If you've followed me for any length of time, you know I will pretty much never profess to be an expert at anything. So, if you've stumbled across this, know that I am not claiming to know it all. However, when you've fallen a bazillion times, you can look back & realize you know a bazillion ways something does NOT work. And, from there, you can so much more easily surmise which course is the best course when it comes to how to make changes that actually last. Do you feel me?
That's where I am. And it's not to say I haven't had plenty of success too! I just wanted to start out with a clear understanding of who I am in relation to who you probably are. It's likely we aren't so much different. The only thing that separates us is that you're just now searching for the answer to this problem & I did it just a bit ago. I'm only a short bit ahead of you in line, so to speak.
I started seeking out how to make changes that actually last.
So, just a few days ago, Rachel Hollis started her annual challenge called #Last90Days. The object of it, as I understand it, is to end the year as strong as possible so, when the new year comes around, you're not starting from scratch with your goals. You've already got a jump start & great momentum built up!
Plus, by commiting to something for a full 90 days, you're forming a new life-long habit if you actually stick to it. You're, presumably, making choices that'll lead to a healthier, happier YOU. And, in turn, a healthier, happier YOU will make your loved ones & everyone around you happier & healthier too. So, I took the principles behind this challenge & pulled them out to apply to anything you want to change. Could this be how to make changes that actually last?
When YOU thrive, those around you thrive as well.
It's contagious. And, the same is true about all the different facets of your life. When one area of your life is elevated, the others begin to improve too. That is, they will improve too if you're improving through healthy choices. Obviously, if you're being destructive, that'll be just as contagious. So choose wisely, right?
Anyway, I digress. I really believe this is how to make changes that actually last.
Make changes you actually want to make.
Let yourself dream. Close your eyes. Envision the YOU who would exist without all the obstacles that have been placed in your path. What would life be like? Who are you in five years? Ten years? What's your health like? Your family? House? How's your career? Everything. Picture it all. Then write it down. Don't lose that vision. Pull some dreams & goals from that. Then you'll know it's something you REALLY want.
Create concrete goals.
Don't stop at the dreaming part. Dreams are necessary. And, I recommend doing it often. It's healthy & fun & totally productive — if you remember to do this next step. Pick at least one of those dreams & turn it into a goal.
A goal is a dream set into motion.
Give that dream a plan! It's not enough to say you're going to make money at home, for instance. You could spend $300 & make $1 back & technically that goal would have been met. A much BETTER goal would be to say you would like to add $300 to your family's income through your home business each month by January.
Make sure those goals are specific, measurable, & reachable with a deadline.
Notice that last example. ” I would like to add $300 [measurable] to my family's income through my home business [specific] profit each month by January [deadline].” As far as the “reachable” requirement goes? That part is relative. I totally believe adding $300 on a monthly basis is a reachable goal in three months time for a home business. BUT, it depends on your circumstances, your choice of business, how you're getting started, & a number of other variables.
In fact, you can do much more than that under the right circumstances! (Of course, you could do way less too.) If you're not sure, I advise consulting someone who has done it to get a realistic idea of what it takes to achieve the goals you have in mind. Then decide if it's an appropriate goal for you.
Write down your goals every day.
Some people say, write down your goals & put them in a place you'll see them every day. I can tell you, that's helpful — for a while. But, there does come a point when you just gloss it over. It becomes part of the ‘background.' You've seen it so much before, it loses it's pizazz, y'know?
BUT, if you want to know how to make changes that actually last, make a habit of actually WRITING DOWN your goal every single day, it stays fresh in your mind. You have to actively think about it again. Your brain goes back to that vision you had of your dreams. Take it a step further & write your goals down as if you've already achieved them — in present tense: “I am adding $300 or more every month to my family's income through my home based business!”
Actually put your goals to work.
It's not enough to write down your goals every day. Pick something each day to actually do in order to bring you closer to realizing those goals. You want to know how to make changes that will actually last? Do the work. Break your goal down into actionable steps & do those steps every day.
Put accountability measures into place.
Accountability is having consequences when you don't do what you're supposed to do. The thing is, it's hard to hold ourselves accountable. I totally get it. But, part of being successful means that we have to hold ourselves accountable on our own sometimes.
Sometimes. But, you want to know how to make changes that actually last, right? So, don't try to do it alone! Pick an accountability partner — or group of people — who is going along the same or similar path as you. Choose someone who can empathize with your ups & downs, but will not be too soft when you need a kick in the rear, y'know? But, also, choose people who you can do those things for too. Make it a two-way street. You learn just as much from helping & teaching as you do from learning sometimes!
Review your progress regularly.
Every so often, take a slight pause & evaluate how you're doing. Are you making progress? Are the actionable steps you lined out actually getting you closer to your goals? Did the goals you identified actually line up with the DREAM you envisioned?
It's okay to make changes to your plan. It's your DREAM you're heading toward, remember? You want to know how to make changes that actually last? Don't get so fixated on a particular path or method or tool that you get lost & forget that your REAL objective is to make your dreams a reality…
You've got this, beautiful!