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Change or Else

• Change is hard! • Change is easy! • Change is different for everyone!

When asked, most people will readily agree that they are comfortable with change. When I’ve pressed audiences further, they’re frequently more emphatic about their ability to embrace change, and seek it out regularly. A quick reality check reveals otherwise. For example, although more than 35% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, only 8% keep them. Is that damning statistic related to not properly preparing for change or is it about change in general?

Almost no one truly likes change, except perhaps the baby with a dirty diaper. Change is almost always stressful and challenging. Even good change can be difficult. So it’s no wonder that the two most common responses to change are denial and resistance. Some people pretend it doesn’t exist, and some people fight it, but most people try both approaches. The trouble is–both denial and resistance are fairly useless responses.

Some changes, despite our best intentions, fall by the wayside for numerous reasons. Deciding to drink more water daily for one week as a first step in a healthier lifestyle plan is a change that is doable for most people. You are adding vs. reducing or eliminating something from your routine. It is specific, measurable and not likely to have negative consequences. On the other hand, wanting to be healthier, while admiral in theory, is too vague, lacks a time frame and relies on significant changes in lifestyle that have not been identified.

Each of us is capable of making changes and the details can also be the deal breakers. Some of us embrace change from the outset and are excited and disciplined about setting goals and seeing results. Others are slower to start and may need more support.

• Review times when you have been most successful. • What was your approach? • Did you share your plan with others to gain extra support?


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