It is a rainy, blustery day here in Sonoma County. As I sit and look out of my home office window I am reminded again of continual change. The leaves on the trees have turned to beautiful Autumn colors and are falling on the ground. Along with the rain the grass is becoming green again after a long hot summer. The change of seasons bring the thought of changes in my own life, what do I want to do next on my ever-growing list? What will I do to pursue personal growth over the next few months?
Identifying what is next and then taking the following steps will help me to get where I want to go one step at a time.
1. Start Simple: Make a simple statement of what it is that you want to accomplish, remember the word “simple” the more complicated you make things the less likely you will make the change. “I want to improve my communication skills.”
2. Be Realistic: This goes right along with the first step, you want to have better communication skills, but lets say you are super shy, you need to take that in to consideration with what your expectation might be. Be realistic with what you can accomplish.
3. Belief: If you do not believe that you can accomplish your goal, nor have the drive too, it will not happen. You need to be able to see yourself actually doing what your set goal is for you to do.
4. Have a Strategy: How is this going to happen? Magic? No, you need to have a step-by-step plan of what you can do and are willing to do to accomplish this specific goal. Write it out, think it out, live it out!
5. Commitment: Are you committed to making this happen in your life? Only you know for sure. No one like to fail, so weighing your desire versus your commitment to following it through is serious.
6. Rewards: Give yourself rewards for the baby steps that you are taking to make positive changes in your life. If you have ever raised children you know that you cannot make effective changes without small rewards on the way to completing their goal. I remember potting training my kids and having a bag of M&Ms next to the potty to give them for rewards as they were successful each time they made it to the bathroom. Find what motivates you to continue working towards your goal and set mini-goal-steps to reward yourself as you travel along the road to successfully reaching your big goal.
Continual growth and change in our life is good for us. Having small or large goals keeps us moving ahead to become the person we ultimately see ourselves being. It is never too late to pick something new to challenge us to become the best that we can.