There are many sayings that suggest that personal change is virtually an impossibility. A leopard can’t change its spots, as one goes, or you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Do people ever really change? Plenty who have successfully done so would say yes, and you can too with some of the tips below.
Leave Your Comfort Zone
Sometimes, the best thing you can do to get started is to simply make any kind of change rather than concentrating on something specific. Getting out of your comfort zone is a great way to shake things up and give you the confidence that you can make bigger strides as you need to. Maybe it’s just going to a movie alone, or maybe it’s calling someone to have a difficult conversation you’ve been putting off. This can be as big or small a gesture as you can manage, but do make it significant.
Choose One Thing
Next, choose one thing you are going to start doing differently. Again, this doesn’t necessarily to be something profound. You’re still just experimenting with the idea of change. Maybe you’ll decide that you are going to stop spending so much and try to save money each month. You could pick three things to do that would accomplish this. These might be cooking at home more often, not using shopping as a panacea when you’re bored, and refinancing your student loans to deal with your existing education debt. The last option may significantly lower both what you are paying each month and what you are paying overall.
Once you’ve chosen something to change and successfully maintained that change for a little while, it’s time to get serious. What are the really big things that you want to change in your life? Maybe it’s getting out of debt, becoming a famous actor, or going back to college. Make a list of all the big things you want to do differently. Then, write down all the smaller things as well. Pick two or three things to focus on, including at least one big and one small change.
Goals into Action
Next, you need to figure out the steps that will take you from where you are now to where you want to be. This involves setting smaller goals along the way. You also need to figure out what actions you have to take regularly to reach those goals. Maybe you’re a sedentary person who has always wanted to be a marathon runner. First, pick a date for your marathon. In this case, it should probably be two or three years out. Then, identify a series of goals, such as working up to running half an hour without stopping, then a 5K, a 10K and a half marathon.
What do you need to do to reach each of those milestones? You have to set aside time on three or four days each week to get out and run. In this way, you create the building blocks that you need to change. Don’t forget to give yourself rewards as you reach milestones along the way.