Pam is Founder and CEO of TPK Properties LLC, a property investment and consulting firm focused on investor capital preservation and growth.
Creating sustainable change requires a clear vision with effective habits.
Life happens by design. Leaving things to chance or circumstance can keep you from achieving the progress you desire. I often hear people talk about resolutions, yet I find that what most people are actually seeking is evolution. In order to grow—and not merely change—I believe we need to evolve. Curating a road map that can help you work toward your intended business goals can provide you not only with a specific path to follow, but it can help you maximize your time. Knowing where you want to grow and what steps are needed in order to do so saves you from investing time in counterproductive things. During a cycle of growth, your evolution plan may also help you set healthy boundaries so that you can create positive habits that will propel your growth.
A recent study shows that it takes an average of 59 days to make a new habit permanent. The mind is a powerful muscle and muscle memory is a real thing. In order to create sustainable change, we need to develop the right mindset that will continuously choose to support the fresh choices that are required to achieve and maintain change—that is how it will become sustainable.
1. Start by refining your vision.
If you are looking to make changes or achieve new business goals, it all starts with refining your vision. Determine with clarity what it is that you want and why. Then, consider what things you will need to do in order to bring your new vision to life. This may mean that you need to put an end to some things that no longer serve you and your long-term vision in order to create space for new habits and choices to take place. Change may be uncomfortable because you are moving from what is familiar to things that are unfamiliar. In this process, choosing to be curious can be helpful in embracing change faster.
Consider making a vision board for your business. Evaluate where your business is now, then visualize where you see it going in the future. Channel your creativity with magazine cutouts or digital clippings to illustrate the picture you are wanting to create. Spend time journaling—this can be a powerful way to work through what your vision looks like by getting it down on paper. You can also take time out of your workday to meditate for clarity. They often say that the loudest answers come through silence.
2. Seek guidance from your mentors.
You should also consider brainstorming with your mentors. They can often provide insights from their own experiences that you may find very helpful.
While mentors may not necessarily provide you with exact answers, they can equip you with a new perspective. By doing so, as an entrepreneur and leader, you are able to consider things from alternative angles and often come up with innovative solutions through the process. Be curious as the curiosity allows you to open your mind to broader thinking that can be empowering as you work toward your goals. Approach the conversations with your mentors from the mindset of a student, where no questions are off limits and your purpose is to soak in the information.
3. Create actionable steps.
Start with the big picture and break your business goals down into actionable steps. Each goal should be paired with a specific action plan to help bring it to life. Without action, the goals will remain a dream. Looking at each goal as a journey versus a destination is helpful. This way you are considering the steps as a part of the process instead of merely narrowing in your company’s end goal. Consider breaking your annual goals down into a monthly series of steps that is organized into weekly small steps that need to be taken. By breaking annual goals down in these ways, the steps that need to be taken can be more digestible and easier to execute. In this process, change can become progressive. You can also set a time aside each week to check in on your goals to evaluate your progress. This way you can recognize when you need to course correct, or conversely, you can celebrate the small wins along the way.
By the second month of any given year, most New Year resolutions are long gone. While many people began with the best of intentions, the reality is that unless a sustainable plan was put in place to create new habits and support new choices, then we may default to what we know as familiar (even if we know we need to make a change). This is why I find learning to create a more intentional plan is paramount in helping you create the change you desire.
Change can seem overwhelming when it is looked at as a whole—which is why breaking it down into a series of smaller steps can allow it to be more achievable and digestible. It’s also vital to remember that waiting for the right time is like waiting for perfection, which is an illusion. The right time is when you decide to take action. One of my favorite quotes by Gary John Bishop states, “Successful people don’t wait. They’re not waiting for the ‘right’ moment.” Every moment we get is a chance to begin again, and evolution begins when we make our minds up to embark on a new path forward.
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