As a business coach, mastermind leader, and speaker, the core of what I do is lead change. I often hear from my clients and colleagues that they are feeling stuck—not necessarily unhappy, just a bit stale or unmotivated—and they are not sure where to start. My answer is almost always some version of the same thought: different actions are the key to different results.
It’s deceptively simple. So why do so many of us struggle with change? Over the years I’ve read books, watched TED talks, interviewed people, and sought out the answer to this question. Overwhelmingly, the answer is that change is simply uncomfortable. The good news is that most people who have successfully made massive changes report that it was much easier than anticipated, and they wonder why they didn’t make the move sooner.
I’ve compiled my top three tips for driving changes to your actions so that you can begin to see different, more desirable, results.
Channel your Inner Twisted Sister
I might be dating myself here, but do you remember the 80’s classic We’re not Going to Take it by Twisted Sister? It’s a song about being fed up. While being completely fed up is not the most desirable state, it is a great impetus to create change in our lives.
I recently had a moment of being fed up, and it was the motivation I needed to change my behavior to see different results.
For the past six years, I have not been at a healthy weight. I have some health complications that make this difficult for me, but I reached a point where I could not just continue doing the same things I had done in the past.
So I made a plan and put it into action. For the diet, I started making conscious choices and tracking my food intake. As for the exercise, I hired a personal trainer who also is a Muay Thai boxer—they are about as tough as you can get. Before we started, she made it clear to me that she will not train someone who is not 100% committed to results and working hard. I said yes.
I can’t say the workouts are fun, but she constantly moves me out of my comfort zone and turns me into a sweaty mess. Early results are in, and I feel way better, do pushups in commercial breaks, have built muscles that I didn’t know I had, and am down fifteen pounds.
Talk is cheap: if you are pissed off, do something about it. And start today.
Shake it Up!
Your regular habits are creating the results that you are seeing, so you’re going to have to get outside your comfort zone.
Thomas Leonard, a pioneer in the coaching field has done a ton of work on the Nine Environments of You. In short, everything is an environment: your thoughts, the people you spend time with, your health, your home/work space.
Make a decision to change your environment, starting now. Here are a few ways to start:
- Try a new morning routine for 30 days. Incorporate things that move you closer to your goals. Reading, exercise, and meditation are great ways to start your day. Make it a habit for 30 days.
- Want to be healthier? Hang out with people that support that goal. Running groups and local gyms are a great place to start.
Always wanted to start your own business? Read books like the $100 Start Up, and seek out events for entrepreneurs.
- Think about what changes you want to see in your life, and then question the environment you’ve created around those aspects. Even a simple change can have powerful results.
Involve a Buddy
Most of us are better at keeping our commitments to others than we are at keeping them with ourselves. A scheduled call, lunch meeting, or appointment is a lot easier to attend than an appointment you made with yourself to go to the gym. External accountability makes a big difference—and you can use it to your advantage!
I’ve played team sports all my life, and the desire to not let my teammates down is a big motivator. Leaving my warm house on a cold night to go to the gym alone is very challenging. Leaving the house to play hockey, knowing that my team needs me, is much easier.
To get started, pick a goal, and then pick a friend to help keep you on track for that goal (this works best if you do the same for them).
I get it. Change is challenging and intimidating. These three strategies should help you break the change down into actionable steps that you can try today! Remember that your current behaviors are getting you the results you’re seeing—to see a change you will have to make a change.
The good news is that even a small change can yield massive results. So what are you waiting for?