Change. Growth. Increase. Improvements. New levels...Everybody wants it but few achieve it on purpose.
Whether it's in our finances, fitness goals, relationships, churches, or workplace; I believe there are four intentional steps that we can put into practice to see change happen.
- Decide- It all begins with a decision. As long as we are satisfied with our current situation and accept average as good enough, nothing will change. It doesn't matter how many meetings we have about it or how many motivational quotes we read or post, without acknowledging and first making the decision to pursue change, change cannot nor will not happen. I have come to realize that even one decision can have a huge impact in our lives, because of the momentum and rewards it can give birth to. Like the saying goes, "...if we wait for the “perfect time” to arrive or the feeling of “being ready”, we will spend/waste our lives waiting, stuck, and frustrated." That’s not God’s plan for any of our lives. You don't need to wait for January 1st or even next Monday to make a change. What you need to do is make a committed decision.
- Define- Your goal or vision for change must be clear and well defined. We cannot accomplish it all at once nor see big change overnight, but once we know where or what needs to change then we can put our focus towards it. There is power in focus. Take a 5 foot fluorescent light bulb and 3 inch laser light for example. With the long fluorescent light you might be able to light up an entire room, but you would never use that to try to cut through steel. Did you know there are laser lights strong enough to cut through thick steel walls and even precious rocks? What’s the difference? One light bulb is wide and the other is specific. One light is focused, the other is not. When you and I define and focus on the area that we need to see change in, we will experience it. Consider the following: maybe the reason you’re not seeing change is because you’re trying too much in too many areas. Stop and focus.
- Delete- Very few things in this world come free. Just read the fine print. Experiencing change and growth will require us to “pay the price” aka be willing to let go of the “good” for something “better”. John C. Maxwell states, “In order to go up, we must give up.” Sometimes the reason we are missing out on the NEXT is because we are holding on to the NOW. Perhaps there are some habits, addictions, mindsets and friends, that we need to remove or let go of because they are negativity affecting us, and are an obstacle to change. Don’t complain about regret if you're not willing to pay the price for change.
- Do- Finally, it comes down to putting in the work and taking action. Scripture lets us know, “It’s not good enough to know what we must do and not do it, but we must work and put it into practice.” What separates successful people from unsuccessful people is their work ethic and perseverance. We need to stop fearing failure. Failure is an unavoidable part of growth. Just as an infant falls when learning to walk, we too will never grow out of failing and falling when we strive to attain a goal. We need to utilize our failures to learn new things about ourselves. Then we need to get back up and try again. Even if you have to start with baby steps the do so. SLOW progress is better than NO progress. What can you do today for the change you want tomorrow?
Obviously, these four steps are easier said than done, but they are possible.Change is not a bad thing. So stop hoping for change and start making change happen. What are you waiting for?