Look back at your life over the last few weeks, months, and years. What changes have you made? What changes did you hope you would have made?
When I think back to this past year, a lot has actually changed because of certain small shifts that I’ve been making, When I think back to the last few years…wow! The changes in my life have been remarkable.
But none of them happened overnight.
None of them happened by accident.
We change by choice. When you want to change – it’s just a series of choices. When you don’t want to change – you don’t make those choices.
One choice at a time.
Sounds simple…and it is. But it’s complicated at the same time, because this is LIFE. It’s never a simple path or as easy as it looks on paper.
But that’s okay; that’s what makes life so interesting and where our best lessons, stories, and memories come from. That’s all part of the richness of our lives.
So how DO we make change in our life?
Here are the three crucial pieces to creating lasting change in your life.
Whether you want change in your relationships, health, career, self-love, finances, or freedom….these simple steps apply. So let’s start to dig into this…because I’m sure that not a day goes by where you don’t want some kind of change to happen. It’s part of our evolution and growth as humans; we are constantly changing as we learn, as we age, and as the world around us changes.
1 – Small Steps
The only way to achieve lasting change in your life is by taking small steps. It seems counterintuitive; when the change you want already seems so far away that taking these baby steps to get there would be enough. It feels impossible.
Here’s where you really need to trust in the process. Break it down into a series of small steps and small changes. It’s all about the compound effect; when you implement small steps, consistently over the long term, it eventually leads to a point where things start to tip. You can make huge, drastic changes overnight…but they’re not going to be lasting changes. They aren’t going to be changes you can keep up with in your life because you haven’t trained your behaviours and your mindset to be on board with those changes yet. The result? Nothing changes.
Small changes are sustainable, they are manageable and they build to those big changes that you want. It takes patience and trusting the process.
2 – Support
We are only as strong as the people around us; make sure you are surrounding yourself with like-minded, supportive individuals. Surround yourself with the right people who want nothing but the best for you and who can support you on your journey.
Life isn’t meant to be navigated alone. Collaboration, support, and encouragement from the people around us plays such a huge role. Find an accountability partner, a friend, a support group or a coach who can help you. Find someone who has made the change before and can give you their tips, or find someone with the same goal that you can work towards. Strength exists in numbers. When you’re feeling frustrated and like you want to throw in the towel, that’s when you need to rely on the support of the people around you. That’s what will keep you going and keep you pushing forward towards the changes you want to make in your life.
3 – Manage your Expectations
It’s a dangerous game when we have expectations for ourselves because expectations bring attachment. When we have attachment to something and we don’t get the outcome we were hoping for, we feel disappointment, anger, and frustration. Those feelings work completely against us; instead of pushing forward, we regress even farther back than where we started.
Manage your expectations for yourself and be clear, but also very realistic about what it is you’re trying to work towards. If you have a baby who’s waking up 2-3 times per night, it just might not be realistic for you, in this time of your life, to wake up at 5am everyday for some self-care time.
We can have huge goals and dreams and these big changes that we want in our lives. I’m not at all saying you should play small here. What I am saying, is to dream big but be realistic when it comes to your life, your time, and your individual circumstances. Set yourself up to succeed by working towards changes that are within the realm of your possibility. With my example of the mom with a baby, it’s not to say that you’ll NEVER be the person who wakes up at 5am daily; it’s just not in your current realm of possibility with babies who don’t sleep through the night.
I hope you can take that analogy and apply it to whatever area of life you are in right now.
Take a scan of your life right now and go through your different life arenas. Where are you looking for a quick fix when you really should be getting at the root of the issue by making small, sustainable changes? What types of people, support, and tools can you connect with to help keep you accountable and motivated to push forward through the difficult times? And are you being clear and realistic with yourself in terms of what you’re trying to achieve? Or are you setting yourself up for failure by setting these goals that are just out of reach in this current state of your life?
Your life is a marathon, not a sprint. There’s going to bumps along the way and that’s okay because that’s where you learn, change, and grow. That’s the process of evolution to get to the best version of yourself. And it doesn’t happen overnight.