Three Steps to Creating Sustainable Change

Sara Knapp

Post by Sara Knapp, Executive Coach

For most of us, change is hard. Yet it's the very thing that's required to reach a goal. From working with highly successful people and studying their habits, I've discovered three essential ingredients for change to be sustainable. 

1) New thinking, particularly about discomfort. Thinking new thoughts and doing new things feels awkward at first. Yet, the most successful people embrace the discomfort that comes with change. They don't see it as meaning something is wrong. Rather, they see it as a sign that they are growing, changing, and moving toward something that really matters. 

2) Structure. New habits lead to new outcomes. For these habits to survive and thrive, they need structures to support them. These can come in many different forms, depending on what you're trying to achieve. For instance, for people working on time and priority management, one of my favourites is to set up timers that go off periodically during the day. These are "triggers" for people to ask themselves, "Why am I doing what I'm doing right now?" 

3) Accountability to someone other than themselves. It's the rare person who can make major changes in their life without some kind of external accountability. The whole weight loss and personal training industry is built around this fact. The easy way to create this kind of accountability for yourself is to tell all those around you what your goal is, what changes you're working on, and how they can support you. The bigger the audience, the greater the accountability. So, if you're one of the determined ones out there with big goals and big change agendas, set yourself up for success. 

Create the new thinking, structures and accountability systems that the most successful among us already embrace. The results just might surprise you!