I was working with someone who was struggling to see forward movement in her business. She had the training and knew her stuff, yet she wasn’t able to showcase her skills and how they could serve others. She was feeling frustrated by her own floundering and was sick of not taking action, yet it just wasn’t happening!
She needed a plan in order to see the change she wanted actually happen.
Through our conversations, we were able to help her get clarity around where she wanted to focus her efforts in terms of her target market, identify what her priorities were as far as establishing her business, brainstorm some possible resources to assist her as she moved forward, and created a list of possible next steps along with a rough timeline of when she wanted those things taken care of.
By the next time we talked, she had connected with a possible resource for help and had that conversation, she made progress on a “to-do” item that had been languishing for far too long, and her whole demeanor seemed to have shifted as she saw some of the things she had been procrastinating on come into fruition or become closer to her attaining them.
And THAT is the power of taking the time to thoughtfully plan out the change you want to see, not just in terms of WHAT you want to see but also HOW you want to go about it, WHO you need to enlist to support you, and WHEN you’re going to make things happen. Taking the time to dig into not just what you want but why you want it, what the benefits are, how you want to attain it, what resources you need, what barriers you may face, etc. will help you to be prepared for whatever may come up along the journey and help you to navigate it! With that in mind, I wanted to share a few tips with you around creating an action plan for change:
Discover what you want.
First, you need to INVEST the time to explore what you truly want to accomplish. What OUTCOMES are you hoping to achieve? WHY are those outcomes important to you? What will you GAIN when you achieve them? What will growth in this area LOOK and FEEL like?
Identify your resources.
These tend to be person-specific and even goal-specific, so I can’t go as deep here as I could 1-on-1, but it is important for you to think about what resources you need to achieve the change you want to see. What INTERNAL resources do you possess that can serve you well in this situation? (It can help to think about internal resources that have served you well in the past.) What EXTERNAL resources do you have access to that can support the growth you desire? (Remember, these can include people!) How will you use your resources most effectively? And finally, what ADDITIONAL resources will you need? How will you locate and cultivate them?
Plan for barriers.
In my experience, any time we try to create major changes in our lives, we find ourselves facing various types of road blocks, so it’s best to plan ahead. What barriers to change can you ANTICIPATE? How will you address these barriers? What resources can you use/will you need? And, perhaps most importantly, how will you CELEBRATE or REWARD yourself when you overcome them?
Give yourself grace.
Sometimes despite our best intentions, we falter. Perhaps we have an off day…or week. Perhaps progress doesn’t happen the way we anticipate. Often, this causes us to question our ability to change. In some cases, it even leads us to give up completely. So when those days or weeks happen, remember to give yourself grace. Grace to make missteps along your growth path. Grace to forgive yourself for bad choices. Grace to start again, regardless of how many times you’ve tried before.