Is there an area of your life where you’d like to see different results, or where you’d like to create something completely new? While evolution or resolution can occur on its own, we often need to actively participate in initiating change in order for our desired outcomes to occur.
Know where you stand.
Take an honest, non-critical look at yourself in this moment. In an area of your life that you feel needs work, what do you consider is going well and not going well, and why? Before you make a meaningful change, it’s beneficial to know what you’re working with—your starting point. For example, in a house remodel, you would need to have a clear picture of the blueprint, room dimensions, and foundation in order to know how to successfully plan for and make changes to the structure. Look at your situation with as much objectivity as possible.
Brainstorm how change might happen.
What steps could you take now to facilitate change? If you are unhappy with your job, and you’ve noted the pros and cons, what kinds of actions are you willing to take in order to have a better experience? Is it taking a job at another company with a more supportive work environment? Is it staying at your current job and working on the relationships with your boss, co-workers, or clients by using a different approach?
Stop being hindered by what you think is possible or likely to happen. Imagine the most desirable outcome and then ask yourself ‘what am I willing to shift in order to get that result?’ It is important that you take responsibility for creating the change you want. If other people are involved in order for your desired outcome to manifest, perhaps some shift in YOU (attitude, interaction level or style, perception, etc.) will affect others and cause a result in the same direction.
All thought and no action usually does not turn into forward momentum. No matter how small, take one of the steps that you think is needed for your desired change. If that one step seems too overwhelming, then take a half step. Any size step will help guide you on your way.
Suppose you want a more enjoyable work environment and believe that would be supported by strengthening the relationship with one of your co-workers. An action step may be to make more of an effort to engage that person daily in conversation. Through talking daily, you can learn what their interests are and what’s important to them, which will increase your understanding of them, and make the other person feel more connected to you. Over time you might invite this person to an event outside of work that they’d enjoy, in order to have a chance to develop the relationship further.
Evaluate your results.
If your actions fall short of your expectations, instead of seeing it as a loss or mistake, consider it a learning opportunity as you found out what didn’t work. Knowing what doesn’t work is as important as knowing what does. If your action garnered positive results, decide if you will continue the action or if a new and different step is called for.
Most often, one action step—even a huge one—is just the beginning. To reach your goal you will want to continue the process of evaluation, action and re-evaluation. As this is a meaningful change for you, it will be worth your effort. Be patient, recognize your progress, and enjoy the journey.