Working with clients on creating positive life transformation tends to bring up lots of conversations about what truly creates lasting positive change in our lives. After doing this for many years, I’ve uncovered a few things about what it takes to not only create but also sustain positive life change.
First, remember that it is both big and small things that create positive change. It can be something big, like when I decided to leave my corporate job and start my business five years ago. Or, it can be something small like one of my clients who decided she wanted to spend more time in nature so began a daily 10-minute walk. This turned into a daily 30-minute walk and eventually an hour of walking each day and 15 lost pounds. As I’ve said many times before, it is often the smallest step or action that can make the biggest difference in our lives.
Second, often it isn’t the actual change but the decision to do something different that creates the change. Deciding to leave my job and start my business was what created big positive change in my life. That was the domino that led to me creating a business plan, getting things ready to launch my company, giving my notice at my job, and starting C3. It was the decision to start C3, not the actual “starting” of it, that created the momentum for positive change.
Next, creating positive change comes from both self-initiated choices and those that are unintended. In both my personal and professional life, many of my transformations were self-initiated. For example, both starting my business and leaving my first two marriages were self-initiated (for more about my transformational journey, check out my latest book, Letting Go Of The Status Quo). Both created lots of positive life transformation. But there are also those changes that are unintended. One of my clients just got laid off from her job and another’s husband just left her; these are unintended life transitions and perhaps at the time they occur they don’t seem like positive changes. However, behind the turmoil often lies great opportunity to create positive transformation in their lives. When the change is unintended and unwelcome, it may be a bit more difficult to see what can possibly be good about it; yet, when we look back on these things later in life we often see that these unintended and sometimes difficult times are what created some of the most positive life changes. In these situations, our strength arises from the struggle.
Lastly, remember that most positive life changes are typically just moments in time. They are those moments when you make the big and small decisions that put you on a different path. They are the moments when you say, “yes” to a new opportunity, a new relationship, or a new you. And they are the moments when you say “no” to the things that no longer work for you. These are powerful moments in time that can and typically do, create positive life transformation.