Shift Happens (or not)
OK…big confession here…I am probably the worst at taking my own advice. It’s real easy to give you advice…eat this, don’t eat that…set goals and do it this way…thinks this way or that…try this, look at that. You should do this because blah, blah, blah. Is that what you hear when you talk to yourself? Blah, blah, blah? Remember when you were getting the lecture from dad? Blah, blah, blah. Maybe your boss yesterday…blah, blah, blah.
Maybe when you read this, you might think…wow that’s a really good idea but then it disappears into the background hum of your everyday life. The get up and get out the door, grab your coffee, feed the kids and the dogs and get yourself to work day to day things. And those good or even great ideas fade away and go to dust.
I do the same thing…I have a great idea…I should write about that…that would make a great Sunday Story but I don’t write it down. Poof it’s gone. Never seems to come back. And every time it happens I say I am going to write it down next time and yet I never seem to do it.
At what point do we make the shift? At what point does the pain of staying in our pain, of maintaining the status quo become less than the pain of changing. Because change is hard. Well, maybe not hard. Not hard like carrying 5 gallons of water 3 miles so your family can drink, cook and bathe hard but uncomfortable hard. Change is something we humans are loathe to do, even when we know that change is the right thing to do.
How many people do we know that say…I should eat better…I should quit smoking…I should exercise more...I need to go back to school? And when we see them again 3 or 6 months later we hear the same lament, the same wishing and dreaming. And nothing changes nothing gets done.
What is it going to take to get you to do the things you already know that you need to do? What is going to be the push? What is going to be the impetus, the motivator, the kick in the pants that gets you moving in the direction you know you need to move to?
Sometimes we get an external wake up call. The doctor calls with some very bad news…your test results came in and we need to talk. You wake up in the hospital with tubes and stuff hanging out of your body. You wake up in jail. You are involved in a very bad car accident. All of these things can be a clarion call, a blaring trumpet’s ring for you to wake up, for you to get moving in a different direction. At that point the reality of the pain and suffering you are causing yourself weighs in and you decide to shift the scale.
So how do you start shifting, changing, metamorphosing before you get some really bad news? How do we start listening to what the universe is telling us before it screams so loud we can’t ignore us?
First you decide to change. You make the really big decision to make a shift, to become something new.
Second you set the goal and you write it down. IF you don’t write it down it isn’t real yet. It only exists in your head and we all know how easy it is to lose things up there. Write your goals down on paper using a pen. Then type them up if you want. Take it even further and draw pictures or create a vision board of what it is you setting your sights on.
You make it measurable…I will weigh 158 pounds by May 1st. You have to be able to measure it to manage it. If you can’t figure out how to measure your progress, how will you know when you reach your target? If I don’t have a destination in mind for my trip I will never know when I get where I am going.
You make sure it is doable…don’t try to lose 100 pounds in 30 days, or be marathon ready in 45 days, or drop your cholesterol down 50 points in two weeks. Some things are not doable based on the reality of the world we live in. Some things are a physical impossibility. So set goals that are doable.
Third you create a plan. A road map, an instruction book to follow and refer back to. Thomas Edison did not try 1000 identical ways to invent the light bulb. He had a goal and he tracked the results. He stayed with the process until the goal was achieved.
Fourth you enlist the help and support of your friends and compatriots. Sometimes we over look this important step. You can also enlist the help of the people who are not always in your corner. You know the ones I am talking about…the people who always say…”you’ll never be able to do that.” Those groups of people who always seem to bring you back down and seem to have some sort of stake in seeing you maintain your status quo. The ones for whom your change is scary…maybe because if you do it then they might have to do it as well. Those people can help motivate and keep you on task because you really don’t want to hear their jeers.
Lastly and most importantly…take the first step. Get started. Don’t research it to death. You don’t need to know everything you just need to know enough to take the first step. Started is more than ½ done. Don’t be a victim of paralysis by analysis.
You know what you need to do. You are powerful beyond measure. You just need to decide to embrace the powerful pain of change. Just as the caterpillar becomes a butterfly you too get to create something else with your life. The beauty of the thing is that you are the captain of your own destiny; your life is a ship whose destination is in your hands. So where are you going to go? What are you going to become?
For me I am going to start taking my own advice. The same advice and counsel I give here and to my clients. Shift Happens.
“Teaching Focus, Inspiring Transformation”