Updated on October 18th, 2018
Ever wanted change in your life, yet struggled to make it happen?
Life is never perfect; not all that happens to us is in our control. Yet it’s never too late to grab your power on what is in your control, and make a change for the better in your life.
Read on for some inspiration and practical tips to make the change you want a little easier – in fact, so easy that it just cannot help but happen!
To me, there’s a lot of hope in every new start (whether it’s a new year, new month, new week, new day – or just any new initiative you’re taking, any effort you decide to renew, whatever the year, month, week or day).
Because no matter what’s happened before – and particularly if it hasn’t been so great – the new start brings with it a chance to try again, to do it differently, to re-set our course, to try something else, to learn, and to influence the outcome we hope for in the way we want.
Now, change also has its difficulties. And so one way of helping it along is to make it really easy for yourself – in fact, so easy that your change cannot help but happen!
Here are five ideas for how to do just that:
1. Set it up so you fall straight into it
One of my clients wanted to create a regular morning running habit in his life. So the evening before his run, he laid out his jogging clothes right next to his bed, so that, in the morning, they would be the first things he saw – reminding him to get running, and also requiring minimum effort to put them on.
He started his running routine gradually, alternating running and walking when he ran out of breath. He made a point of keeping the running pleasant. And as he got more used to it, and got stronger, the time he was able to run for gradually increased.
And he introduced a small reward for when he’d done his running: A cup of tea or coffee and a look through the day’s newspaper in his favourite coffee place.
How could you set yourself up for the activities you need to do in order to create the change you want?
How can you introduce reminders, make time in your diary, make it as easy as possible to get started and to keep going, and reward yourself for doing what you said you would do?
2. Remove distractions
I love writing, but sitting down and actually doing it is not always the easiest thing for me. Particularly, if the ideas and the writing don’t flow, I’ll find myself magnetically drawn to check my emails, tune into Facebook, think about what else I could do, start three other tasks that need doing, make a phone call, or wander into the kitchen to find a snack.
But over time, I have learnt that the more I can remove availability and accessibility of distractions, the easier it is for me to stay with the writing task at hand, get into it, and get it done.
So I close all tabs on my computer, except for those I need for my writing – so there won’t be any email and Facebook ‘pings’ to lure me away. I make a deal with myself not to move on to something else until I have finished my writing. I plan my writing days so I have the right amount of time to do it, and no other pressing deadlines competing with my writing deadline. And I don’t buy any snacks, so I know there’s no point wandering into the kitchen when the writing gets stuck! 🙂
What can you do to avoid being distracted from what you really need to do in order to progress your change?
3. Simplify, simplify, simplify
Whatever it is you want to do in order to create your change: Make it as simple as possible. And then simplify it more.
Want to meditate regularly? Start with 5 minutes a day. Or even 1 minute, if that’s too much. Want to reduce your sugar intake? Start with a quarter teaspoon less sugar in your coffee, then reduce further, in tiny steps, once you’ve got used to that.
Got a bigger change idea, say, moving abroad? Break it down into all the things that need to happen along the way. Pick out the ones that need to happen sooner rather than later. Out of these, pick the simplest one to do, and, if necessary, break it down even further, into something you can do straight away.
Your change still looks big? Think about which parts of it you could take away or even drop. It’s too complex? Get help in structuring, sequencing or ordering your change. Can’t get your head around it? Stop over-thinking it and step away from it for a bit. Then look at it from a distance, and ask yourself: What are the big themes here? What are the 3 most important things that really matter now?
You get the gist.
How could you simplify the change you have in mind?
4. Choose the best possible moment
Say creating your change involves some activities that are necessary, but that you’re not looking forward to: De-cluttering your home. Saying ‘no’ to someone. Updating your CV. Cold-calling someone about work. Asking out someone you admire. The list goes on.
In order to give your change a good chance to actually happen, choose the best possible moment for you to do it. This could be first thing in the morning. At the end of the week end, when you’re most rested. After speaking to an encouraging friend. On a day when you’re not too busy – or on a day when you’re super-busy, and you know that you’ll do it quickly just to get it off your list. Or whatever works for you.
Which change activity are you not looking forward to? Don’t think about it. Choose the best possible moment, and when it comes, just do it.
And to find out how ready you are for change, click here.
5. Buddy up for support and accountability
Working towards any change in your life on your own is tough. It’s very easy to lose your way, get bogged down in difficulties or detail, get discouraged, indefinitely postpone what you wanted to do, or just simply give up.
So find yourself a change buddy. Someone to help you work through your change – a friend, a coach, a mentor. Or someone who’s on a similar journey.
Make your change your priority project that you give focus, time and attention to. Meet often. Tell each other what you’re up to. Discuss issues and brainstorm solutions together. Commit to each other that you will do what you want to do by a certain date. Review and celebrate your progress together.
Science says that having an accountability partner greatly increases your chances of reaching a goal you’ve set yourself:
And I say that it’s more fun, too!
Who do you fancy buddying up with to make your change happen?
Over to you now…
I hope you’ve found these pointers to make your change super-easy useful!
Do let me know your experience in using them. And I’m sure you’ve got your own change strategies, as well!
Thanks for leaving your comments in the box below!
For a little help with those excuses we all make in order not to change…
Read my blog 5 Surefire Ways to Conquer Your Excuses
Or, check out my book ‘What’s Your Excuse for not Living a Life You Love?’ .
Full of supportive, specific inspiration and practical advice on overcoming over 40 different excuses for not living a life you love.
And, by the way:
This book is part of a lovely series:
So, to see more books about excuses in different life areas check out the What’s Your Excuse…? website!
Title Photo: Pixabay
Tree Around Boulder Photo: from Facebook