Change is hard! Eighty percent of those that make a New Years resolution have dropped it before February first. If we are going to get serious about change we need more than a desire to change or a frustration with our current state of affairs. We need a plan and that’s what we are doing for our Mini Episodes in January. We’re breaking down the trip hazards of change and this week we are chatting with transformation expert, Bob Thompson about how to deal with the stumbling blocks that are inevitable when we set out to change.
Bob is the founder and CEO of Legion Transformation Centers. He has helped thousands of clients overcome inertia, stinking thinking and bad habits to reach their health and fitness goals. The techniques Bob talks about can be applied to any area in which we want to make a life change. What’s your goal? Traveling more? Getting a handle on your budget? Decluttering your house? Letting go of broken systems that create a cycle of failure, lost opportunities and low self esteem will require a change of mind first. We covered that in last week’s show. This week we are talking about how to deal with the friend that wants to go on a shopping day. The mother that tells you that your thick ankles are genetic and you can’t fight nature. The office buddy that keeps bringing you donuts from the employee lunch room even though she knows you’re trying to make better food choices.
Bob’s tips for reducing stumbling blocks
- Create an environment for success. You have to shape the environment for the outcome that you want. If you are a couch potato and want to be more active, cancel cable. If you are trying to pay off credit cards, don’t just take them out of your wallet, close the accounts and start paying for things with cash. If you are serious about weight loss, empty the cupboards of all junk food and don’t have anything in the house that will trip you up in a weak moment.
- Surround yourself with five people that will inspire and support you. You are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with so make sure they are people who are building you up, not tearing you down. Make sure they are people who are living life fully and their attitude reflects that. Who you spend your time with is something that you can control.
- Get a mentor. Having someone to help you navigate uncharted waters is really valuable. You can find a mentor in a group related to your goal. Much like a 12 step sponsor a mentor can help you pull back and look at the big picture when you might be tempted to hyper focus on the tasks or daily grind losing sight of the goal. A mentor helps you to keep your eye on the prize. If you don’t have a volunteer mentor you can hire a coach in the area you need help in. A nutritionist can help you meal plan and a business coach can analyze your business plan and help you set realistic goals. Be willing to pay for help. When you pay for advice you will take it more seriously and when someone is paid for their services, they will be more serious about what they are giving you.
- Find Your Tribe. Whatever you are trying to do, others are also trying to do. Find a group that can support you and that you can contribute to. Create a social media group for sharing tips, offering encouragement and venting frustrations. Having others who are traveling the same road will help you realize that “it’s not you.” Everyone feels like you do while change is happening.
- Eliminate people who bring you down. If you are going to seriously go after a goal you many need to eliminate people who don’t respect and encourage that. You don’t have to break up a family over it but you might just have to detach with kindness from people who are consciously or unconsciously sabotaging your efforts. If you have a girlfriend who is a shopping buddy and you are trying to cut back and she isn’t, maybe catch up with her over the phone? Don’t let old friends with entrenched habits lead you off your new path.