In all the things I’ve learned in the last 3+ years, it’s that getting to meaningful change takes waaaay longer than anyone imagines. I left my last big corporate job in 2019 and at that time thought I’d be onto my what’s next within the year. Silly me, it’s now years later and I have had said, ‘this is it’ several times and I’m saying it again today, “I’m ready to make change happen.”
Meeting with a few hundred individuals in the last few years has also unveiled that making change happen means asserting control from the very beginning. And most importantly of all, control over your when. Here’s what that really means; it means regardless of all the external voices around you saying, ‘consider this, try that, just do it already,’ you have to be and are the only one that can do it. And you can’t do it until you actually get there – in your head.
The headspace for being ready to make change happen is no different than the headspace we have for deciding to begin to make a commitment to ourselves to, go on a walk each day, quit smoking or start a new diet. Nothing actually happens until we flip the switch and take the mental moment to decide we will do it.
That’s the magic moment.
No one can push or drag you to it. And, no one can flip that switch for you either. It’s all on you. I’d venture to the guess the control freak in you finds that reassuring, while the impatience you possess as a human will find it infuriating. Here’s the good news on all of that for you Ms. Overachiever, one of the keys to successfully making change is sticking to and simply doing it on your own timeline. Here's why:
You know yourself best #controlfreak
When it comes to making changes in your life, no one knows you better than you know yourself. You are the best judge of your own needs, desires, and limitations. You know what motivates you and what discourages you. By setting your own timeline for change, you can work at a pace that is comfortable and sustainable for you.
You have other priorities (damn it!)
The work we do with women each and every day is a direct reminder that making change often requires a significant investment of time and energy. And like them, you likely have at sh%t ton of other priorities in your life, such as work, family, or health. It's important to set a timeline that takes these other priorities into account. By making change on your own timeline, you can ensure that you're not neglecting other important areas of your life. Ones that also rank highly on your scorecard for success and the list of things important to you too. And that’s important to recognize too.
You need to be ready
Change is most successful when you are ready for it. Let me repeat that, change is more successful when you are READY for it. If you try to make a change before you're mentally or emotionally prepared, you may struggle to sustain it. By setting your own timeline, giving yourself the time, you can ensure that you are ready for the change you want to make. This may of course then also ironically mean taking the time to reflect on your goals and motivations, while seeking support from others. Bottom line, your action might include simply waiting until the timing feels right.
You can build momentum (yeah for speed!)
Making change can be difficult, especially at the beginning. However, by setting a timeline for yourself and breaking down your goals into smaller, achievable steps, you can build momentum and keep yourself motivated. By making progress at a pace that works for you, you can create a sense of accomplishment that will keep you going. And, when you’re ready (there’s that word again!) let RSP play the role of the firestarter in partnership with you. We have ways to get you to take that first step and if we’re lucky, you won’t even realize that’s what’s happening.
You can avoid burnout (and believe you me, we know you’re already burned out…)
If you try to make too many changes too quickly, or push yourself too hard, you may become overwhelmed and give up. By setting a realistic timeline, you can pace yourself and avoid becoming exhausted or discouraged.
Listen, in many ways I know this isn’t anything you haven’t heard before. It’s not rocket science to say that by setting realistic goals, prioritizing your other commitments, and building momentum gradually, you can successfully make the changes you want to see happen, happen.
It’s the making change on your own timeline that’s most important and that I want you to remember not to forget. Not because it allows you to work at a pace that is comfortable and sustainable for you – that’s a nice to have of course - but because if you do it on your own timeline, you’ll be more successful. And we know success is what you’ve been aiming for all along. And we want it for you too.