“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” – Thomas Jefferson
Of course this quote makes sense: to create something we’ve never had, we need to do new things. And newness can be scary and hard. This is why so many people avoid creating new things in their lives, whether habits, skills, relationships, jobs, side hustles, or any other goals.
If there’s something you’ve never had that you want, you’ll need to do new things. This is something I love working with my life coaching and business coaching clients on. The process is actually quite simple, though not always easy. And there’s a biological reason why it can feel hard.
Our brains are actually hardwired for the status quo. That place where we do what we’ve always done and therefore get what we’ve always gotten. Why? For our own survival. One of the ways our survival instinct works is by preserving energy. That’s the opposite of doing new things. It’s quite literally like there’s a voice in our head advocating for us to repeat past actions. Because this is the path of least resistance, and our brains love the path of least resistance.
To counter this, I’ve come up with the simplest way possible to get into new ways of doing and being. It’s a five-step process, as follows:
- Decide. As in, make a firm commitment to yourself. What’s the new thing you want? Write it down. Tell someone.
- Know your why. Why do you want said thing? Why does it even matter to you? Write that down, too.
- Create an action plan. What are the initial steps that need to happen to create this new thing?
- Schedule them in. Put them in your calendar. Then, when the appointed time comes, do them.
- Evaluate and adjust. We rarely hit our goals the exact way we thought we would. Be willing to look at what’s working well, what’s not, and refining your plans along the way.
I like to think that complacency lives in the land of no goals. And while it’s critically important and valuable to be happy with what you have and who you are, it’s also true that to achieve our potential as humans, we need to grow and learn and stretch.
This is one of the many things I love about life and business coaching. Coaching is future facing, forward looking and truly about reaching our highest potential.
If there’s something you’re looking to create in your life or in your work that you don’t already have, try this five step process and let me know how it goes.
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