Last month’s journal topic focused on New Year’s Resolutions. Now that it is January 31st, how are your New Year’s Resolutions going? If you have not made the progress that you hoped to this past month, you are not alone.
When making New Year’s Resolutions, we step into the New Year with an earnest intent to establish lasting change; however, more often than not, despite all good intentions, many of us find that we only achieve temporary change. If I were a betting person, I would bet that less than 25 percent of us who make New Year’s Resolutions really see the lasting change that we hope for.
Here is the million-dollar question: What is the difference between those of us who achieve temporary change versus those of us who receive the desired lasting change?
What I have observed in my coaching practice is that my clients who come to me with a history of achieving only temporary change often believe that motivation is sufficient for bringing change. While motivation is certainly a factor, it is only half of what is needed. Rituals dial in the other half. Rituals help create new neural pathways. This is one of several reasons that I require a minimum of a 3-month coaching commitment for first time clients. I do not promise overnight miracles. Like anything that is coached, life coaching requires not just the coaching session itself, but practicing in between sessions. When I work with a client, we begin with dialogue to discover the energy and emotion around the desired goal, we uncover the messages that are no longer serving her which may be preventing her from achieving the change that she wishes to see, and then we work together on rewiring those messages that effect the emotion and energy to then establish step by step rituals to create new neural pathways for lasting change.
My 3-step model for lasting change is:
- Guidance. Coaching over a 3-12 month period.
- Discovery. Uncovering what is required for my client to not only have motivation for change, but also belief in her ability to change.
- Hard work. An incremental change, taking a step between coaching sessions, is required. Incremental successful change is better than ambitious failure! As a coach, I provide guidance for my client to discover her needed steps for lasting change. I provide accountability and a place for reflection without judgment and without inserting my own agenda. I have found that to bring about the lasting change that my client has come to me for, no more than one or two new rituals should be introduced at a time. There is no cookie-cutter approach or “program” applied. Each client presents with her own history, her unique goals, and the steps and rate of progression towards change is always as individual and unique as the client herself.
Gradual change for lasting change. Have you noticed that multiple failures often precede success in physical endeavors? The same is true in life coaching endeavors. A practice is most likely to become mastered and to become a ritual when it is carried out repeatedly over a period of time.
Only those who rely on habits can achieve lasting change. The level of investment and the commitment to hard work makes all the difference.
It is time for you to make an investment in yourself for the lasting change that you wish to develop today. Do not waste another day. Your time is now!