DO IT-How to Reinvent and Transform Your Life-Part 2
In my last article I talked about the first two steps in a transformation process-DO
Drop the baggage and determine what you want
Open up, be present and obtain new ways of being
These first two steps were about clearing out old patterns of thoughts and behaviors, letting go of fears and past resentments, determining what you want, and being able to live in the present and express gratitude for what you have right now.
In this article, I will explore the IT steps in DO IT.
Investigate the possibilities--what if's and how's
Take action and move forward with courage and commitment.
Investigate the possibilities: When you clear out the baggage, take responsibility for your actions, and start guiding your life, you will find you have choices and possibilities open to you. With all these possibilities and choices available, it is important to know your mission, your strengths and passions and your readiness to change.
In the first step you determined what you wanted-your vison for your future. After you have paused and done some self-reflection, think about your mission- your purpose in life and the gift you are meant to bring. An effective mission/purpose statement helps you sort through the possibilities by checking to see if they fit with your mission and your values or do not. It is also a time to take stock of your strengths, weaknesses, and passions so that you have a sense of the tools in your toolbox and the new ones you may need to obtain for your trip toward the future.
Investigating possibilities also means assessing your readiness to change. In this phase you should be deliberating--gathering information, answering questions, and acknowledging that change is needed; and designing--planning an few small changes, planning on how to build in new behaviors and working to change your attitude or mindset.
Lastly, investigating possibilities and paths means creating a more detailed vision of what you want in the future. In your mind’s eye, see yourself in the future. For the moment, pretend that time, money, and resources are not an issue in making that future a reality. You can consider these factors later. Describe the conditions you’d like to exist in your business, family, health and community in about 10 years—things that you would like to accomplish. Write these long term goals as if they exist right now. Describe in detail what you’re doing, seeing, and feeling as you stand in that future place. Make the goals as specific as they can be. Examples could be: “I will be working in a career that brings me fulfillment”, “I will have the money to send my children to college”, or “I will spend time travelling internationally.” Having these goals will help you consider the strategies you need to move toward making them a reality.
Take action and move forward with courage and commitment: Reinvention and transformation do not happen overnight. It is an ongoing process with no endpoint. When you realize, as you begin to move down a path, that the journey is just as important as the destination itself, your personal growth becomes a rewarding experience.
Taking action takes courage. In Rising Strong, Brene Brown talks about choosing courage over comfort. Courage is moving forward even when you don’t know all the next steps. It is being able to take feelings of fear, nervousness and anxiety and turn them into excitement. It is having a flexible mindset that allows you to see yourself as able and capable to think and act differently.
Commitment is something you choose, and everything you ever accomplished is probably something to which you committed. Fear of commitment comes from committing to things that are too large or all encompassing. Commit to what you want right now and maybe tomorrow. Baby steps. Taking action means being able to deal with uncertainty, with imperfection. Taking action is about doing- making a clear commitment, changing your behavior and seeing the benefits. The strength of your commitment often determines the level of success you will have in reaching your goals.
Commitment can be strengthened by publicly declaring your intention to adopt a new behavior. Tell all the key people in your life about the change you plan to make. Put that change in writing by making a formal contract with yourself. To strengthen your commitments, write down a list of benefits that result from making key changes. Consider physical, social, spiritual, and economic benefits. You can list the amount of extra time you’ll have, the extra money you’ll make, the extra boost of energy you’ll experience, or the added meaning and satisfaction that will result. Frequent reminders of these benefits can keep your commitment levels high.
Always remember plans and steps should be flexible. Life is complex and there is no sure-fire recipe for achieving any goal. Knowing this can actually give you a sense of freedom and mastery. Remind yourself that there are multiple paths to any destination. . Life is full of surprises. Knowing this, you can save yourself the frustration of taking a linear approach to achieving any goal. Perhaps you’re fond of recipes and step-by step instructions and you want to approach your life plan in the same way. No problem. Just experiment with the strategy of creating at least five different paths to any one of your goals-a plan A, B, C, D and F. The path you eventually choose might be a combination of all five.