This is something many of us have tried at some point in our lives. We’ve stated that we want to make a big change and then set out to do it. It worked every time, right? No? Why do we start on the change journey, make the investments, and then the journey comes to a screeching halt? Many things factor into why we don’t.
I first shared this list with a group who was finishing a health challenge so they could continue making progress after the group dismantled. Since then, I’ve modified some of the tips for a broader audience so we all can benefit from the lasting changes we’re looking for. Here are ten tips you can consider as you make goals and embark on your change journey.
- Remember your why. Remember how you feel when you think about it and what you ultimately are aiming to achieve
- Stay accountable. When starting on a transformation journey it can be hard to do it alone, this is why working with a coach can be so helpful. In addition to a coach, some other things that can be helpful are a buddy, a clear goal, and lists of actions
- Don’t do it all. Often when we start on a transformation journey, we want to do everything all at once. Change all the food, do all of the exercises, change all of the habits. It isn’t realistic to think we can do this all at once, so it’s a good idea to find small changes that lead to bigger ones. Finding ways to swap activities or products can go a long way
- Support system. Having a family or community to lean on is helpful when making any type of change, big or small. This can be an accountability buddy or someone who is simply supportive and rooting for your success.
- Setting a SMART goal. We often say we want to change, but without a clear goal it can be hard. A clear goal helps you know where you're headed. A SMART goal can help you develop a plan with clear steps to actually achieve your goal.
- Use your tools. We don’t always think we have tools when we start a change journey, but we do. Things like critical thinking, journaling, problem solving, or even our own intuition are beneficial throughout the process. You’ll learn plenty of tools along the way, and you’ll have opportunities to use them, but don’t assume you’re coming in empty handed.
- Be kind to yourself. One thing that I’ve learned along my journey is the importance of grace and compassion for self. We think that since we need to change that something is wrong with us and because of that we can be extremely hard on ourselves. The weight isn’t coming off fast enough, you slipped up and didn’t use the tool, someone triggered you and you reacted in the old way. These are all things that happen and we can’t beat ourselves up. It’s not a matter of when things come up on the journey, it’s about when, and how we bounce back.
- Enjoy the process. This goes along with being kind to yourself, but when we make major change...things change! Big surprise, right? So we need to be flexible and enjoy the journey. There really isn’t a prescribed way to move through an individual’s change journey because it’s different based on the person, the type of change, where you are in life, and so many other factors. I know it sounds cliche, but it really is about the journey and not the destination. We can let this process be so rewarding by learning about ourselves and others in our lives if we allow it.
- Make it fun. I know a lot of people want to be serious because we’re talking about potentially major life changes, but this process can and should be fun. As adults we take ourselves so seriously and forget that we are meant to play and be creative. We’re meant to have fun in life, especially when we’re making changes. Being willing to laugh and play when making change can make the process easier, and take the stress off of perfection to pursue the goal. You also open yourself up to more possibilities because you aren’t limiting yourself and trying to control outcomes.
- Set yourself up for success. You have the ultimate say in how this goes and your ability to create a supportive environment in the process is key. Create your comfortable space, get a journal to document your breakthroughs, create lists to stay on task, establish boundaries, get a calendar for milestones and put it where you can see it, prepare food or things in advance where possible, ask for what you need. All of these things are examples of ways to really take a stand for yourself while on your change journey.
If you or someone you know is struggling to get started on their change journey or in the middle of a change and looking for help to get to the end, I’d love to help with that. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a time for us to chat so we can uncover your best your next steps to get the change you deserve.