The Start of Something New
We love new beginnings, don’t we? Whether that’s a new week, a new month, maybe a quarter, and especially a new year. And yikes, we’re just about to start a new decade!
I think it’s the opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start over that’s appealing. The premise that you can leave the unwanted behind and start afresh.
We are encouraged to make our new year’s resolutions – “a promise to yourself to do or not to do something”. You may like all of that, you may not. Each to their own I say, although there’s no harm in some gentle encouragement in this area – you never know where it might lead!
A Great Opportunity For Reflection
For me, this time of year is a perfect opportunity for reflection. Away from the humdrum of the everyday. Whether I’m busy or quiet, the fact that I’m doing something different provides the distance I often need for objective reflection – and even for some good ideas to crystallise too.
I tend to think about:
- What’s really working for me, bringing me joy, making me smile?
- What do I feel excited about, what am I drawn to, what am I energised by?
- What makes me belly laugh and have fun?
- How can I better look after myself?
- What and who am I grateful for?
- What’s not serving me, what would I prefer to leave behind?
- How can I better serve the people in my life, whilst still nourishing myself?
And it’s not just a new year thing. I’m constantly asking myself these questions. Our answers sometimes change with new experiences and lessons.
A Desire For Change
And then comes to tough stuff! Making changes.
Whether this is a new year’s resolution or something that’s occurred to you on a random Wednesday in the middle of the year – you’ve decided you want something different and that means a change.
But here’s the reality check. If you want something different, you have to DO something different. Intention is brilliant, but unfortunately, it isn’t enough. Motivation, action, and consistency has to come hand in hand with it.
So many times, I’ve set out with the very best of intentions, but then I’m back into the daily routine, the action doesn’t happen consistently, momentum is lost, and hey presto nothing has changed (apart from my frustration levels)!
And I know I’m not alone in that (you know it too!).
No matter how driven and intelligent you are. And no matter the size of the change you want to make. The reality is, making change is hard. Old patterns and habits are well established and have served some purpose for you in the past. Life is busy. Stuff happens. I get it.
Now there are lots of people out there who’ll say things like: just do it anyway, get over yourself, lose the BS and drama, get out of your own way. And those statements will be well-intended. Personally, they’ve never motivated me (in fact, quite the opposite), and I certainly wouldn’t say them to my clients as a result.
Instead, let me tell you what I have found the most impactful way to making personal change – that lasts and makes a difference.
4 Elements For Personal Change To Be Successful
Call them whatever you want – goals, aspirations, intentions, resolutions – it’s basically you saying you want something to be different.
We’ve already clarified that:
- For something to be different in your life, you have to do something different to what you’ve always done
- Intention alone is not enough
- Motivation, action, and consistency are also fundamental.
So, here’s the deal. Over and over again this lesson presents itself to me – whether it’s in my life or in my work with a client. If you want changes that are going to stick, as opposed to throwing them to the curb before the end of January, then these elements must be present.
- MEANING – the change, the outcome, the end game – has to mean significantly more to you than keeping things as they are. And it has to have meaning to YOU personally – it’s your goal, not someone else’s. You need to feel the true desire for change. Otherwise, meh, what’s the point in all the effort?
- SKIN IN THE GAME – there needs to be a reason you are invested in making this change; that you will lose something if you don’t achieve it. This is additional to it having meaning to you. This is often more tangible and means there are consequences to you not changing that you really want to avoid. E.g. you’re paying a Personal Trainer to help you get fit and you don’t want to waste that time and money – you’ve got skin in the game.
- REALISTIC – whatever it is that you want needs to have some basis in reality. That doesn’t mean it can’t be super-challenging and a big stretch, but give yourself a chance at success by making it realistic. Setting yourself up for success is so important and helps build momentum.
If you’re setting goals that don’t have meaning to you, for which you don’t have any skin in the game, and aren’t realistic, then the first question I would ask is “why are you even bothering?”.
But once you have a goal that ticks those boxes you’re chances of success have already increased substantially. And to increase your chances even further the 4th element comes into play.
- ACCOUNTABILITY – let’s face it, as motivated and resourceful as we might be, there will be bumps in the road and times when you’ve lost some of your resolve. Being accountable to someone makes a huge difference to this – be that your partner, a friend, someone you’ve met with a similar goal, a coach. Be really clear on what it is you’re looking to achieve and the support you need.
If you’ve set yourself some resolutions for 2020 then be sure to check them against these 4 elements and don’t be afraid to re-visit and refine until they are hitting the mark for you.
Can 2020 Be Different?
If you really want it to be – of course it can!
But don’t try changing for the sake of it. Change when that change will make a difference, have purpose and meaning, and when it will transform your life for the better.
Investing significant time and energy in achieving the wrong goal is arguably worse than not starting at all!
How I Can Help You Make 2020 Different
If you have that desire for change, but haven’t got the clarity you need, or have stumbled in the past and want a greater chance of success, then I believe I can help. One of my specialties is all about helping you get the clarity you need to get started, in addition to supporting you on the journey.
If you want a free and no-obligation chat to see if and how I could help then don’t hesitate to book your Discovery Call in a few simple clicks. You’ll only ever get a straight response from me – if I can help, I’ll say so, and if I think someone else could better serve you, then I’ll also say that. You getting the best outcome is my objective.
Prefer to get to know me a little more first? There are plenty of ways to do that too.
- Get yourself a copy of my bestselling book ‘Have It All Without Burning Out’ – packed full of tips and with a healthy dose of my journey included too.
- Join my private Facebook group for a super friendly community
- Follow me on social (all the links are at the top of the page)
Here’s to a fantastic 2020 – you can have it all – you just need to be clear on what your ‘all’ is.