The Formula For Change

How many of you made New Year’s Resolutions this year? And how many of you have broken them? The fact is that change is much harder to achieve than we most often think. Ultimately making changes can be tough!

Did you know there is a formula for change? There are four key areas balanced on two sides. On the left-hand side, we have two factors – Dissatisfaction with today, i.e., how unhappy we are with the way things currently are – this is the current state. That, multiplied with the vision for the future, or the story you want to create, is your first number for the formula.

Current state/Dissatisfaction with today

High dissatisfaction with your current state, multiplied by a clear vision and story for the future can create the urgency to make changes. But dissatisfaction needs to be sufficiently high to make this happen.

When you have high dissatisfaction, you can address change by changing your state. How unhappy you are – really – is going to impact on how ready, willing, and able you are to make a change. The thing is that as humans we put up with a lot – better the devil you know. The question you need to ask yourself is how unhappy are you with where you are at right now?

What we most often find when people are trying to make a change and not doing it is that they are either just too comfy with what is happening today, therefore they don’t really want to change. Because if we are highly unhappy with where we are today and we like the idea of something different happening in the future, we will be ready to make a change. Ultimately it is about galvanising the things about today that make you unhappy and the things you want for the future.

Vision for the future/the story

What do you want your future to be like? What is the story you are telling yourself – remember the BE, DO, HAVE model from previous blogs? Do you have a compelling vision for the future that can become possible if you make the changes you are considering?

If there is an exciting vision for the future and every day you get focused on it, you are far more likely to make the changes.

In a business context this looks like being willing to let go of things that keep you playing in your comfort zone. Whether it is delegating more, saying no to things, managing your time more effectively – fundamentally the dissatisfaction with today has to be multiplied with the vision for the future.

Next steps/strategy

Now you need to consider what is your strategy/action plan to make it happen? Let’s use a common one of weight loss, do you have a clear diet plan? Are you making a commitment for a certain amount of exercise per week? Have you joined a gym? Do you have an accountability partner to help you stay on track? If you don’t have a strategy, you aren’t setting yourself up to succeed.

Even if you have a strategy, most people find that this alone isn’t enough to overcome the resistance to change. Without force of being really dissatisfied with today or having a clear vision of the future change does not occur.

Next steps are all about taking the steps to make the change. Make sure they are positive, know that they will change on a regular basis, be prepared to change your course of direction to take account of things you hadn’t seen coming. In a nutshell, change only occurs when dissatisfaction, vision and next steps are dialled up.

Resistance to change/the story

You need to work out what is stopping you from making the change. What are the things that are causing you resistance to change? Are you happy in your comfort zone? Do you really want to change? Are the odds stacked against you really or are you making excuses? This is where a coach can help you to push you through the stories you are telling yourself and uncover the real resistance to change!

Ultimately with this formula if you take the dissatisfaction with today, the vision for the future, plus next steps, and those three factors are greater than your resistance to change, change will happen. If they are less than your resistance to change, nothing will happen.

How much do you really want to change?

Take a moment and apply the change formula to any aspect of your work/home life that you have been considering changing. Give each aspect of the formula a number on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest. What do you notice? Do you need some help working out what it is that is causing your resistance to change? That’s where we can help. Either through one-to-one coaching or mentoring, or a combination of the two, we are here to help you get to where you want to. Get in touch with us for a free and confidential chat about your business.

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