Did you make a resolution on New Year’?
Well, forget the resolutions you made a week ago. There’s a reason why this post is on the second week of January. Because it is NOT about how you START the year, but rather it is how you FINISH it.
So what is it about 2019 then? Why is this THE year to make a change? Because there’s no better time to start than right now!
Last year, I made a leap that was not at all normal to those around me. Some called it brave, some called it stupid, many went ..
“Ah, this young people always get bored fast, let her find out it’s hard”
And then there was the family….
I realized what they were thinking when making these comments. Money, Job Security, Society’s Timeline. You know this one — buy the car, buy the house, and the next house and make some children before you hit 32 and your life has pretty much come to an end lol.
But what exactly was this “leap” I’m talking about? I went from a corporate job where I was doing well, making good progress and decent money to a *gasp* social enterprise where I was going to sacrifice my life, time, and be broke forever (disclaimer: the last sentence is a complete exaggeration of my current situation)
Well guess what, it’s been a year now, and I haven’t burnt out (READ)!
In this post I’ll be exploring a little about why I made a change and how I stuck through with it:
1) THE WHY — what drove me to make a change last
2) THE HOW — the mindset that allowed this change to happen
3) THE STEPS — what I needed to do to ensure that this change would really happen and finally;
4) THE COMMITMENT — how I stuck with the changes (Yep, the hardest part for sure)
#1 – FIND THE WHY
If things were potentially going to be that bad (no money, no car, no house..sad life), why would I even do it? Look guys, I am just like every other regular person. I didn’t stand up and look at terrorists in the eye, take a bullet to my head by being brave and go on to fight for education and win a Nobel. In fact, it was a well calculated decision to ensure that I wouldn’t feel like I was sacrificing my life. I knew that I wanted my work to make a direct impact to the society and to change mindsets. This was what made me know that when I stumbled on Picha, it was almost a perfect fit.
IF you were to look deep inside and ask yourself the right questions, I’m sure you will find what you want for yourself. Do you want to be more efficient in your daily life? Do you want to accomplish new things and personal goals? Lose weight, get fitter, read more, learn an instrument, focus on your relationships, switch jobs, get promoted, the list is never ending and the first step is always the same.
Why do I want this promotion? Why do I want to get healthier? Why do I want to get that new job in a new company?
Find out if these goals or changes are something you really believe in and want. They can be as huge or small as you want it to be but you first need an answer to your WHY.
Be sure to ensure it is the correct “WHY”, instead of superficial reasons that will cause you to lose your motivation. It’s important to make sure that you have the right “WHY” because this will help you persist at times when you feel like giving up.
#2 – FIGURE OUT HOW
To accept the change was going to be made, I needed to know how was it going to happen. I had a bundle of uncertainties in my mind, so it came down to understanding and changing my own mindset about the change. Were there any perceived negative concerns? This is a process where I consciously identified the barriers to making the change or something that will cause me to give up halfway.
So I gathered all my fears and figured out HOW to make things work. I switched my mindset from..
“I will not have the job security and a clear path” TO “ I now have to design my own path and take full responsibility for it”
“I will not make a lots of money and get go out often” TO “ Is the money enough and will the benefits from the change be worth it?”
Find barriers that are stopping you from making the change you want and then changing your mindset about these barriers. If you aren’t comfortable with this, then ask yourself if this change is truly important to you and dig deeper into your “Why”. Once you know what is in your way and you can deal with all of it.
#3 – MAKE THE TINY STEPS
Once I figured out my WHY and HOW, I went on to work out teeny tiny steps that will lead to switching my career. No I didn’t hop off and hop into another office overnight. In fact my transition from the corporate world into Picha took me SIX MONTHS.
I wanted to be extremely certain Picha was the right place — so I started volunteering with Picha, worked part time, attended some of their events, and took time to learn more about the company values and goals to see if these are aligned with my personal values too. I also made sure to adjust my lifestyle and spending habits beforehand.
Having made these small changes have made it much easier for me to adjust into Picha. In fact, when I officially started work with Picha, I barely felt the change at all!
It works the same with any goal. Imagine you decided on a goal of being able to do 100 push ups within 3 months. If you simply do 10 a day, and slowly increase the numbers every single day — hitting a 100 would be almost a no brainer. But instead, if you try to do 20 a week and 50 the next…. Well I know I’ll surely give up. So make the tiny steps! These will make it easier to stick with your plan; and eventually turn it into a habit.
#4 – COMMIT TO YOUR CHANGE!
Working with Picha is hard work. It’s not glamorous. It involves a lot of emotional energy and time.
But what made me stick to this path I chose? Apart from being self-motivated, and having my personal values and identity in line with the work I chose, I came to realize another crucial factor..
After I made the switch, I always knew I wasn’t alone in this journey. I always had a team, the co-founders, our mentors, clients, and Picha Heroes who believed in the same goal — to make a difference too. This is when I knew that without all these people, my change would’ve likely been a futile and lonely effort.
Having like-minded people; who were always there to help me with their time, knowledge and effort, became another motivating factor. It kept me going during the crazy days and weeks!
This is exactly how a community can keep you sticking to the change! Want to consistently hit the gym? You’ll be so much more likely to go to the gym if you knew you had a couple friends expecting you to show up. Learning a new skill? Do it together with a friend or find people who are interested or who are experts in this area. Before you know it, you’d be sticking to your change and making huge changes and differences in your life too.
This year, do yourself a favor. Define what’s truly important to you, filter out the noise and find what you believe to be the right thing for yourself and follow that.
Most importantly, no matter what you choose — remember that you will suffer. There will be hard times and there will always be challenges. Now all you need to do, is pick the suffering that you can find enjoyment in and the little victories that you will rejoice in.