I am in the business of helping people change. For my therapy clients, it's about helping them identify and heal emotional barriers to their normal way of functioning. For my coaching clients, it's about helping them clarify what they TRULY want to create in their lives, and take aligned action. For ALL of my clients, it is about raising awareness of unconscious beliefs and patterns that keep them stuck. This is the work I do with myself on a daily basis too. :)
If you want to CHANGE something, TRACK it. Shifting from unconscious unawareness to conscious awareness is the first step in changing anything, no matter how big or small your goal. In other words, shining a light on our shadow selves, or turning our heads to reveal our blindspots. Becoming aware of our current patterns will put us in touch with our greatest power: the Power of Choice in this moment.
Four ways Tracking helps create desired change
1. It forces us out of DENIAL
2. It increases awareness in moments of decision
3. It helps us acknowledge our progress
4. It connects us to our goals on a daily basis
We are creatures of HABIT. We will repeat, repeat, repeat patterns until we engage our conscious minds in making different choices. This is easy to understand, and difficult to do! Our subconscious minds are designed to keep us FEELING SAFE. What makes us feel safe is usually what is most FAMILIAR, therefore new choices and experiences are often instantly rejected. It's a bad set up from the start! We have to push against years of momentum and habit. We can do this by strengthening Opposite Action. This requires Patience, Persistence, Self Compassion, and a Deep Commitment to our WHY. Here are a few tips to strengthen your ability to create desired change:
Most of us could stand to develop more patience in our lives, especially with ourselves! We know that impatience doesn't help anything (and often makes matters worse). Some questions to ask -- and answer:
What is my expectation about this? Is it realistic?
What would a more patient response look like?
What could I tell myself to develop a more patient response?
How can I find acceptance for how long this is taking?
With declining attention spans and the world at our fingertips every moment of every day, it's no wonder persistence is taking a beating. It's difficult to focus; stress levels are high, we are constantly overstimulated and competing priorities keep many of us feeling busy, yet ineffective or unaccomplished.
When you identify a goal, remember to prioritize it by making time for it. Write it in your calendar and celebrate each time you follow through.
When you fail, KEEP GOING. We are seeking Progress, not Perfection
When you feel like giving up, DON'T. Acknowledge the feeling as just that -- a FEELING. Feelings are not reality. Feelings are not decisions. Feelings are not always helpful. Feelings pass.
Celebrate the HELL out of each tiny victory! (As dorky as it sounds, I give myself a High-Five :D)
Give yourself as much compassion and understanding as you would give a dear friend or loved one. That is it. That is hard enough. Practice Self Compassion every day.
Deep Commitment to your WHY
Get Crystal-Clear on WHY you want what you want, and engage with your reasons and your VISION every day.
How will achieving this goal impact my life? What choices and possibilities will it give me?
What gets to happen in other parts of my life when I reach my goal?
How will I feel when I reach this goal?
Who am I MOST EXCITED to share the results of reaching this goal with?
Get a calendar, or an Excel spreadsheet, or a blank piece of paper, or whatever works for you, to track your progress. Focus on Progress, not Perfection, and keep the Big Picture in mind -- you may not have reached your goal today, but you are no longer in denial or procrastination mode. How can you set yourself up for success tomorrow? What is one small step you can take? Celebrate your willingness to see with clarity. And give yourself a High-Five from me. ;)