Do you aspire to do things differently or make changes for the better but end up making excuses and doing nothing? Changing habits is about making a commitment to changing our behaviour or actions in areas that are important to us, such as health, money, work and relationships. It’s about identifying what you’d like to improve and taking manageable steps towards making this change.
I’ve written previously on the topic of procrastination and wanted to expand on this with some more strategies to get you moving forward. To get you thinking about how you can make a change, here are five questions to ask yourself:
- What is my goal?
- What is preventing me from getting started?
- How do I overcome these obstacles?
- What tools and resources will I need?
- What are my tasks, milestones and timelines in reaching my goal?
Once you’ve set your goal you need to take it seriously. Writing down and working through the above five questions can help you visualise your journey and make it more meaningful. Keeping a journal can be helpful to track your progress, record your thoughts and feelings, list questions and document any research and ideas. Sharing your progress with a careers coach can help with reflecting, brainstorming and keeping on track.
When I work with job seekers we agree on action points to be completed by our next meeting. This provides a focus and is motivating when discussing the completed tasks and outcomes. Setting up a routine is part of creating momentum with the things that matter.
I recently set myself a goal to improve my diet and fitness, and with the help of a Health Coach, the tasks I set each fortnight have been within my reach. I could have decided to join a gym or a netball team, but realistically, I know I wouldn’t commit to either of these activities. By choosing manageable tasks that incorporate exercise into my daily routine, I haven’t needed to make radical changes to my lifestyle.
It’s also about having self-trust in taking these steps. Check out another post of mine about backing yourself and having the confidence to try new things. Whether it’s putting your hand up for extra challenges at work or enrolling in a training course, you need to believe in yourself to make things happen.
A year ago I was supporting a client through her career transition. After a solid career in environmental consulting she had decided to change paths. Her goal was to work as a Technical Writer/Editor. The steps she took were to research this type of work and what was required in the role. She joined an editing industry group and signed up with recruiters in this field. She tailored her resume towards this role – highlighting relevant skills and undertook online training courses to build on the skills needed. She also secured volunteer work as an editor. It wasn’t long before my client was being invited to interviews and was offered the role of Technical Writer. My client saw the value in making this change in her career and her commitment to making it happen has paid off.
If you find yourself drifting along in the hope that things will change, they probably won’t. Unless you act on your dreams, they might only be wishful thinking.