Making Change Happen

Making ChangesMany of us want to make a change in some area of our lives. Whether our goal is to get organized or launch a business, it is critical that we craft an environment which will keep us moving forward. Without sustained motivation, we are likely to give up! Below are some key factors which either help and hinder progress. By answering the suggested questions you’ll be able to identify steps you can take to enhance your odds of success.

Change Agents

1. STRONG DESIRE: We aren’t likely to change any area of our lives which is peaceful and satisfying.

 “Is change something I really want? Is it my desire or am I feeling pressure from an external source?”

2. CLEAR DEFINITION OF GOALS: It’s impossible to attain a specific goal if we haven’t clearly articulated what the goal is. A large/vague goal can be intimidating, so break it down into smaller pieces.

“How would I describe success? Do I have a clear list of accomplishments I hope to attain? Are they specific enough for me to know without a doubt when I have reached them?”

3. WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT: Setbacks are inevitable whenever we step out on a new path. Having positive voices in our ears keep us going.

“Are there people in my life who support me in this endeavor? Have I asked them to support me with words, emails, phone calls… or whatever is most helpful to me?”

4. ACCOUNTABILITY: Few people have the ability to go it completely alone. Inviting another person to “check in” keeps us moving forward.

“Who can turn I trust to ‘nudge me’ on those days when I feel like giving up? Have I asked for his/her help?”

5. PROGRESS: Few things are as motivating as seeing progress toward a goal. Achieving milestones along the way provides concrete evidence of success.

“How will I track my progress… numbers? sizes? days? other?”

Change Hurdles

1. OVERWHELM: When we can’t even see the top of the mountain, we are often reluctant to start the climb.

“How can I break this goal down into manageable pieces so I can find my way through to the next step?”

2. FEAR OF FAILURE: Fear is perhaps the most powerful emotion we encounter. Acknowledge that fear should be expected, and remember that failure is a healthy sign of effort. (It’s easy to avoid failure from the sidelines.)

“What am I really afraid of… being embarrassed? trying again and failing? What can I do differently to ensure a different outcome? If I get off track, how will I get back on?”

3. WORDS OF CRITICISM: When we take a risk to change our lives, others often try to discourage us. Sometimes it is because they are content with the status quo, and sometimes it is because they are jealous of our courage.

“Whom can I expect to discourage me on this journey? How will I respond when this happens? How can I minimize the volume of this voice in my life?”

4. COMPARING OURSELVES TO OTHERS: We come to our challenges from different life experiences. Even if we pursue similar ends, our courses won’t look the same.  Comparison is a quick road to feeling insufficient… a major enthusiasm killer.

“To whom do I have tendency to compare myself? Why do I do this? How can I remind myself that another’s situation is irrelevant to the goal I want to achieve?”

5. PROCRASTINATION: One of the best ways to avoid failure is to avoid starting. However, delaying often exacerbates problems, causing stress to rise.

“Have I been avoiding making this change? Why? Do I need to pursue professional assistance to keep me on track or provide needed expertise?”

6. UNFINISHED PROJECTS: Seeing past initiatives we’ve begun sitting around in a state of incompletion sends the message “I can’t.”

“Are there any projects I could finish now to build my confidence? Am I willing to commit to finishing whatever I start from this time forward?”

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Change is well within your grasp. It may be challenging, frustrating, and time consuming, but the will to change, coupled with the right environment, offers limitless possibility.

What do you do to keep motivated?


(photo credit:, Salvatore Vuono)