Many who are engaged in coaching are hoping to make some changes in their life but not sure where to start. It’s not always easy to break down the desired change into manageable pieces to be tackled one at a time. It’s these smaller pieces building on one another that create success in making big or significant changes. As a coach I help people break down their big vision changes into smaller pieces and hold them accountable to stay focused on experiencing success with each piece. Having an accountability partner and someone to champion each of your accomplishments can be motivating and builds self-efficacy.
This is part 2 of the 3-part series on Making Change Stick by Diana Gabriel, Certified Strengths Strategy Coach.It’s the smaller pieces building on one another that create success in making significant change. Click To Tweet
Some of us have tried and failed to make changes stick, while others seem more successful. What makes the difference?
We humans mindfully exert far less personal control over our habits than we like to think we do. We largely go about our days operating out of automatic patterns and impulses. When we decide to change our routines, some of us are more accomplished than others. What makes that so? Here are a few ideas that successful change experts suggest we do.
First, identify a change you’d like to make—one area you’d like to improve, such as health. Before you commit, ask yourself three questions.
- How determined and ready to change are you? On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you rate your determination to actually make this change? And, how do you rate your readiness to actually make this change? (A ranking of 1 would mean you’re not at all ready; a 10 means you’re extremely ready.) If you rate your determination or readiness at a 6 or below, go to the second question to explore what truly motivates you. Many of us know this change is a good idea yet are ambivalent about making the commitments necessary to make it happen, even though we admit we should change. Pick a change to which you are truly ready to commit.
- What about this change is meaningful to you? Ask yourself what things are most important to you, your values or your aspirations. Try to connect your desired change with your values and deepest priorities in life. The more the desired change is connected to your values and priorities, the more likely you are to stick with the change. Choosing desired changes related to relationships, enjoyment, and meaning in life is simply more important to humans than wealth, fame, or how others perceive us.
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how confident are you that you can successfully make changes? If you aren’t sure you can attain your desired change break it down into smaller and easier to achieve pieces. Anything you rate as a 6 or lower means you need to adjust your sights. You need goals that are challenging but realistically attainable based on the reality of what you have to work with and are already committed to. Self-efficacy is one of the biggest predictors of future behavior. Break down goals into steps that will boost your confidence.