I want you to reflect on something today….Look back at your life over the last 5 months since January. Have you made any changes? You probably wanted to, am I right? Those damned New Year’s Resolutions that I hate so much. How about since last year at this time? Have you made any changes over the last year? What about in the last 5 years? What changes have you made? And have they lasted?
When I think back to the last few months, a lot has actually shifted and changed in my life. Because of certain small shifts that I’ve been making, I’m actually my most peaceful, more harmonious and calm self that I’ve ever been. Just in these last few months. And when I think back to the last few years….wow. The changes in my life have been remarkable.
But none of them happen overnight.
None of them happened by accident.
We change by choice…..it’s not just my brand and my business, but it’s really the root of how I live my life. 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. Break it down and simplify things.
It's about one choice at a time.
Sounds simple….and it is. But complicated at the same time….because this is LIFE. Life is complicated. It’s never a simple path, it’s never as easy as it looks on paper. But that’s okay; that’s what makes life so interesting and where our best lessons and stories and memories come from. That’s all part of the richness of our lives.
So how DO we make change in our life?
Yes, it starts with our choices.
In the latest episode of the Change by Choice show, let’s take it a few steps farther. I’ll break down for you what I feel are the 3 crucial pieces to creating lasting change in your life. Listen to episode 48 here: http://bit.ly/CHANGEbyCHOICEpodcast
Whether you want change in your relationships, health, career, self-love, finances, 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 and as we age and as the world around us changes.
Think about your world. What is coming up for you right now? What is an area where you’re frustrated? Feel like you’re hitting the wall? Where you really want a change to happen, and maybe you feel like you’ve been working really hard at it, but it’s just not happening?
Maybe it’s a weight loss or health goal.
Changing how you communicate with your spouse.
Fixing a toxic relationship.
Becoming a calmer, more present parent to your children.
Increasing your profit within your business.
Gaining more influence within your profession.
We all have our “thing” that’s top of mind right now that we are hoping to change. So how do we get there?
1 - Small Steps
This may not be what you want to hear...but the only way, truly, to achieve lasting change in your life is by taking small steps. It seems counter-intuitive; when the change you want already seems so far away that taking these baby steps to get there just seems pointless and as if you’ll never get there. 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. Easy example: you want to start waking up earlier so that you have some time for yourself and some self-care in the mornings. You decide that tomorrow you’re starting; so instead of setting your alarm for 7am, you set it for 5. What happens in the morning? You’re excited about these new changes, so you’re up at 5 and you do your thing. Tomorrow? You snooze the alarm until 7:15. You start making excuses as to why you can’t get up at 5am that day and why you deserve the extra sleep. Nothing changes.
What would happen if you started by waking up 5-10 minutes early? And working on that habit for a few weeks? And then once that was ingrained, build on that and wake up 20 minutes early. You get the picture. 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, or a friend, or 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 and you can work on it together. 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. And when we have attachment to something, and we don’t get the outcome we were hoping for, we feel disappointment, anger, 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 also 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 where you really should be getting at the root of the issue by making small, sustainable changes? What types of people and 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.
It goes beyond just our own lives. Our world and our communities need to shift, but in order for that to happen we all need to be committed to change. We need to commit to becoming the best versions of ourselves and putting forth great energy that is going to help others make those shifts in their lives as well. We are part of something bigger than ourselves and our choices have effects on our surroundings. It matters what we do, how we show up and the changes we choose to make in our lives. And if we all do our part, eventually that tipping point in the world will happen. It starts with every single person making those small, consistent changes over time. But ultimately, that is your choice to make.
None of this is easy; but it’s so worth it. Trust in the process. Find gratitude everyday for the steps you are making to help you push forward in the times that don’t feel great.
And if you really want to develop a strong mindset to help you create change in your life, I invite you to become an EDGE Insider. We are doing a live training call with Q&A this month based all around mindset and tips to help you activate more change within your life, your relationships and your business; this would be a perfect time to jump in! You can check out the details here: https://charlotte-ferreux.mykajabi.com/p/theedgeinsider