With fall approaching, this is a great time to think about what you want to create, accomplish, be, or do before the year is over. Read the article below to get a jump-start on your path to success.
To your health, happiness and success,
Seven Steps to Creating Change in Your Life
What could you change about your life that would dramatically improve your life? Perhaps you want more money, more free time or to fit back into your skinny jeans?
Whatever you decide, the following action plan will give you a jump-start on your path to success:
1. Vision – what do you want? I mean, what do you really want? If you’re like many people, the thought of change may stir up those all-too-familiar negative thoughts of fear, doubt, worry or guilt. Instead of focusing on these gremlins, stand up, shut your eyes and take a long, slow, deep breath. Inhale through through your nose and exhale through your mouth. As you exhale, push the breath down through your head, through your neck, your shoulders, your chest, your abdomen, your pelvis, your thighs, your shins, your ankles and, eventually, all the way down through your feet and into the earth. Now, repeat this ten times. Each time you exhale, ground your feet more firmly to the earth. Imagine your body is a tree and your feet are the roots and each breath spreads your roots further and deeper into the ground.
Now that you’ve grounded yourself, ask yourself: what is it that you really want? What will that get you? What’s important about this?
2. Target Date – now that you’ve figured out what you really want, set a target date for completing this goal. Perhaps it’s one month, two months or by the end of this year. A good way to determine whether or not your target date is realistic is to say your goal and target date out-loud. If you can say it with a straight face yet it still feels like a challenge, then you’ve got a good target date. If not, you’ll want to take some more time to examine what target date really works for you.
3. Small Steps – completing small steps each week boosts your confidence, energy and motivation. Create a chart, diagram or collage that will help you to gauge your progress – one week at a time – all the way to the eventual completion of your goal. Be sure to include how you’ll reward yourself once you have completed your goal.
4. Direction – your chart, diagram or collage includes all the ingredients needed for success. Simply refer to this tool at the beginning and end of each day to review how far you’ve come. You can represent your progress with percentages, different colors or smiley faces. All that matters is that the measurement tool works for you.
5. Accountability – find an accountability partner – someone who will ask you every week about your successes and challenges and what’s next. Keep in mind that the people closest to you may not be your best accountability partners. Your spouse or best friend may not always be thrilled that you’ve decided to go the gym every day or spend extra time at the office – at the expense of spending time with them. Or your business partner may find that the daily demands of her job get in the way of truly holding you accountable to leaving the office early. Instead, consider finding an accountability partner who has more detachment and who, at the same time, clearly understand the importance you’re placing on your goals.
6. Reflection – if the end of the week rolls around and you’ve achieved your weekly goal, great! If you haven’t reached your weekly goal, all is not lost. This is a valuable time for reflection. What did you learn by not reaching your weekly goal? What will work better next time?
7. Celebration – congratulations on a job well done! One of the most important parts of the action plan is rewarding yourself when you have succeeded. What reward did you choose at the outset? Whatever it is, relish in it, bask in it, drink it up or soak it in. You deserve it.