READY TO TAKE SMALL STEPS TOWARDS MAKING BIG CHANGE?
“No one likes change except a baby.”
Two years ago I began a blog with this quote. I declared that I emphatically disagreed with it.
I still do.
A couple of months ago, a coach colleague made me chuckle when she said “Stop dragging around your dirty diaper!”
Different expression, same theme.
I believe people really do like change, but sometimes we keep dragging our mess around longer than we should because we’re overwhelmed by the enormity of what we want to accomplish.
So how do we start fresh and move forward?
Reframe the concept of “big change” by thinking about it as something we accomplish through small positive steps. Transformation doesn’t happen in one fell swoop.
The beauty of the change process is that we don’t have to take the right steps all the time. Sometimes we take steps forward, sometimes we have to side step and other times, well, we take a step or two back. Think positive and keep moving.
During the last year I’ve been transforming my business. Let me to share with you the steps that kept me going.
Step One: Dream!
First, dream. Who do you want to become?
• What do you imagine your life will be like after making the change you want?
• What will final success look like? – See it clearly!
Your vision will guide your transformation.
Step Two: Take a Good Hard Look
Don’t skip this step! Your ecological read on how change will impact your life will affect your change process or even whether you want to make the change at all.
• What will your environment be like once you accomplish your goal?
• What will you get, and what will you give up?
In my case, when I began to think about how accomplishing my preliminary business goal would impact all areas of my life, I realized it wasn’t going to work for me. I’d be working practically 24-7 and be travelling a great deal. That’s not what I want my life to be like – I’m looking for harmonious work/life integration. So, I amended my vision and proceeded from there.
Step Three: Reflect
Will who you are now support who you want to become?
• How will your beliefs and values support your change?
• How will your behaviors, skills and abilities make your change possible?
• How will your change express your innate sense of identity and life purpose?
Say, for example, that you want to make a major career move, and you’ll have to learn a new set of skills to acquire a credential. Do you believe you have the ability and the commitment to study hard to obtain that credential?
Beliefs and values are at the very core of our ability to transform. If they don’t align with the change you want to make, you are unlikely to accomplish a lasting transformation.
Get in touch with who you are before you begin the process of who you will become.
Step Four: Plan
Create your own personal plan. Then keep it agile and flexible.
• What is your goal?
• What are the resources you need?
• What are the steps you need to take and how will you measure them?
• What’s your time frame?
• What may get in your way, and how will you meet challenges?
Write your plan down and refer to it. In so doing, even in a simple form, your plan becomes real and you’ll be more committed and accountable to making it happen. Just remember, keep the plan flexible. You know life will throw some curve balls along the way – you may have to side step or take a step back from time to time.
Create small positive experiments that will let you try out how small changes work for you. For example, if you want to spend more time with your family, think about how you can change your way of doing something that will free up your time. Let’s say, you are distracted by your cell phone or the television during dinner (sound familiar?) – turn them off during meal time with your family. How does this step feel? If it’s right, then add another.
Step Five: Recruit support
Everybody needs support. Think about the people surrounding you who can provide positive encouragement. Create a circle of support. Instead of looking for feed back, seek positive “feed forward” to help you keep going in that direction!
And remember, your biggest supporter has got to be you. If you don’t believe in yourself, you can’t expect others to!
Step Six: Own it
Your future is yours to create. Although your support circle can help you, they can’t do it for you. You must make the commitment and be accountable for making the changes that will give you a fresh start and a new future.
Are you ready for a change? Be bold. Be excited. Take baby steps and celebrate your accomplishments all along the way!
I am pleased to tell you that at the end of July, Goldenberg Consulting will become True Impact Coaching, a full service nonprofit executive coaching and leadership training business that focuses on helping organizations develop the full potential of their people – leaders and their teams – to create true impact in their missions.
Along with my strategic partners, I offer performance and change transition coaching for leaders and their teams, training workshops and peer coaching program design. I particularly focus on helping board leaders, C-suite executives and development professionals succeed in their challenging roles. A formal announcement will be coming your way soon.
For those of you who will be attending the Virginia Fund Raising Institute in Charlottesville, come by and visit me at my sponsorship table on July 27 and 28 and please join me for my workshop on “Creating Teams You Can Truly Love” for nonprofit leaders.
Wishing you the future you want.