Brand Building Change Management

Blue Monday

January 25th, 2010

Welcome to “Blue Monday”, January 25.
Dr. Cliff Arnall, a Cardiff University researcher has identified “Blue Monday”, January 25, as the most depressing day of 2010. A pseudo-scientific formula weighing and measuring human experience ratios isolates today, “Blue Monday” as the figurative day of resignation and defeat. With a wave of   arms thrown in the air or silent acts of desperation apparently today is the day, if we haven’t caved already, that hope is abandoned and goals are forsaken.
Rather than stand by and watch hope be damned we have mounted an  effort to resurrect all those New Year’s resolutions set to be sacrificed on the altar of setbacks, unexpected interruptions, and will power fatigue. We offer industrial strength goal and motivation energizers, proverbial armor to gird and champion your will onward. All we are saying is…give change a chance!

WHY? WHY to the power of 40?
Are the goals that you have chosen worthy of your effort?
Is the goal an answer to a sincere need or deep desire?
Would your life lack meaning, verve or quality without the adoption of this new challenge?
This is important to assess as there will come a time that you will be forced to make decisions that could derail your progress or leave you feeling selfish.
There will be moments and blocks of time ahead that will challenge your need to invest in this goal or work so hard.     
Why did you start this to begin with? Why is it important?
Keep asking “Why?” until all the excuses are answered, validations outlined and motivations revealed.

Time to change
For everything there is a season.
What’s driving you to address this NOW?
You’ve solidified the value of the goal. How about the timing? Is this the right effort to invest in right now?
Do you hurt enough to implement change? Want change enough to suffer the transition?
Did you start this without considering the other real life conflicts that interfere?

Chart the Course
Walk the particular change process out. Step by diligent step. Establish markers and measures on a calendar that will help you to keep track of progress and distinguish points of celebration.
Break the big plan down into bite sized accomplishments that get celebrated.
This detailed plan will be incredibly rewarding and motivating. There is nothing so compelling as a progress report to motivate change onward.
Setbacks will happen. Readjust and plug on. It’s all part of the adventure.
Remember to mix things up.

Trouble knocks too 
Problems will pop-up. Be ready with a back-up plan, perhaps even a back-up plan to your back-up plan.
As you outline your plan identify and troubleshoot the limitations and target potential pitfalls that could interfere with fulfilling your agenda.
Planning with all the possible obstacles in mind eliminates a lot of the problems that derail success.
Create solutions to make meeting your goals easier.

Pace matters
Gusto has led all of us down a path of frazzled exhaustion at one point or another.
Perhaps you started your change management effort by jumping in, full force and all systems ago.
And now you are confronted with the reality that you can’t manage your real life demands and the aggressive plan that you innovated under the influence of so much unbridled enthusiasm.
Quitting now won’t resolve the tensions. Re-engineer a working solution with all the needs in mind.
Implement a plan of action that increases over time allowing for a comfortable and sustainable integration.
Establish dates and objectives that will serve as measures marking your success.

Work the plan
Establish a working and consistent schedule that reflects the goals and priorities in your life.
A carefully created schedule, with built in flexibility will cultivate a sense of order in your transition chaos.
Follow the plan, even when you don’t feel like it.
Peer pressure
Most of us will find unlimited reserves of resolve to do what we said we would do if we have put our credibility on the line, if everyone we know is watching us to see if we are doing what we vowed to do.
Who wants to disappoint others? Who wants to eat humble pie?
Openly commit to your goals. Tell colleagues, friends, family and co-workers about your plans. Share your progress and your slumps.

And now a few words from our sponsor…
A word of encouragement can go a long way. You’ve taken the time to start this; it makes good sense to support yourself to the finish.
Right now while you are hepped up and enthused write down your goals with an inspired emphasis on the end in mind.
Remind yourself what you are striving for in quotes that speak to you or pictures that inspire.
Hide, place and post your purposes on your calendar or on the refrigerator; where ever most helpful as a constant motivator or to avert a moment of weakness.
Keeping motivations running high is the biggest challenge to realizing goals.  Amp up your own supports.

Follow the plan, not your mojo
At some point your enthusiasm will sell out and your motivation will fail, abandoning you on the road to change.
You aren’t always going to want to follow through on your big plans and high hopes.
Face it, admit it, and own it. Plug on without them. Ride out the emotional and inspirational lulls adhering to the plan that you built when you were thinking clearly. 
Do what you know to do, regardless of how it is that you feel. Motivation will follow.

Feed your inspiration, starve your doubts
What you think, say and listen to is incredibly persuasive.
Clean up your self talk. Monitor your own thoughts for self defeating and negative scripts that run uninvited through your mind.
Eliminate “I can’t do this”, “what was I thinking?”, “I don’t have time for this” and all other lies and distractions that pop up automatically and challenge your commitment.
Devote energies to replacing negative thoughts with a new and improved reality.

Fine tune the focus
Change is hard.
There is a time for scrutinizing the detailed process of change…In the beginning, when you are determining if this change makes sense now and while framing a dedicated plan to follow.
Obsessing over the dedicated details, length of time, tasks and steps involved to realize your ambitions will make the change process heavier.
Once you’ve committed to a plan of change refocus your thoughts on the wanted outcome. Rather than thinking about what you can’t eat on your weight loss plan, write a list of what you can eat and visualize what you are going to look like as a slimmer shade of yourself.

Read all about it
Reading enhances awareness, broader perspective, education, tools, insights, personal success narratives and all the motivation that anyone would need to remain focused and immersed in the change and adoption process.
Read books, blogs and supports to strengthen your goal every day.
Feeling equipped and knowledgeable builds confidence and impacts success ratios.

Find a few great minds
Find someone else that shares your passion for this particular goal.
Who is the authority on this topic? Who has mastered what you want to achieve? Who is doing it in your own community?
Meet them. Inspiration is harnessed and the goal is made more real as you incorporate the change you want into your life.
Some goals can’t be achieved alone. Find the supports that you need through networks or online, before you need them. 

Accountability Partner
More often than not goals are disadvantaged from the start, lacking the supports necessary to be integrated.
If you are serious about instituting change find an accountability partner. Someone that will challenge, inspire, brainstorm, educate, provoke and celebrate your evolution.
The American College of Sports Medicine found that working out with a partner resulted in 34 more minutes of exercise.

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