When Making Changes – It’s OK to Eat Dessert First!
In order to get where you want to be or get the results you desire, you will need to change your beliefs, habits – maybe even learn and grow! Determining where to start is the hardest part!
I have ambitious goals. In order to help others fearlessly become all they were created to BE personally and professionally, I must consistently grow and change myself! Change isn’t just something I want you to be able to do; it’s something that I am continually working on myself!
When it comes to making changes, the temptation is to tackle the changes all at once. That‘s very overwhelming. It might even lead to procrastination and doing nothing, especially if you are prone to being a perfectionist.
In order to get where you want to be, you will need to grow and change too. Sometimes the best way to do that is to tackle what’s most appetizing first; what feels like an easy win. That’s why I give you permission to “eat dessert first” as you set out to make improvements personally and professionally
Is it really OK to eat dessert first?
When it comes to getting what you need from a meal, it’s all ultimately going to end up in the same place right? What really matters is the quality of the food, not the order you eat it in. Good food is going to enhance your health, and junk food is going to harm your health. So cotton candy might not be a wise choice, but what about chocolate covered strawberries, or grilled pineapple, or some dark chocolate?
Controlling your portion sizes is hard. That’s typically why we save dessert for last. It’s typically the least healthy part of the meal and the smallest part (hopefully). You have to save a little from for that treat.
Just like with food, when it comes to making changes personally or professionally, the order doesn’t matter nearly as much as the quality of the changes.
Compartmentalizing your life is natural.
If you make personal changes, you expect to grow personally. And if you make professional changes you assume you will grow professionally. If you spend more time engaging with God you hope to grow spiritually. All of that is true, but as a human you are an integrated person. Positive changes in any area of your life will enhance the other areas of your life.
You don’t have to change everything; you just have to be willing to initiate making a quality change in one area of life to get the process started. Sometimes initiating the change process with a change that’s a little easier and more appealing to you allows you to experience a quick victory. That’s a great place to start – even if it might be a dessert-like place to start. It creates momentum!
For example, choosing to exercise every day for 30 minutes has a many benefits. It boosts your energy levels and enhances your mood. You will be more creative, sleep better, and keep stress in check. It requires you to eliminate unnecessary activities and be more organized in order to make space for exercising. After a few weeks of exercising you feel stronger, more confident, and you like the way your clothes fit too!
That one change, creates a ripple effect that leads to other positive changes that ultimately prove beneficial to you personally and professionally! That’s a BIG win!
Maybe exercise is not your deal and it would be far too challenging to start the change process there. I get it! That might not be “dessert” for you.
Perhaps improving relationships is more your speed. Resuming a weekly date night with your spouse or getting together with a friend regularly might be your “dessert”. You might decide that reaching out by e-mail or snail mail to treasured ones would nurture your relationships. The energy and fuel you get out of time spent with those you love will spill over into other areas of your life.
Are you eager to grow professionally?
Would you like to develop some new skills, enhance your ability to communicate, delegate, set clear expectations, or manage how you use your time? Learning in any of these areas is sure to increase your confidence, make you a more valuable at work, and be reflected in your personal life as well!
Making a positive change is good thing even if you start with dessert first!
So, ready to get the process rolling? Here’s what you do:
1. Pick A Focus
What area of your life is most appealing to work on or what area are you most motivated to work on? If you were to make a single change, what change would benefit you the most? Will you start with your health, finances, relationships, emotions, work, intellect, spiritual, or fun and leisure?
2. Set A Goal
Is your goal to complete a course, read a book, or exercise 30 minutes a day 5 days a week? Whatever your goal is, make it a SMART goal! (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, & Time-Bound)
3. Identify The Baby Steps
Break your goal down into smaller more manageable action steps. Keep it small so that you can successfully make the change you are after. For example, if your goal is to read a book, how much time will you spend reading each day? Or you may prefer to read two chapters a day.
The more concrete your baby step is, the easier it is to know whether or not you have completed your baby step.
4. Track Your Progress
Being able to see your progress in a visual way is motivating. Will you track your progress using a chart you hang on your wall? You can even utilize stickers – they are NOT just for kids. Perhaps you prefer a thermometer type chart or a bar graph. Maybe simply checking it off on your calendar or creating a system in your bullet journal is more suitable for you. If you are a techy, maybe Trello, Goalscape, or LifeTick (it uses SMART goals) is a better fit.
5. Be Accountable
Attempting to make changes in a vacuum or on your own diminishes your chances of being successful. Most people struggle to make even small changes on their own. Want to increase your odds of reaching a goal? Enlist the help of a spouse, family member, friend, or coach to support you through the process.
The LAB is a great way to make changes with a coach at your fingertips!
6. Set A Deadline
As the saying goes, “A goal without a deadline is a dream.” Without that date it probably won’t become a reality. Be realistic, but push yourself!
7. Prepare For Obstacles
Go into the change process with your eyes wide open! What will keep you from making the desired change? How can you prepare in advance for those hurdles?
It’s perfectly acceptable to start with dessert as long as you leave room for the rest of the meal. In the same way, there is no shame in starting with the changes that are more palatable to you. If you want to grow and thrive personally and professionally, it will require change!
What one change will you make?
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / mblach