It’s not only moving that creates new starting points. Sometimes all it takes is a subtle shift in perspective, an opening of the mind, an intentional pause and reset, or a new route to start to see new options and new possibilities.

Kristin Armstrong

Today we’re sharing tips on fresh starts and initiating change. Take a minute to scan your head and heart:

-Is there a specific change in your life – a new start – you want?

-Is there a new habit you’re determined to build?

-A change in culture or performance you want to create in your organization?

-A new level in your identity development and/or mindfulness to which you’re aspiring?

If yes, congrats! – new horizons, whether personal or professional, are exciting opportunities to push past what has been into what will be and to take on new expansiveness.

 

The kick-start can be challenging; we offer these three tips to help your success in realizing those goals.

 

Three Steps To Support Fresh Starts and Change

1)      Picture where you aspire to end. Get out of your left brain a little bit here and really let yourself vividly picture what you want. Where is it you wish to be in the future days, months, years? What is it you hope to accomplish? What’s possible even beyond that? Try not to make checklists and maps just yet. This stage is about connecting your head and heart to the finish line. What will you feel when you get there? What is your metaphorical running through the tape? Remember: they key here is to vividly picture where you aspire to go.

2)      Take small, intentional steps at the start. If you’re like me, this might be the hardest step. Often, when I set a goal, I want to be full-steam ahead and expect results immediately. There’s tons of research here, friends, that says in order to see long-term change, we need to take smaller steps rather than sweeping, large-scale steps even when it feels counterintuitive. As Chip and Dan Heath, the authors of the Switch, explain: “big changes come from a succession of small changes.”  Start small, with big intentionality.

3)      Capture the progress and celebrate it. I promise – this isn’t a cliché. It’s a non-negotiable. As you take those small intentional steps, you need to keep track of your progress and celebrate, celebrate, celebrate. Not to feel good about yourself (though: you should; that’s not a bad thing) but in particular to learn, to understand, and to establish new habits and the sense that change is possible because it’s happening. Examining those early wins helps us answer: what is progress to you, for you? What worked so you can replicate it? Imagine an old thermometer, filling from the bottom up – measuring temperature. Your goal is 100%–the top of the thermometer. Each daily step you take, even when small, fills the thermometer a little more (there’s no going from 0 to 100, skipping everything in between) and each percentage increase is worth noting, worth understanding, worth honoring. You deserve to celebrate your effort and impact – each conscientious, piecemeal part of it.

 

You’ve got this.

 

We challenge you to choose one specific new start or change in your life, and to name your intention for that effort. Then kick off this process. And: consider using the comments below as a place to publically name, own, and celebrate those early, intentional steps and efforts you’re taking. The comments are a wonderful place for us all to be witnesses to one another in our journeys toward deeper relationships with ourselves, others, and our world. So tell us: what’s your start, what are you learning as you practice the steps above, and what can you already celebrate from your efforts? Remember, big intention – small steps.