There are many factors that contribute to creating change successfully. The power and benefit of many of these factors I have experienced first-hand over the years as I have worked on numerous change projects in order to create life, work, and business on my own terms.
Some of the changes I have made include leaving the corporate world after 14 years to start my own business in 2001, moving countries - twice! (England to Ireland in 2006 and Ireland to Canada in 2013), reinventing my business numerous times to fit each new chapter of family life over the years.
The path to making change happen hasn't always been easy. We have had to deal with things totally knocking us off track. Things like my husband getting meningitis and it taking three years for him to fully recover. Not long after that, he was involved in a horrific car crash that he was lucky to survive.
There have also been all sorts of logistical, practical and emotional challenges that come with creating change in your life and work. Not to mention all the setbacks. challenges, and obstacles that pop up along the way. They all have to be dealt with. Being willing to deal with the challenges, discomfort, and uncertainty of creating change is an important part of achieving the results that matter most to you.
But there are many things you can do to make it easier for yourself and set yourself up to succeed. My husband and I were chatting recently about the valuable lessons that we have learned over the years that have helped us create the changes we have wanted in our personal and professional lives. Here are 15 that have made a big difference:
15 Factors That Contribute To Creating Change Successfully
1. Expect obstacles, challenges, setbacks, and mistakes. They happen. When they do, applying this simple three-step approach helps to stop them from derailing you:
Learn the lesson. Apply the learning. Move on.
2. Have a plan with deadlines but be flexible and open to the plan needing to be altered. It helps to have a regular planning and review process to be able to respond and adapt to how things evolve as you move forward so you can alter and tweak your plans as necessary and appropriate.
3. Break plans down into small steps and then just focus on the next small step. This keeps feelings of overwhelm at bay and helps build momentum and consistent progress.
4. Create reserves of everything – time, money, energy, support etc. You will need them, and they make the journey smoother and easier. Your reserves will also support you and help you respond more effectively when you encounter challenges and setbacks.
5. Seek out people who have made the changes you want to make and learn from them. It will speed up your progress and help you avoid common problems, mistakes, and challenges.
6. Foster persistence and resilience. When the going gets tough, this really helps you get through and keep going.
7. Be careful who you surround yourself with. It makes a big difference. Surround yourself with positive, supportive people who encourage and inspire you. Steer clear of the BMWs (Bitchers, moaners, whiners) and negative, unconstructive people.
8. Change doesn’t always follow a linear path. Accept that.
9. Get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. Creating change takes you outside of your comfort zone. That can feel uncomfortable. Change comes with uncertainty too. You need to be able to deal with the discomfort and uncertainty and not let it derail you or your progress.
10. Have an emotional management plan. When people work on change, they usually focus predominantly on the logistics to make it happen. But change can also trigger all sorts of emotions too that can either support you or sabotage you. Knowing what your emotional triggers are and having a way of dealing with them will help you not get in your own way.
11. It takes a lot of additional mental and physical energy to create change. Having a self-care programme that keeps you mentally and physically fit and strong is a no brainer. Identify energy drainers and deal with them. Identify energy givers and do more of them.
12. Create a haven – something that helps you step out of all the hoopla for a while and regroup. It doesn’t help to be always on. Take time out at regular intervals. It gives you a mental break so you feel refreshed when you come back to it. You will be more effective if you take regular breaks.
13. When the going gets tough focus on why you are creating this change. Hold the faith. Hold your vision. Focus on the positive outcome and benefits you will achieve once you have navigated your journey of change. Doing this will help boost motivation and determination to succeed when it feels hard.
14. Keep a sense of humour. It helps you enjoy the journey through all the ups and downs.
15. When the going gets tough and you wonder if it is all worth it, keep this in mind:
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