Change is something a lot of us struggle with but if there is one thing that is constant and certain in life, it’s that things are ALWAYS changing. Whilst I will be the first to admit that I am not really a fan of change (actually my husband will probably say it first as he has to deal with me dealing with the change), I have come to learn that change will always happen so I better get used to dealing with it.
Over the years I have become very good at adapting to change. Being a military wife, no six months have ever looked the same for me and my husband since we got together 10 years ago. In one year we might have to endure a period of him being deployed to somewhere I don’t where without communications for four months, and then straight into him being on leave and living in my little box flat share for six weeks over the summer. Whilst we’ve never had a straightforward easy relationship because of this, it has made us now both very good at constantly adapting to change.
Sometimes change is very minor, rather than a bit shake up like not seeing your spouse for half a year, but sometimes can be as simple as someone’s health and fitness plans going out the window when they are training for a marathon because they go on a two-week holiday. Even a pleasant and chosen change can cause disruption despite out best intentions! When the big events and life changes happen, it is important to learn to adapt.
In times of change and periods of turmoil, it is easy to slip straight into “survival mode”. Perhaps with the recent situation of Coronavirus you have noticed people giving the response of “you know, I’m surviving” when asked how they are? But I don’t think we have to put up with just surviving. We can thrive if we learn to adapt to change. Sure, it is uncomfortable, but you have survived all the knocks and bumps that life has thrown your way so far so you already know that you are adaptable, able to conquer and thrive through change and even troubled times. Perhaps you just might have forgotten you are.
This blog is a reminder to you that you can thrive in times of change, and here are four tips to get you evolving through change (and don’t worry none of it involves swapping your legs for fins.
Tip 1: Find a ‘new normal’
Tip 2: Don’t rely on motivation and willpower
Tip 3: Stop making excuses
Tip 4: Create, don’t wait
When something is ‘normal’ to us, it is because it is expected, it is routine or something that is commonly typical. We all have a standard that we expect as our ‘normal’. The trouble with change then, is that things become unsettling for us as we don’t know what to expect and we lose our sense of control as we don’t know what normal is. To adjust to change then, it is important to create a ‘new normal’, even if it is just temporary. Creating a normal again creates a sense of calm and control.
When you find yourself having to adapt to change, ask yourself, how can I create a ‘new normal’. For example, what does your morning routine now look like? I If you have to do things differently than how can you make it work for you?
Make sure your changes and ‘new normal’ are good for you long term as well as in the short term. The current ‘coronavirus lockdown’ might be a bit different from your usual week, and of course it is only temporary. However, make sure the new normal you’re creating will serve your long-term goals and ambitions. There is so much available to us online this day and age! Join study groups, courses, virtual business lectures, or do workouts via zoom with your gym buddies. All much better long-term options than having a daily lunch time ‘lock down’ cocktail session.
Of course, in lockdown it is very easy to loose you “Mojo”or “Get up and go”. Your mojo is important because it is what drives you. It is your confidence, energy and enthusiasm, all rolled into one, and is crucial for pushing you forward. My blog, 4-Step Process to Getting Your Mojo Back explains my simple to follow four-step process to get your mojo back.
If you have read any of my blogs or content before, or seen me at a talk, you will know that I don’t believe in motivation. I know, I know, a Life Coach is doesn’t believe in motivation, feels weird right. But I have a good reason – I know from myself that motivation wanes. Sometimes I feel like it, sometimes I don’t. Same with willpower too. Sometimes I feel I have willpower to say no to a freshly baked cookie, other times I will devour a whole packet of custard creams even though I don’t like them.
Change can be emotional as well as tiring, so if you are relying on motivation and willpower alone, you won’t be pushing towards your goals as consistently as you could, and if you want to thrive through change that staying consistent is crucial.
Create routine and structure so you can start to produce strong habits. This will also help with creating your ‘new normal’.
As Charles Duhigg writes in his thought-provoking book, The Power of Habits, “If you believe you can change – if you make it a habit – the change becomes real.”
Habits are what gets you success and my blog, 4 Insanely easy ways to create good habits explains four easy ways to start creating good habits.
Click on the link below to buy The Power of Habits on Amazon.
I know this is harsh but when you are going through a time of change, avoid making excuses. In any situation you can either make excuses or you can create results. Not both. I totally understand that things might have to alter as you navigate through a time of change but adapting to change is not the same as making an excuse.
The funny thing with excuses, is that they are valid! They totally wash, but the probably is, making excuses has a negative impact on you and your goals.
For example, with the current situation of lockdown, I have heard so many of us say things like “the supermarkets are bare, and the gym is shut… I can’t be healthy”. I get that it is harder but just because something is harder doesn’t mean it is impossible! It might not be what you are used to but create your ‘new normal’ remember. There are plenty of workout classes via YouTube you can do from home and you can make use of frozen veggies, for example.
Have a think of an area you are finding it hard to progress in because of changes to your situation and write down all the excuses that mean this is more difficult for you. Then next to it, come up with one to three ways you can get over this.
When I was younger, the control freak and perfectionist in me always wanted things to be ‘just so’ – I craved the perfect conditions for things. The trouble with that is I was always waiting for the “one day” when every would be ‘just so.’ I think we all do it … one day I want to write my book, one day I will get back into tennis lessons, one day I’ll start reading read mythology books again.
In times of change, it is all too easy to think that you have to wait for that phase to pass and settle again before you’ll make a start on something. However, like we said though, the only thing that is constant in life, is change!
Even in times of change, if you want to thrive, you have to create your own reality. Don’t wait. Start NOW!!!!! Whatever the goal is, just start. Find a workaround if you have to, but the worst thing you can do is wait until, because that perfect time may never come!
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
– Maya Angelou
Remember, the only thing ever constant in life is change. Change is something I have really had to learn to adapt to. I am not naturally good with change and it really has been something I have had to work on, so forgive yourself if you feel like these techniques aren’t going to be something you master overnight!
I always love the quote from holocaust survivor Viktor E. Frankl, “Everything can be taken from a person but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Think back to all those times you have had to adapt and grow. Uncomfortable? Maybe. But you did it. This is why I know you don’t just have to “survive”; you can thrive!
Habits are what gets you success and my blog 4 Insanely easy ways to create good habits explains four easy ways to start creating good habits.
Work towards you goals in easy bit by bit using the compound-effect of the Law of the Slight Edge. In a nutshell, the Slight Edge is the law that everything adds up bit by bit. The actions we take will move us either towards our goals or away from them. Learn more about the Law of the Slight Edge in my ground-breaking article 5 Essential tips to achieve your goals in 2020.
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This article is written by Alice Dartnell, life and success coach of Alice Dartnell Limited. Alice empowers busy professionals to be successful, transform their lives and achieve more by improving their confidence, mindset and time management.
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