The last few months have been game changing in my development as a leader and as a person. Lots has changed in my life. All of this has motivated me to reframe and refocus on what is important for me and my career. I don’t actually remember where or when I heard these words, but they have been resonating loud and clear to me lately. Here’s the phrase:
“The growth for tomorrow is the change from today.”
WOW! Those words are powerful, and they hit me hard. Now more than ever, I understand how important daily and strategic change is needed for personal and professional improvement. Yes, improvement and capacity building require change. No matter how we put it, that is the reality for sustainable and positive growth. No matter what we do, or who we are, we will never grow as leaders, as husbands, or as parents without changing part of our current practices. But how do we know what to change? What should the focus of our change be? What if we need to change a lot? Or not that much? What should our change strategy be?
I know that a growth mindset is the foundation to positive change. Our attitude towards our daily interactions with others and approach to life is a huge determining factor for our success. However, no matter the amount of attitude or motivation we have, change will always be harder without strategic thinking and planning.
Here are my top 4 strategies to help you gain the traction and momentum needed for improvement and positive change in your personal or professional life.
- Don’t be afraid of failure and fail often
Being afraid is a normal feeling. We are human after all, but having a positive mindset is key to forcing our fears out. The only thing you should fear is fear itself. Being afraid limits us. It makes us doubt ourselves and takes us out of our reality. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and take accion. This doesn’t mean you will not fail. In fact, be thankful for failures as they are an opportunity to learn and grow.
Try this instead: As you approach your life, try to notice and name your fears. Call them out to stay alert as you get rid of your of them.
- Get rid of distractions
I’ve always prided myself in being a hard worker. However, I’ve come to learn that working harder will never outwork working smarter. As leaders, we are faced with a lot of challenges and daily tasks that can distract us from focusing on what is important. Distractions drain our energy and give us the false sense of working hard.
Try this instead: Draft or revisit your personal and professional mission and vision. Make sure you are clear about what those are and make sure you are intentionally scheduling and spending your time supporting those efforts. This will give you the traction needed for positive growth, getting rid of distraction to give you the focus and energy needed to get there. Remember that knowing what is important and WHY, gives you purpose and direction.
3. Focus on one or two efforts at a time
Make sure that you are willing, ready and able to tackle a change. Part of this is knowing WHY you are doing something in the first place. Ask yourself this: “what do I want?” As you draft your answer, be mindful and try NOT to focus on what you DON’T want, instead focus on what you DO want.
Try this also: Keep things simple. Focus on one or two things at a time and stay consistent with your efforts towards achieving those. This will build momentum and once momentum has been gained, it is hard to be stopped.
4. The most important part of an action plan is “Action”
The perfect time to act is now. Don’t wait until tomorrow to do what you can do today. Changing requires daily action. Remember that change is a habit that we must practice daily.
Focus on habits that when accomplished; daily, make you experience success. Take action one step at a time, one habit a time, and do it daily! Small daily changes will add up and result in big success. Don’t forget that monitoring progress is also an action.