Ever heard anybody recite the line “People don’t change?” Kind of like the line when someone says you get what you pay for! When I hear these lines, I immediately start to wonder if human beings feel that way due to a fixed mindset from bad experiences or disappointment. Making generalizations about all people or all situations is a losing proposition.

We all have the capacity to change. The problem is seeking or needing change feels daunting and brings about heightened levels of uncertainty, randomness, and inconsistency.

So here are some essential strategies to take into the new year as you consider your level of happiness, accomplishment, and sense of self.

  1. Stop using the word change and instead replace it with a softer word like adjust, transition, or shift. If you get your inner voice convinced, you have a shot.
  2. Self-Awareness – Recognize what’s holding you back. When you try to transition, what gets in your way? (Events, Emotions, People, Feelings, Baggage) etc.
  3. Yoda – (Do or Do Not…There Is No Try) Let’s start focusing on the “why” reasons we want to change before we think of why or how we’ll fail. Exercising and eating better are among the most common areas people claim they want to transition. But then they remember trying a strategy before, exhausting multiple efforts that failed, or being too busy. As a result, people talk themselves out of it.
  4. Contemplate and list the physical, emotional and intellectual negatives of not being able to make this shift and what is driving the improved habits you seek.
  5. Rome wasn’t built in a day – making incremental adjustments is not only allowed, but preferred. You have to start somewhere and recognizing small victories demonstrate improvements to be proud of.
  6. Forgiveness – push yourself hard enough to recognize progress, but not too much that you find yourself unwilling to stay at it. If you seek to work out four times per week and you miss one here and there, you don’t reset to zero. Quite the opposite. You have created a positive precedent of new behavior.
  7. Tempting Fate – it is important to be around positive people, and just as important to remove temptation. The less you have to think about what to do, the more successful you’re likely to be.
  8. Growth Mindset – Change…I mean transition, can be hard. The average person launches a change effort six separate times before it finally takes.
  9. Could Have, Should Have, Would Have – If you’re thinking things like “I should do this”, or “I ought to do that”, it’s likely those are not your intrinsic values. They may motivate you to get started, but won’t be enough to keep you going.
  10. On Life Support – Seek a coach who will hold you accountable and provide unconditional support. Research has shown that working with a personal coach supports you in achieving your professional or personal goals and enhances your chances of a successful outcome.

Know your why, believe in your capability, and identify the right support in order to shift your mindset and develop new habits.

“Success is not Final, failure Is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts”

Winston Churchill

Mark Altman is the founder of MindsetGo and empowers individuals to maximize their potential to be more successful personally and professionally through team building, experiential learning, habit-change, skill development, and problem-solving. With over two decades of experience speaking and training on engagement, sales, customer service, and interpersonal skills, Mark has supported a diverse group of professionals in finance, insurance, manufacturing, healthcare, HR, non-profits and retail. His clients value his versatility and recognize him as a motivational trainer, thought leader, and intuitive listener.