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We’ve all been there. We want to change something about our lives, but we don’t know where to start. We make resolutions, post our goals on Facebook and set off to take on the world. Unfortunately, for most of us, it seems that even our greatest efforts tend to go nowhere.
So, how do you implement successful changes in your life? We’ve got four critical questions perfectly designed to drive personal change.
Personal transformation starts from the inside out. No one else can convince you to change something about yourself if you’re not going to own it. So, when it comes to deciding on what to change, the question is quite simple.
1. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO DIFFERENT?
Keep it simple. Take a look at your life as it is right this moment. What is working really well? Start a list. These areas of your life should stay in tact as much as possible.
Now, what isn’t working? Write those items down as well. If your list of deltas is long, prioritize that list by drilling down to the top 1 or 2 items that need the most attention. We tend to believe that big changes should be met one step at a time. If you attempt to alter too much too soon, you’re less likely to move forward.
For example, many people feel the pressure to drop a few pounds. In fact, the top resolution made in 2015 is to lose weight. If you’re one of these people, then your answer to, “What do you want to do different?,” will be “to lose (insert #) pounds by December 31, 2015.”
It’s important to not only identify what you want to change, but quantify that change as well. Simply resolving to “lose weight” isn’t enough. Give yourself a challenge worth meeting or exceeding!
This of course, leads us to the second question.
Identifying the “how” seems easy enough, but it’s a very important step to driving personal change. It takes that 30,000 foot lofty goal and turns it into realistic stepping stones.
Sticking with our example to lose weight, millions of people join a gym at the beginning of the year, throw out all the junk food in their pantry and tell the world that they are going to be more in shape by year end.
They do all these things because identifying what you want to change without also determining HOW you’re going to change will never yield you the results you want.
Therefore, if your goal is to get in shape, the tactics you employ may include:
- Join a Gym
- Hire a personal trainer
- Eliminate all processed food from home
- Make a public announcement of your intent to change
Use a calendar and/or journal to track your progress and take photos to capture the improvements.
3. WHAT WILL GET IN THE WAY?
Inevitably, most attempts to change are met with roadblocks. However, if you’re serious about meeting personal goals, you’ve got to be prepared for a challenge.
So, as you are writing your plan to change, don’t forget to spell out possible hazards. For example, in keeping with our weight loss goals, potential bumps in the road may include:
- Non-participating family members who want to continue with current lifestyle
- Holiday dessert temptations
- Not making it a priority
Once you’ve identified things that could get in the way of you reaching your goals, you will be better equipped to remove those things from your life in the pursuit of reaching your personal goals. Granted, we are not encouraging anyone to get rid of their family, but if your family is preventing you from being a healthier you, you may want to creatively work them into your plan.
4. WHO IS GOING TO HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE?
Finally, one of the most critical questions you should ask yourself when driving personal change is, “who is going to hold me accountable…other than myself?”
While it’s important to completely own any change you want to make to your life, it’s equally important to have at least one accountability partner. This person could be your spouse, your child, your mom, a mentor or a support group of other women working towards the same goal. Just be sure that when you are selecting this person or persons that you are choosing someone who is willing to call you out when you aren’t doing what you said you were going to do. Genuine honesty is a requirement!
People who have a tendency to turn a blind eye to your bad decisions are not people you want to surround you when you need support.
Whether you want to get fit this year, earn more money, take better photos or learn to relax, driving personal change starts with a strong plan. By asking yourself the right questions, we are certain that you can do it!