I am an Army Brat. By the time I started high school at 14, I had already attended 6 schools, lived in 9 towns and settled into 13 houses. I’m also an ISTJ personality type that doesn’t like change according to Myers-Briggs. You can imagine how that could be a challenge. Thankfully, my years as an Army kid taught me how to roll with it and come out stronger on the other side. This is my tried and true strategy.
Accept the new reality. For many, the gut reaction to change is fight or flight – either resisting with everything they have or running away from the situation and pretending it isn’t going to happen. News Flash – change is inevitable. Whether a new gray hair pops up on your head or new technology renders your current skills obsolete – change happens every single day. The sooner you can accept that, the easier it is to move forward.
Embrace it! Now it’s time to figure out how you want to live and who you want to be in this new world of yours. This is an opportunity to shake things up! A health issue could be the motivation to take better care of yourself; a rough economy might prompt you to streamline your business or learn new skills to make yourself more marketable. Formalizing key goals will help to propel you forward.
Make a plan. As Winston Churchill said, "He who fails to plan is planning to fail." I’m a planner by nature so I do this as a matter of course in everything - projects, shopping, flossing, whatever – I’m a firm believer. But, if the idea of mapping out goals and actions overwhelms you, take heart – there are plenty of resources online and in your local bookstore to help enhance your planning skills. A little investment in time figuring out what methods resonate best with you will reap many future successes.
Execute the plan. You can develop the greatest plan in the world but it’s not doing you any good unless you take action and follow it. Otherwise you’re not only spinning your wheels but also (if you’re like me) worrying about it. So do yourself a favor and work your plan! You should also be prepared to modify your plan down the line because, as we know, change is inevitable.
Following these steps has helped me through countless transitions, big and small, and has made me more resilient and willing to take chances. It has given me the confidence to know that I can persevere no matter what happens that is outside of my control.
Change is on its way. Are you ready for it? We’d love to hear what works for you!
Heather Sullivan Croy, CID, ASID, LEED AP