Monday, October 31, 2011

Four steps to Making a Change - Any Change

Four Steps to Making a Change

I know I want to change… Yet, every time I set a goal and decide to
change, I seem to get sidetracked or lose sight of the end point. 

It neverseems to work out as I planned.

How can you effectively make a change? You know how to set goals. You even have a
framework for this: SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Tangible. So you
set up your goals using this framework. You get specific and say that you want more self
confidence when meting someone new. You set up a measurable outcome by saying that you will
talk with the next person that catches your eye. You see this as attainable; you at least see new
and interesting people all the time. It is a realistic goal and there will be tangible benefits for you
when it happens.

So where is the problem? Why is this the third time you have set this goal? It could be that you
have no plan for accomplishing this change. No idea how to become more effective at meeting
new people. No idea how to become self confident in a different settings. And no ways to
determine if you are even doing the things you are trying to do effectively. So how can you
expect to accomplish this without a new approach? You can’t.

You can’t that is without a plan. Just like you need a plan or framework to be able to set goals,
you need a framework for accomplishing those goals. Just setting a goal never accomplishes
anything. You have to take action. Yet that action needs a direction and its own plan to become

Making Change Happen: A Plan for Change
The steps are easy.

First you need to discover what you need to know. Do you need a book or a course? Do you need
a life coach? Do you need to talk with friends? Are there tools available that would help? What
ever is needed must be identified and found. In the case above you might need a life coach to
help identify effective ways to interact in new situations and it may be helpful to read about
communication skills. (There may be other things needed depending upon the particular
circumstances, these are offered only as an illustration.)

The second step is to put the information, tools or learning into action. You need to test the new
ideas. This step is all about practice. It is now time to take your new game on the road. In this
case you might practice in a familiar setting with a friend.

The third step is all about feedback. Without feedback you will not know how your performance
went. Feedback is your measurement of results. Part of the feedback will be a self assessment of
the results. You will review the actual result of the practice – the action taken. In this case you
will assess your results in terms how confident you felt, what was comfortable and where did
you have problems. Another part of the feedback can include a discussion with your life coach
that reviews the actions taken and the results obtained.

The fourth step is to use the feedback information to determine if you need to go back to steps
one or two or if the desired results have been obtained and you can check the completed box next
to this goal. If you need more practice, go back to step two and practice until you get the desired
result. If more information or tools are needed, go back to step one and start there again.

The Steps
1) Get the needed information or tools.
2) Put this in to action – Practice the new techniques.
3) Get feedback about results.
4) Make corrections, get new information, practice more, or obtain the desired results and
call the goal complete!

Use these steps for any kind of change. The key to this is to pay attention to what
you are doing and what is happening in the interactions.

So pick a goal and getting going. One, Two, Three, Four – Finished!

© Fritz M. Brunner, Ph.D. 2006, 2011

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