even if you can't imagine yourself doing the action, or do not want to do the action, put the possibility here. The only rule is that the possibility has to contribute towards your achieving the change you want. Make sure you get at least 10 - 20 ideas.
E.g./ Desired change: lose 10 pounds
1/ put one scoop of sugar in coffee instead of two
2/ walk to work
4/ eat steamed vegetables
5/ train for the Vancouver marathon
6/ do Beyonce's maple syrup cleanse
Think again about the change you want. Look at your huge possibility list of new ways to contribute to making that change. How does it feel knowing that in 10 minutes you came up with so many alternate actions? I bet you could easily come up with a lot more!
Choose 3 of these NEW possibilities from your Spew list that are the most attractive to you. Now move on to specific goal setting to achieve those possibilities by using the S.M.A.R.T. Goals action checklists. When you have incorporated those three to your life, choose another from the list.
6/ Get rid of the barriers
I refer to barriers as the flat tires in your life. You can still drive, but you are slowed down. Identify who or what is slowing you down. Is it a friend that insists on serving you dessert? Is it saying "Yes" to so many volunteer jobs that you don't have enough time to make your business successful? Is it wasting time with an undisciplined addiction to Facebook? Identify the things in your way. Eliminate them or manage them.
7/ Get support
Get support and go public. (click here to read last month's feature article to get some stick-to-it tips.)
8/ Celebrate Check in daily around your progress. Celebrate each incremental step to your big change. Share your successes with your loved ones and remember - every step forward is a step forward!