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3 Strategies for Lasting Transformation

Making Change Stick

June 7, 2023
Lead Self
Dr. Chris Auger

Change is difficult, yet it is an integral part of our life’s journey. Whether we want to accept it or not, it is always present.

What can we do with that realization? One choice is to fight against it but that is as effective as fighting against ocean tides. The other choice is to invite it in and use it to lead, team, and follow well.

“In life, you will never be problem-free. But if you are wise, you will choose your problems.” – John Parrish

One way to become more situationally aware of the change around us is to use simple tools like the OODA Loop. In her article in TechTarget CIO, Sarah Lewis explains the OODA Loop clearly, concisely, and compellingly. Key to the effectiveness of using the OODA Loop is recognizing how change is the major driver. The question we should be asking ourselves is, “How we can embrace change and tap into its value?”

A recent coaching client of mine was seeking change across all the circles of influence in his life. He stated that the secret to helping change stick was his willingness to embrace accountability!

Servant leadership is being compelled by the unshakable desire to enrich the lives of others. It is fair, firm, and accountable to those around you which includes the one in the mirror.

My client sought to add value to those he would engage with. It was a challenge for him to realize that one of the people he needed to be accountable for was the man in the mirror.

By being fair, firm, and accountable to himself, he was able to significantly improve the relationships around him and the credibility from which he spoke. He learned to love the one in the mirror in an unconditional and non-transactional way. His result was – and still is – a more rewarding and fulfilling life.

He leveraged three personal accountability strategies to solidify the changes he knew he needed to make happen.

3 Strategies for Making Change Stick

 

1. Be the Example

It’s interesting how different forms of learning can impact how much information we can retain. The learning pyramid displays the estimated retention from the various forms of learning we are exposed to. When we begin modeling, mentoring, and teaching others we ourselves retain the most from what we have learned. By choosing to use participatory methods of learning to live out an unwavering vision of the future, we enhance our success rate.

the-learning-pyramid

Graphic courtesy of ScienceOutside.org

Another benefit of being the example is that helps us to reshape our perspective. We begin to move away from finite goals and destinations to more of a way of life and infinite outcomes.

Simon Sinek details the difference between a finite and an infinite mindset in his book The Infinite Game. A finite mindset in a game is that there are set rules, a designated endpoint, and a winner – like in Monopoly. Our goal when we pursue an infinite mindset is to find ways to extend the game for as long as possible. We must strive to continue the game and find creative solutions to keep it going.

My recent coaching client realized that weight loss is a finite goal with multiple paths to reach his endgame. However, some of these paths may be unhealthy. He realized that what he truly wanted was to learn to eat well. This would help him to not only lose weight, but to also sleep better, perform better, and think more clearly.

Rather than focusing solely on weight loss, he shifted to an infinite mindset by focusing on learning how to eat well. He is also being intentional about how he shares what he has learned with others.

 

2. Build Momentum Through Consistency

As I mentioned earlier, change is difficult. It’s an ongoing journey, and the truth is that implementing change will be met with some natural resistance. Getting the ball rolling and building momentum can be – and usually is – difficult in the beginning. Tracking, journaling, and envisioning the future are ways to help us stay the course.

Learning to track and document our efforts helps us see the change happen. There is a myriad of technology that aids in tracking the specific changes we are acting on. It could be an app related to our change. Or, it could be a calendaring system to show if we have done the action we’ve committed to taking.

One of the pieces of technology the coaching client used was a wellness app on his phone called MyFitnessPal. The app enabled him to track his exercise, water intake, and sleep. He was also able to share his progress with others. More on working with others later.

Journaling with a pen and paper journal is a great way to help build momentum. This kind of tracking, reflecting, and writing helps to strengthen the neural pathways that are associated with the desired change. Journaling our thoughts is a powerful way to develop momentum and see success in our efforts to help change stick.

3. Don’t Journey Alone 

In most of the shows I have watched about animals in the wild, the predators always try to get their prey secluded and alone before they move in. When we journey alone, we are more susceptible to setbacks and failures. We lose the ability to lean on the power that comes from the community and others. The key is to invite others specifically and intentionally on the journey you are on.

Invite others who know you, care about you, and want to help you become better. It’s important to invite someone along on your journey whose support and advice you value. This can be an accountability partner, a best friend, a personal advisory board, a spouse or significant other, a family member, or even a professional coach. The key is to have someone other than yourself to hold you fair, firm, and accountable for the change you commit to make.

 

Start Making Change That Lasts

Embrace the fact that change is constant and learn to tap into the value it brings. Model and mentor how to engage change well. Use the tools around you to keep informed. Invite others to share in your journey.

Wondering if a coach could help the life changes you want to make stick?

WinShape Teams coaching provides considerate, guided direction to help you understand your current reality, where you’re headed, and how you can achieve your highest purpose. Our coaches work alongside you to create a development plan that’s personalized to your goals.