“I’ve had it,” my client informed me. She had signed up for Coaching for the same reason everyone does: To create changes. And as we talked about baby steps and changing one thing at a time – which I still think is the most radical and effective way – she stopped me and said it wasn’t enough.
“I’m ready to leave it all behind,” she said, “and start a completely new life. What would you recommend?” Now, Coaching is not advice giving, but since she’d asked me directly, I told her she’d already taken the first step I’d recommend: getting a Coach. Even small changes can be challenging to stick with, but completely overhauling your life takes a lot of support and accountability.
Just in case you’re at a point where you’re no longer willing to compromise, and prepared to take radical steps towards living a life you’ll love every minute of, here’s a how-to. It includes a breakdown of the steps needed as well as the reasons behind them. And in case you’re wondering, my client went on to quit her job and become a freelance artist. The last I heard from her, she was wildly happy, so yes, she was serious about radical change.
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The anatomy of change
Every change begins with motivation. Usually, something triggers the “that’s it” moment. It may be that you’re sick and tired of the status quo, or you’ve compromised for too long. Some people are downright unhappy, others simply have the nagging feeling that there’s more to life.
What’s attractive about making a big change is that big changes come with big motivation. You’ll have huge amounts of energy to start off your new life. The saying that the first step is the hardest is not quite true here; in fact, at the beginning you seem to blast obstacles out of your way and easily dismiss objections from those around you.
The problem is that lasting change requires you to build momentum, and the only way to create momentum is through consistency. To do this, you need to go beyond the flashy, dramatic beginning of radically throwing out the old and embracing your new life. You need to take daily steps, do the work, and stick with it through these unglamorous times of feeling off or losing sight of your goal. Sometimes, you just need to endure.
I’m not going to lie to you – it’s hard! And it’ll require every last ounce of willpower and persistence you possess. You may even have to find strength you didn’t know you had in the first place. However, if you see it through and don’t give up, the rewards will be astonishing.
Building a new life
Are you ready to take the leap? Here’s how you build your new life.
1. Get a Coach. I said this before, but I can’t state it often enough. People often think they “can’t afford it right now” and convince themselves they’re going to sign up later. In fact, they set themselves up for failure, prolong the journey and multiply obstacles by not getting support. If you’re serious about your new life, commit to it.
2. Move past the planning stage. It feels great to draw up goals and detailed steps along the way. I’m all for setting goals and writing them down, but I suggest you figure out the details later. Don’t get stuck in trying to figure out your path; the truth is that most people who’ve achieved great things, set out without having a clear idea. They learned along the way because doing is more productive than thinking. So do.
3. Prioritise your passions. There’s a reason why this is central to my Coaching! There will be points when you can’t find motivation and just want to throw in the towel. If you want to have any chance at creating a new life, you need to feel passionate about it. Centre your plan around at least one passion and never compromise on honouring it. This will fire you up consistently enough to see you through setbacks and periods of low motivation.
4. Take consistent action. This is the unglamorous bit. In order to make a lasting impact, your changes need to be accompanied by regular action. Determine something you can do every day, no matter what. Regularly review your goals. Focus on the next few steps only, and take them. It helps to commit for shorter periods at a time, such as a month or 90 days, and then review again. This keeps your eye on the ball when the overall goal takes longer to achieve.
There’s magic in beginnings, and a New Year is the perfect time to start a new life. If you’re ready, then stop waiting for a sign or for “permission”. Just take the leap.