Change starts with action

“I have always dreamt of…”  My second favourite conversations start with those five little words.  The conversations usually occur at a time in our lives when we realise we are no longer satisfied with what we have created and start asking ourselves “there must be some other way.”

There seems to be a path that many of us have followed without stopping to ask “is this really what I want?” The path goes something like this: high school, university, travel, first real job, buy a car, better job-maybe even a dream job, buy a house, now stuck in job for life to pay off the house (especially if you live in Vancouver).  In fact I recently heard of a popular sport and entertainment firm buying their young agents Ferraris.  Realizing that the neighbourhoods these agents live in no longer fit their Ferraris they then trade up to bigger houses and bigger mortgages-tying themselves to their jobs for life.

So the question is if you know you are no longer satisfied in your career how do you go about making a change? It starts with realizing that you are in control. Things like mortgages, kids and fear can all be managed.  The hardest thing to navigate is what do you want?  The easy answer if you don’t know what you want; hire a coach. You knew that was coming!

Presuming you do know what you want continue to start with the end in mind.  At Better Your Best it’s called “create your champagne moments.” These are the movies we play in our head around the things that we want.  A pinnacle champagne moment in sport is hearing your national anthem played as you stand on a podium.  If you aren’t an athlete what’s your equivalent?  Having a strong vision of what we want to achieve accomplishes two things.  It makes it compelling and resonant so that the dream almost pulls us towards it and secondly it allows us to know when we achieved it.  The sum of all of your champagne moments in all areas of your life is the definition of success.

The next step is making a plan. Yes write your goals down.  We all know how important this is but I have yet to have a client who creates perfect SMART goals after the first edit.  Typically the goals are not specific enough and almost always do not have a good time frame for completion.

A quick reminder that SMART stands for: specific, measurable, achievable, resonant and time sensitive.  Review these goals monthly.  Put them in a place where you will look at them every day.  Keep them alive. Goals are organic and can change that is why they need to be reviewed constantly.

Next identify any perceived or real obstacles as well as fears.  These are unfortunate by-products of change.  We often create stories around why things won’t work out or aren’t worth pursuing but challenge yourself to equally see the opposite of what you believe to be true. Make a list, acknowledge the fears and obstacle and then create strategies for overcoming each one.  When it comes to overcoming a fear imagine what the worst possible situation could be by asking yourself “and then what, and then what.”  You’ll probably notice that no matter what you can handle it.

Take care of the little things-like mindset.  You can choose to let negatives stories about what you believe take over the thoughts in your head but instead choose a champions mindset.  Choose to stay positive, set your intention for the outcome, trust your intuition and get busy working at what you can control.

Once you have done everything you can around the things you control step back and watch what happens.  There has been much written about how the universe conspires to give us what we want.  Whether you believe in “the Law of Attraction” or “the Secret” or just love Paulo Coelho’s book “the Alchemist” chances are if the change is made for the right reasons and honors your values you will succeed.

My favourite conversations start with “you aren’t going to believe my latest champagne moment!”


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