Making a lasting change – whether it’s getting better at marketing, learning to manage your books or changing your personal life – can be a challenge.
We are creatures of habit. When things are going smoothly, it’s easy(ish) to make changes. However, when times get rocky we often fall back into old habits. I am often frustrated with myself because I need to learn things over and over again.
So, how do we make lasting changes if we keep backsliding? That’s the million dollar question. Here’s Andrea’s answer:
Where are you now?
Assess where you are today. You can’t make a change if you don’t know if you’ve changed.
What do you want to change?
Now decide what exactly you want changed. Be specific. Saying I want to earn more money (or lose weight) isn’t good enough. Get as specific as possible.
After all, as Yogi Berra said, “If you don’t know where you’re going you’ll end up someplace else.”
Break your goal into smaller steps
Look for intermediate steps between where you are now and where you’d like to end up. For example, if your goal is to earn $100,000 a year and you’re currently at $20,000 the goal may seem so unattainable it paralyzes you. Instead, create incremental goals and focus on them.
How does this work? Using the above example, if you’re currently earning $20K that’s about $1,700 per month. The end goal is $8,400 per month. A good first intermediate goal could be to reach $2,500 per month, then $3,000 and so on.
Create a written plan. What will you do differently to get from where you are today to where you want to go. The more detailed your plan, the more likely you’ll be able to stick with it. Yogi Berra didn’t say this (as far as I know) but I imagine he might have said, “If you don’t know how you’re getting there, you’ll get lost”.
Keep your goal front and center
Review your goal daily. I’m a visual person so I usually create a graph that I post above my computer. Each time I hit a mini-milestone I colour in a square on the graph. This way I can see how I’m progressing. Yours might be an affirmation you say out loud, a goal on your screen saver. Whatever works for you.
Don’t go it alone
Get support. There’s nothing like outside accountability to keep you on the right path. That can be an accountability partner, a good friend or a coach. Whoever you use, make sure they’re someone who isn’t afraid to call you on your crap if you stray from your stated goal. It doesn’t help if they support your excuses rather than the change.
Celebrate your success. Treat yourself to something new, do something fun, shout it from the rooftops. Choose something that is meaningful to you.
If you’d like to learn more about making changes in your life, I invite you to join me and 14 other speakers at the Change Your Life Anyway telesummit November 6 to 8. It’s free to attend live. Topics include: Creating Your Own Personal Board of Directors, Finding Your Authentic Voice, Booming Breakthroughs! and more. Just go to www.ChangeYourLifeAnyway.com.