Our top 10 tips for making changes
1). Want the change:
We all have things we feel we ‘should’ change, or what we think someone else wants us to change. For change to be really effective it has to be what YOU want. Spending some time really exploring this. What do you want and what are you changing for?
2). Know what you have control over:
We can’t control other people, we only have control over ourselves and what actions we take. In the change you want, what do you have control over? We all have things we tell ourselves ‘I couldn’t do that because I’m too X’. Are you being honest with yourself or is it something that keeps you in your comfort zone.
3). Be precise and have a goal:
What exactly do you want to change? If you can think of a broad change you want e.g. ‘I want a better relationship with my mum’ or ‘I want to feel good about myself’, take that and break it down. What exactly and realistically would give you what you want? Would it be spending 20 minutes a week actively listening and talking to each other? Or would spending 20 minutes a day learning a new skill boost your confidence?
4). Really consider the positive impact it will have on you:
Picture yourself in a couple of days/weeks/months after having made that change. What is different? How has it made you feel? What has it enabled you to do it? How has it affected your relationships? How do you feel about yourself?
5). What is getting in your way?:
Picture the barriers that might stop you from getting what you want, you could even draw it out and draw your paths around or through the obstacles. For example; ‘I don’t have time’ – work out exactly how much time you would need to make this change, draw a pie chart of what takes up your time during the week. See what you can move around and where you can fit in your new goal.
6). Don’t get in your own way:
As humans we are designed to look for the easiest way to do things, to feel comfortable. Your brain will give you 5000 different reasons not the make the changes you want; ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’, ‘What’s the point because I will still be X’, ‘I can’t do it now because something else in my day has changed’. Acknowledge how you are feeling, picture how you will feel having completed your goal, especially when you felt you didn’t want to. Do it anyway.
7). Don’t be afraid to get it wrong:
This one is easier said than done. Fear of failure and of looking stupid is a big thing to ignore. If it happens, talk about what went wrong with yourself the way you would a friend. Would you laugh? What would you say to your best friend who just did what you did knowing how hard it was for them? What did you learn from it? Did it give you any ideas for next time? Be kind to yourself and others, as humans we have an awesome ability to change, we also have an awesome ability to make mistakes. That is okay. And if you see someone else trying to make changes, help them.
8). Acknowledge the positives:
It can be very easy to spend all of our time thinking about what we don’t have or do. Change takes time and is built from the steps we take and it is important to acknowledge those steps, at the end of each week write a list of what positives you did/said/thought.
9). Think of reaching your goal like steps:
If you miss one or fall down a couple don’t write it off. Pick yourself back up and take the next step. For example; if you get into conflict with your family member or partner and you said you would take ten minutes' space before the argument can escalate and you didn’t, this doesn’t mean you can’t or you won’t. Look at the situation, where could I have changed things? What prevented me from taking the time? How can I do it differently next time.
10). Use your emotions:
Making changes might come with a lot of emotions, anger, sadness or happiness. Channel that frustration or that positivity. Sit with your emotions honestly and think what is making me feel this way? What do I need from myself now?