The Mightiest Results Can Happen From The Littlest Changes

Don’t Wait, Do It Now!

Every year I post a version of this in late December. However, I agree with Cedric the Entertainer, “If it’s something you want to do with your life and you’re waiting for New Year’s Eve to decide…you’re not going to do it then either. But, if there’s something you want to change about yourself, you might as well do it now.”

We are excited to get started on everything we want to do in the New Year. Then January arrives, and with its bills, work, more work, and issues put on hold for the holidays.  A resolution to make changes turns into “perhaps I will start tomorrow…or maybe next week!”  Old habits are hard to break, and procrastination rules.

I suggest small, tiny changes rather than big, enormous ones. They can reap remarkable results when you decide what the highest priority of your challenges is. Then determine your first action. Is it working? Do you need to tweak it or do something else you feel would be better? Then, once it is put in place and working well, put in place your following action. Finally, continue until you have met that first goal.

 Small Steps Can Lead To A Great Life!

Successful people know that changing habits of thinking and behavior (those which aren’t getting them where they want to be) require making changes one small step at a time.  Figuring out those first steps takes patience, planning, and purpose.  As you begin taking these small steps, you will find yourself noticing opportunities you had not thought of initially, which can be both fun and exciting!

Keep in mind that beginning a new goal or changing a habit can start at any time. So don’t make waiting until the beginning of next week, next month, or the New Year an excuse for not starting a new goal today.  Any time is a good time to make your life better, but you gotta wanta!

Where Do I Want To Go From Here?

Here’s an approach I use when plotting any new course. First, schedule a meeting(s) with yourself and mark a time to think through the following steps in your calendar. Remember, you are as important as everyone else. Make time for yourself!

Step 1.  Reviewing what you have accomplished in the previous months will give you a snapshot of how far you’ve come in achieving your goals, as well as any course corrections needed.  Hold this review as often as you need.  What works for you?

Questions to Ask Yourself:

  • On a scale of 1% to 100%, where do I feel I am accomplishing my goals?
  • Am I still energized and excited by these goals? If not, why not?
  • What are the 25 things I am most proud of that I have accomplished this past year?
  • What are three things I have learned about myself?
  • What motivates me?
  • How did I sabotage myself?
  • What would I have done differently, and what did I learn from it?
  • Finally, how will I celebrate my growth?

Step 2.  Determine if you want to continue in the direction you have set, or are your experience and insights taking you in a new direction?

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Does my goal still energize me, or does it feel like a burden?
  • If it has become a burden, what is my resistance? Fear (of what?)  Don’t know how to proceed?  Or have my desires changed?

Step 3.  Project yourself 12 months ahead:

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What would I want to have accomplished, learned, grown, acquired?
  • How will I have changed – habits of thinking/habits of behavior?
  • How would I like others to perceive me?
  • What do I want more of?
  • What do I want to eliminate or reduce in my life?

Step 4.  Update/create goals for this year.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Are there any changes I want to make to my career plan?
  • For each new goal, what are five things that will be different if I achieve it?
  • How will I be different from having achieved my goals?
  • How compelling and exciting is this goal? But, if it is a mere flicker, do I want to do this?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being most committed, how committed am I for starting/completing this goal? If it is a six or less, evaluate whether or not you want to go for this goal.

When you create a goal, use solid and exciting words that describe what you want. The description must be compelling and motivating.  Write them down.  Research has proven that people who write down their goals and strategies are highly likely to achieve their goals and exceed them by building on each success through different objectives.  Example goals are “I go from good to great as a leader!”  “I exceed my sales target by 20% because of the value I bring!”  “Work/Life Balance soars from a 5 to a 9!”

Develop metrics so you can measure where you are in attaining your goal.

Step 5.  Chunk down your goals.  Break down your goals into manageable pieces.  Think about how much change you can handle, and permit yourself to go slow.  It is far better to go slow than to stop altogether from being overwhelmed.  Otherwise, you will let go and keep on doing what you already find frustrating.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Would it be more beneficial to have 90-day goals or break down a year-long plan into 90-day or shorter phases?
  • What small steps can I take for each goal, so I am not overwhelmed? (If you want to lose 20 pounds over 12 months, it is much easier to work on losing 5 pounds every three months—a piece of cake! Oops, poor choice of words.)
  • How do I want to celebrate each milestone?

You will see if you want to change direction or stay on your current track as you go along.  Give yourself permission to experiment and make mistakes.  That is how you learn and grow!

Keep your actions simple and start doing.  As Andy Andrews writes in “The Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success,” “You can change the future by changing your actions today.”

 

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About Chris Sier

Over the course of her career, Chris Sier has been a leader, business development manager, process consultant, and corporate coach. Having been an executive/leadership/career coach with a Fortune 200 company; and since 2009, as a business owner, Chris has worked with VPs, directors, team leaders, and high potentials globally, working with clients to maintain their competitive edge, manage complexity, drive growth and operational efficiency, and inspire and engage multi-generational teams. She also works with clients on their brand and career management. She has authored numerous booklets and articles, and has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Community Development with a minor in Psychology from Central Michigan University.

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I am able to create positive outcomes with clients

I am able to respond differently and create positive outcomes with clients through my improved listening and new coaching approaches that have resulted in turning a previously contentious relationship with my transportation client into a strong, moving toward partnership relationship and has translated into offsetting requested customer expense reductions into additional business from the customer.

Adam Roark
VP of Transportation, Singapore
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