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This Is What It Takes to Spark Change in Your Life

Change starts with taking ownership of your circumstances.
This Is What It Takes to Spark Change in Your Life
Image credit: Nora Carol Photography | Getty Images
Guest Writer
Entrepreneur, investor and coach for CEOs, Entrepreneurs
4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Change is recurrent in all aspects of life. Seasons change, technology changes, people change. Change is both necessary and unavoidable.

People often say that they want to change their job, their loved ones, even their bodies. But what sparks change in relationships, businesses and life in general? As we begin a new year this a perfect time to see what needs to change in our lives.

Change happens when a decision is made.  Now is the time to time to create a framework for decisions that will initiate the action necessary to facilitate that change. Here are things to consider if you want to make a change in 2019.

Everybody wants change, but not everybody is willing to change.

We all know someone who wants to get in shape but keeps eating McDonald’s and refuses to go to the gym. What about the friend who says they want a stable relationship but keeps dating troubled or emotionally unavailable people?

If we want to make a change we have to be willing to put in the work. Wanting to change is not enough. The pain of not changing has to be so severe you have no choice but to take action. Think about the consequences of not changing, versus the excuses you have not to.

Related: Here's Why You Need to Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

You are the creator of your circumstances, not the victim of them.

We all have histories that make us who we are. Sometimes these stories serve as crutches when we allow them to prevent us from taking necessary action to make the changes we need in life. We can easily blame the market, our clients or our spouses for not supporting our vision, but if we want to make a change we need to take ownership of our circumstances.

In any given situation, there are things we don’t have control of, but there are also things we can control. To overcome your circumstances you must identify opportunities to take responsibility and create the change.  

Change manifests internally before it can be recognized externally.

Mindset dictates behavior. To create change we need to become aware of the actions we take daily and shift our perspective. Trying to do it overnight is the most common reason we fail to implement behavioral change.

First, we need to change our mindset. We need to prove to ourselves that our current behavior doesn’t serve us anymore but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Following that, change happens one day at a time. Eventually, you will create a new pattern of behavior to replace the old one. When you strengthen your mindset you empower yourself to take action.

Related: 10 Truths for Making Change Successful

You can’t always control the outcome, but you can control your reaction.

Statistics show that most people give up on their new year's resolution just 45 days into the year. Creating change is not easy. Like everything in life, you will experience setbacks. How you react to these setbacks determines your probability of success. Understand that it takes time, both in your business and in your life, to create meaningful change. Think of a time when you’ve encountered a challenge and reacted negatively. Did it help you solve the problem? See every failure as an opportunity to one up yourself.

Change is uncomfortable. If you stay comfortable you’ll stay the same.

Image a businessperson 25 years ago who, after first hearing about the internet, decided: ''I will not change the way I worked all my life, screw the kids and their computers.’’

That person probably is not in business today. You will achieve success if your drive to change is greater than the need to stay comfortable. Growth happens outside of your comfort zone.

Related: Change Your Mind About Failure

Circumstances and people around you are not going to change by themselves.

Believe that change is possible, and always keep that vision to keep you going forward when times get tough. If you do not have that belief, and if you can’t see the finish line, chances are that you are going to give up. You have to spark and create the process of change and improve yourself first, before expecting the change from others.

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