How to implement change in your life

by

(and make it successful)!

The Top 3 Tips!

In life, we will all go through change, from primary to secondary school, or maybe changing jobs or even quitting smoking. Change is hard. It’s a concept that pushes us outside our comfort barrier and makes us face new challenges many of which we feel unprepared.

The big change in my life was from going from living at home in Bedford to Worcester and now Cheltenham in pursuit of my career in Physiotherapy. But it’s the little daily changes that I have found can often be the hardest to break.

With client’s I’m changing their perception on what pain is, I try to change lifestyles and ask people to complete exercises, with consultants and GPs we are changing and improving the way we work together or debating the best new treatment options for a patient. But I’ve always wondered how can I implement a change better? How can I help my patients to change their lifestyle? How can I stop my bad habits?

So to help me with change, I did what most people do with a problem in the 21st Century – Google it!

Not before long I was reading books, research and listening to podcasts from successful businessmen, psychologists and sporting greats on how to implement change, and I picked up a few tips.

So here are my 3 top tips that I learnt, on how to change and make it work:

  • Follow a model.

There are lots of great models out there but my favourite is called Kotter’s 8 step model. It’s a clear and highly applicable model that gives you a step by step process to create change.


(Source: Adapted from Kotter 1996)

  • Understand the people

What I mean by this is that change, even if highly personal to you, will affect others. For example, explaining to my Mum that I was going to live in Cheltenham wasn’t the easiest thing to do. But I found that by identifying everyone that would be affected by the change, then understanding their perspective meant the change process went much more smoothly. Using the example of wanting a new coffee machine with your boss at work is a great example. If you can understand that the boss is against this change because of the cost, you can change their attitude by talking about your improved work rate due to more caffeine!

  • Don’t forget that change can fail

This isn’t as negative as it sounds. The key is to identify why. Let’s take the example of giving up sugar for Lent. Why was it that you had that delicious jam doughnut? Most change fails due to the motivation of people or poor communication. So next time you try to give up sugar, why not have a weekly chat with a friend who is doing the same, or how about finding a way to motivate you, why not book a holiday or summer activity if you complete your change?

Change is healthy and important, I hope my tips inspire positive change for you!

Keep on Moving,

Dale

Physiotherapist at The Markland Clinic

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