4 Steps to Making a Big Life Change
Here’s how to ACTUALLY turn pipe dreams into reality
Have you ever wanted to make a big change in your life?
The kind of change that would improve things tenfold… but terrifies the crap out of you?
That where I’m at. So I’m doing something about it. And I’m sharing how you can, too.
If you missed my last post, I shared that 2019 came with the realization that I need to spend more time doing what I love: Art. So this week, I recorded my game plan for becoming a professional artist.
Now, artsy-ness isn’t everyone’s jam. But don’t tune out yet. Because if you want to make any change in your life or business, you’ll want to follow the same steps:
1) Define who you want to become (not what you want to do)
Let’s say you want to build some muscle, so you decide you’ll work out more. That’s dandy. But the problem is, the person you are today isn’t equipped to do that. If you were, you’d already be doing it. You need to become a new person.
Does that make sense? It sounds silly, but it’s a useful mindset shift. It’s the same concept behind the phrase “What got you here won’t get you there.”
The key to massive change isn’t just adding a task to your to-do list. It’s becoming a person who’s able and willing to do that task automatically, over and over again.
Focus on BEING the person, not DOING the thing. When your mind is in the right place, the doing will happen on its own.
2) Find out what that person does every day
Okay, so you need to become someone who works out regularly. Now, you have to move from the mindset to the tactical. On a practical level, what does a person like that do every day?
Maybe they go to the gym before work. They probably have a healthy eating plan, and they hang out with other fit-minded folks.
Your goal here is to build a mental image of the alternative lifestyle you want to take on. But getting the exact answers requires research. Look up blogs of people who are doing what you want to do. Find role models wherever you can. Look at what they’re doing every day. Take note.
And this applies to anything. You want to become a professional chef? Look up your kitchen heroes on Wikipedia and search YouTube for interviews. See how they live their life — or, maybe, how they lived their life in their earlier days of chef-dom. That probably means cooking every day, attending cooking events, staying current on cool food trends… I don’t know. But you will soon. Get out there and make a list.
3) Now, live as much like that person as possible
When you feel unmotivated, ask: Would my ideal self sit here, or would they go do thing?
They’d go do the thing. Of course.
It’s all about setting aside the time to do the activities that will move you toward your goal.
Now sometimes, change starts really small. You’re only able to work out on weekends, or you don’t have time to focus on your cooking skills every night. It doesn’t matter. The point is to take action. Get in motion and stay in motion. Once you’re moving, the next steps become clear.
4) Practice intentionally
Learning a new skill is addicting. Those first few weeks, you see a lot of change. And then it inevitably plateaus. The workout gets boring. You’ve got a few recipes down and never seem to have time to experiment with new ones. You start to become complacent.
Guess what? That’s perfectionism. That’s fear. There’s a scared voice telling you to just stick with what you know because you’re so good at it already. But it’s a trap.
This is where intentional practice has to take over. It’s not enough to do the same thing over and over. Especially for a big change, you have to keep moving forward. Staying in one place is actually falling behind.
So get out there and find where you need to improve. Dedicate yourself to completing the change. And this doesn’t have to be on your own — take classes, find mentors, learn from your community.
Happy life changing,
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Originally published at jessierlewis.com on January 18, 2019.