This is the message I took away after attending a session called “The Shift” at the Massachusetts Conference for Women in December. Tory Johnson, Good Morning America contributor and author, shared insights from two major shifts in her life. First – leaving the corporate world to start her own business; and more recently, losing over 60 pounds after being overweight her entire life.
“If you have tried and failed at something in the past, something about this time must be different or the outcome will remain the same,” Tory said.
The difference is a true desire and commitment for lasting change, not short-term gimmicks. Tory shared the five questions she had to answer honestly to finally reach her goals in business and in her path to get healthy. These questions can apply to any area of our lives we want to change.
- How fed-up am I? This requires going deep to recall painful moments when you settled for less; when you hung on to negative energy rather than changing what wasn’t working. Tapping into that discomfort is a tough but necessary step to get clear on what’s motivating you to make this time different from past failed attempts.
- What am I willing to give up? Identify and challenge those patterns that you fall back to that blocked your progress in the past. List and tackle each one of them to finally let them go.
- What’s my Plan? After you’ve done the introspection from the first two steps, it’s time to take action. Make a clear plan that’s short enough to recite. For Tory, it was as simple as 1) Eat less 2) Choose smarter 3) Move more. Create your own plan specific to your goals, with rules around how you’ll enforce this new plan for permanent change.
- What is my daily accountability? Create a plan to track your progress and hold yourself accountable every day. We can adjust quickly if we stay aware when we’re veering off course. “Hoping is not a plan,” Tory joked. “Abandon accountability at your own peril.”
- How will I embrace patience and celebrate little victories? “Nothing can replace patience and perseverance in weight loss or in business,” explained Tory. This could be the hardest step in our culture that wants instant results. But the shift is about enjoying the journey of lasting change.
I’ve been thinking about these questions this year instead of making the same old resolutions I never stuck with before! The bad news is there’s no easy fix. The good news is that we all have the power to make positive changes if we put our minds to doing the work.
So if you’re already struggling with the resolutions you just made – take a step back and ask yourself these questions and see if you’re ready to make a shift.
Check out Tory’s website for more inspiration to make a shift.