How to Chart Your Course for Change (Part 3 of the 5 Part Series “Getting Back on Track)
All of us have had our life circumstances abruptly and radically change in the past few months. It has been a lot to wrap our heads around and we’ve each navigated our new realities in our own unique ways.
What about changes that we WANT to make in our lives? Is now a good time to make changes on top of the other huge changes being made? More change on top of the already huge changes?? Have you gone totally mad Janie Sterling of Janie Sterling Coaching?!
Yep, I hear you. Keep reading.
So, maybe you’re a little like “I’m chock full of change Janie, no more for me thanks” or “I’d like to change some things, but I feel overwhelmed with everything right now and I don’t know where to start” or “Heck yeah, let’s ride this wave!!”
Here’s the thing…
Without change, there cannot be progress. Because if nothing changes, then nothing changes. Make sense? We all have areas of life where we want to grow, improve and make better. Sure, I get it that we have had so much change in the past few months. And the great thing about that is that we have momentum going. This momentum will help you create other changes that you want to have in your life whether that be in your business, your career, your relationships or wherever.
I’m guessing that all of this lockdown has put a big spotlight in some areas of your life that you may have known for a while needed to change. But, something got in your way. Maybe you were spending your pre-lockdown days limping along in some areas of your life where you’d tell yourself “It’s not that bad. I can make this work.” Or maybe you’ve have found some really excellent ways to distract yourself with food, Netflix, numbing out with your wine of choice or complaining to your friends and family so that you felt busy because you were constantly complaining but not actually doing anything about it.
Not today though!
Today, we are going to dive deep to sort out any ways in your thinking that may be keeping you stuck and living below the standard of what you truly want and are completely capable of.
How do we take an area of our lives that we are not happy with and not just change it for the short term, but transform it for good?
There are many approaches to creating change. But for REAL change to happen, there are specific action steps that must be consistently taken every day for that change to stick.
So, where do you even begin when you want to improve any area of your life?
Not to worry. I have created 5 steps you can take that will guide you to lasting change anywhere in your life.
Step 1: Take an Honest Look at Your Life Circumstances
Just like the GPS in your car, you’ve got to know where you are starting from to know where you are going. Start by brainstorming the 6-8 areas of your life that are most important to you and write them down. For example, these could be things such as Health, Career, Finances, Relationships, and Spirituality. Score yourself in each area on a scale of 1-10. Where are you succeeding? Where do you need to improve? Where are you not bad but not great either?
Imagine that I give you a magic wand. You get to wave this wand over your whole life and make it the life you have dreamed of. What would your ideal life look like? What would improve? What would stay the same? What new positive aspects would be brought in? What negative aspects would go?
Step 2: Get Clear On What’s Really Holding You Back
So, what is preventing you from having what you want in all areas?
Here’s where you get clear on any thoughts, stories or beliefs you have that may be keeping you from what you want.
How do you determine what those stories and beliefs are?
First, think about an area of your life you want to change. What stories do you tell yourself about making that change? Are they positive or negative? Does your story end with a “Therefore, I am” concluding statement? This may be a limiting belief. Write your limiting beliefs down and challenge them. Ask yourself if they are really true. See the the decisions you make from that way of thinking and how your behavior changes when you believe to be true.
It’s time to shine the light in the background of your mind. Time for you to take charge, get back in the driver’s seat and take the lead in your own life.
Step 3: Change Your Mind to Change Your Life
In order to take new action and change your life, you must break free of the negative story and limiting beliefs that may be holding you back. You must change your negative story and the beliefs you hold about yourself in order to take new action to change your life.
How do you let go of those beliefs that hold you back? How do you shake off programming that may have been around since childhood? How can those beliefs still be keeping you so stuck???
Take a look at what I mean. Say, for example, you grew up in a family that held the belief that people with money are selfish. Consciously you may not agree with that, but subconsciously, your brain may be holding onto that belief. Now, you may take great pride in that fact that you are a generous person, far from selfish and also you want to make more money in your business. Can you see where I am going with this?? You then might find ways to sabotage your success in your business to stay true to the belief you hold about yourself that you are a generous person.
This is why it is so vitally important to understand the thoughts, stories and beliefs you hold. This is the inner GPS system that has been running in the background of your mind and has dictated your self-talk, your self-esteem, your self-confidence, your self-respect, your self-actualization and on and on.
This is why any change you want to make must begin with changing the thoughts, stories and beliefs you hold about the change.
You’ve gotta to change your mind to change your life. You must break through those limiting beliefs for a breakthrough.
Step 4: Break it Down into Small Action Steps
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. We’ve all heard this expression meaning that the only way to accomplish something that may seem daunting or overwhelming can be achieved by taking it on a little bit at a time.
Look back at Step 1. What areas of your life need to change? This is where your goals will come from. Start here by brainstorming all the small steps you can take that will lead you to achieving that goal and then create a daily, weekly and monthly action plan to get you there.
Time to get the momentum going! Write down 3 specific goals you can do in these areas starting NOW. This could be something as simple as making a phone call, sending an email or speaking with someone who has already done this thing you want to do.
Then, tomorrow 3 more steps toward this goal. Each step builds on the one before. Give yourself time boundaries and get it on the calendar.
Step 5: Visualize and Define Success on Your Own Terms
Visualize what your life will look like when you have accomplished these positive changes in your life. This will help you define what you want to achieve and help you create the steps to get you there. On those days when you may feel your motivation is low, this will help you remember WHY you wanted these changes to begin with and the overall improvement your life will have once you have made them. This will inspire you to keep going and taking more action and the more action you take the more you want to keep going!
See yourself being the best version of yourself. See yourself living your ideal life and give yourself permission to go for it. You are ready for this new and improved version of your life and you are not going to wait anymore for outside validation to let you know it’s okay to make your life better. No more living your life according to someone else’s plan or letting the outside world tell you who you are.
You get to decide on how your what to think, how to feel and what you are going to do with your one precious life.
Decide to take this opportunity to level up and improve your life. Once you do this in one area, watch the other areas improve with it. Remember, a rising tide raises all boats!
I thank you for your time today. My hope and wish for you is that you live your life to the fullest in all the ways the are meaningful to you.
Finally, I want you to know that I value you, I appreciate you and I look forward to the next time we are together.
I hope this added value to you. If it did, please share it with the ones you love and, as always, take care of beautiful you.