How to Change Your Life
So you want to know how to change your life? Because you know things can be better.
Are you ready to take the first step? If so, congratulations.
And do you need help or is it possible to do this yourself?
Self Development versus Life Coaching
A Life Coach is someone who works with you to change your life through personal development.
But, here’s a secret. And not one you’d expect a Life Coach to be advertising. If you want to change your life enough, you can do it on your own.
In the same way that you do not need a personal trainer to get stronger or fitter. Or a nutritionist is not the total solution to eating well.
Yes, these people can guide you. They can help you avoid blind spots. And they can advise you too. Providing tools and techniques when needed.
Having someone work with you can make the process easier but it is not always essential.
But most importantly, they don’t do the work for you.
Likewise, a life coach can add value. They will listen to you. Picking up on ways that you are blocking yourself from progressing. This could be from self-limiting beliefs (e.g. ‘I could never do that’, ‘I’m not smart enough’). They will question you and help you explore how to change your life.
But not everyone can afford a Life Coach.
So you want to know how to change your life. And you want to give it a shot on your own.
Motivation and Determination
The process of change can be simple. But it is not necessarily easy.
If you are going to do this alone then you will need to dig down and find some real hard-headed determination to succeed. And you will need to stay motivated when the going gets tough.
If you’ve got it then there is nothing to stop you.
The following model is one tool a coach will use with you. There are others. But this is a great place to start.
The GROW Model
The GROW model stands for Goal, Reality, Options and Will or Way. You can use this to explore your situation and as a basis for making changes in your life.
It is best used to explore a single challenge at a time.
Goals – Where You Want to Go
How do you want to change your life? Is it one area of your life that sucks? Or is it your life in general?
If you cannot pinpoint a specific goal start with a vision of your perfect life. Allow yourself to dream. It’s free.
Then fine-tune your ideal life into a goal or goals.
And then decide what aspect you want to focus on first.
Do you have a particular ambition? Such as getting a dream job, becoming healthier, or achieving financial independence.
Your goals may be more personal. Do you want to gain confidence, be more organised or manage your money better?
Another tip is to focus on the why behind the goal. Ask yourself why you want this. And then ask yourself what is the why behind that. Do this five times. If you can find a strong ‘why’ you want to achieve something you will be more driven to do it.
A stronger, deeper drive means more determination and easier motivation.
This is the start. You can then further define this into a SMART goal. The more real this part becomes the easier it is to focus, plan and then act.
Reality – Facing Up to the Truth
So you know where you want to go. You have defined a SMART goal.
The next step in the GROW model is to examine the reality of your situation. It is when you are honest with yourself.
What are your current circumstances? Are their external limits or commitments you have? For example, do you have people dependent on you? What resources are available to you, including time, money and other people?
Do you need to take responsibility for your own behaviour and attitude in a situation?
Consider the following statements:
“I am unhappy in my job because I am in over my head.”
“Since I started working for myself I’ve struggled to get clients. I need to face my fear of rejection.”
“I am overweight and although I’ve tried various diets I struggle to keep it off because I slip back into bad habits.”
“My work is taking over my life, I struggle to find time to do anything else because work always comes first.”
“My last child is leaving home and I’m scared I am not needed.”
“I am hopeless with money. I’ve tried budgeting but still find myself overspending each month.”
By understanding the reality of your situation, you work out your limitations. You gain an insight into what challenges lie ahead. It may make you refine your goals.
Sometimes the challenges are difficult to recognise. Especially if it is down to one of your self-beliefs The more reflective and honest you can be the better. Look out for when you make excuses for yourself. Likewise, watch for when you are being too hard on yourself.
Sometimes someone else’s behaviour is the problem and you want to know how to get them to change. Unfortunately, that is not an option here. The only person you have control over is yourself.
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So, you have a desire to succeed, to achieve some goal or goals. You have examined your current situation. The next step is to consider potential options.
Options – There are More Than You Think!
Explore your options. You always have more than one option. On reality, for every situation there are always at least four:
- Solve the Problem
- Change your view of the problem
- Accept the situation or
- Do nothing
We often think solving the problem as being the only answer. Yet it is worth considering other possibilities too. And then the choices within those alternatives!
For example, consider the goal of quitting your job to have your own business.
To solve the problem you may consider:
- starting a side-line while you continue to work,
- setting yourself up as a self-employed person or
- buying an established business.
You can review these potential solutions in line with your situation. Then you can weigh up each solution for its pros and cons.
Changing your view means that you reflect on your attitude and behaviour. Instead of feeling restricted in a job, you decide to appreciate the security and benefits it brings. You have regular pay and you switch off every night when you go home.
This shift may even lead you to achieve a goal without taking any action other than a mental shift. This can be very empowering.
The third option may be that on reflection you decide to accept the role you’re in. Changing to a new employer may be more hassle than it is worth. Yes, it isn’t what you want in life but it is OK. Again, you take ownership and empower yourself.
The fourth option is to do nothing. Apart from continuing to feel miserable about your job. From a personal development perspective, this is not a great option. But it is good to be aware that it is a valid choice open to you.
And now it is time for action.
Will or Way
The ‘W’ in the GROW model can stand for Will and also Way. I have also heard it referred to as Wrapping up.
It is not important what word we use.
What is important is you are ready to take action. It is about taking your chosen option and moving forward.
You have explored the real why underlying the goal. Then understood and accepted your reality. Finally, you have defined options and made a choice.
Ready to start? Or not convinced you can do this by yourself?
Prefer a helping hand?
Not everyone can do this on their own. Sometimes you need a helping hand. Perhaps you lack confidence or know that you struggle with motivation. If you are committed to changing your life but would appreciate some guidance then let’s chat. I’m here to help. Please get in touch to book a free chat today