Control Changes Instead of Waiting for Chance
A couple thousand years ago, Greek philosopher Heraclitus philosophized that, “The only thing that is constant is change.” Things have changed a lot since Heraclitus’ time and will continue changing, proving his point.
Change happens in two ways — by crisis or by choice. We can’t always do anything when a crisis hits us out of nowhere, but sometimes the changes we make by choice can help us avoid the crisis changes, or at least help us deal with them in a better way.
In fact, many of the changes we face can be made by our choice. But it helps to have some kind of outline and plan to make those changes in the best way possible. One such plan can be described by the acronym ROAR – Recognize, Organize, Animate and Realize. Here’s how it works.
Recognize: This seems to be obvious — you have to recognize that you want or need to make a change before you can begin to make a change. The problem, though, is that even though you might know you need to change, you might not know the whys and hows of making the change.
The first step is to understand where the impetus for change comes from — is it a self-appointed change or a change someone else wants you to make, and for the Christian, is it a God-appointed change? Sometimes it could be all three; for example, a man might want to be a better husband and father because he wants to be (self-appointed), because his wife and children want him to be (other-appointed) and because that is God’s desire (God-appointed).
Another part of this step is then recognizing what unique natural skills and talents you have, your personality, your passions and your values. All of these can help you assess what changes you need to make and how you can best make them.
A trained life coach can help you think through all of these things in an honest way that is often difficult to do on your own or with loved ones or friends.
Organize: It is much easier to move forward in making a change if you have a plan. A plan helps you focus on the steps you need to make to create the change you desire. You’ll set your ultimate goal, but along the way you’ll set a series of short-range goals that will keep you moving in the right direction.
It’s impossible to plan for every bump in the road or to write down every detail, but with a plan you’ll know you’re going in the right direction. Setting “mile markers” helps you see how much you’ve progressed.
It is also important to begin to focus on using your strengths. Often, we look at our weaknesses and expend a lot of effort trying to bring them up to speed. There is nothing wrong with overcoming weaknesses, but if our focus is on our shortcomings, our attitude will tend to be negative and progress will come slowly.
By focusing on what we’re good at, utilizing that and making it even stronger, we will have a positive attitude and changes will come faster. And building those strengths will help us to overcome our weaknesses.
Animate: This is where you bring your plan to life, where you put your shoes on the ground and start moving. A plan is only as good as your commitment to following it. This is where a life coach can help with accountability in achieving both the short-term and long-term goals. We all do better when we have someone encouraging us and expecting our success.
Change seldom is painless, physically or emotionally. It can be exhausting because it’s different than how you’ve always done things. You’ll stumble and fail at times.
But real, lasting change comes when you stay patient with yourself and the process and commit to push through the pain. People who push through the things that are painful soon find that those things become normal and painless — pushing through develops your emotional muscles. This is another place where a life coach can give you a big assist.
Realize: All of the effort will eventually result in success — you’ll achieve the change you desire. When that happens, celebrate! Have a party if you want.
But don’t become complacent. It is all too easy to slide back into the same bad habits you had before. Work with your life coach to develop a maintenance plan that keeps you firmly planted in the change you just made.
And then prepare for the next change. Heraclitus was right that change will constantly happen. But how and when it happens, more often than not, is up to you.
In addition to serving as editor of Buzz on Biz, Gary Kauffman is also a Christian life coach working from an office in Martinez. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 803-341-5830 or visit kauffmancoaching.com.