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"Change is easy!" said no one, ever! Change can be incredibly difficult and often requires us to look past our current situation to where we would like to be. Planning and organizing what changes we need to make, how we need to make them, and determining the right time to implement those changes, increases our likelihood of success by allowing our decisions to be based on contemplation, not crisis.

Contemplating change requires several steps to ensure the goals set are appropriate and will actually get us what we want! A good technique is to work through each of the steps below on paper. Writing your thoughts down will be more effective than working through the steps in your head.

  1. Why do you need a change?  What are the reasons for needing the change?
  2. Play devil’s advocate with yourself.  What are the arguments against the responses you created in step 1?
  3. What steps would you need to take to create the change? 
  4. What obstacles might you face in the process of taking those steps?
  5. Finalize your plan and discuss with two people you trust to get feedback.
  6. Refine your plan based on feedback.
  7. Set specific stair-step goals to guide you to your end result. Put a date on accomplishing each.
  8. Do the work!

Let’s take an example that is common in massage for practitioners: “How do I increase income?”

  1. I am not making enough money. I am stressed trying to pay bills.
  2. I could reduce overhead instead of increasing income.  Maybe I could do both?
  3. I would need to assess my expenses to see where I could reduce. I need to assess my work day to determine if I could work more hours.  I could also look at my client population and geography to see if I could justify raising my rates.
  4. I may not want to do without some of the things I currently spend money on.  My clients may leave me if I raise my rates. I may get burned out if I work more.
  5. I am going reduce my cable plan. I am going to sub-leasing my office to reduce overhead. I am going to raise my rates on new clients and keep pricing the same for existing. I am going to look for opportunities to meet and gain new clients. I will discuss these thoughts with my mom and a good friend.
  6. Everyone thinks I have a good plan.  Mom is a bit worried about picking the right person to share my office.
  7. I will sub-lease my office by the 1st of next month. I will do 2 community outreach events within the next 60 days, etc.

 

Embracing change is part of the evolution of self, both personally and professionally. It isn’t something to be afraid of or resistant to, it is an opportunity to create the reality you wish for yourself.  Change will happen one way or another, why not create it yourself, instead of waiting for it to come to you?