You Can't Change Your Life Today
Change doesn't happen overnight,
but it does happen over time

by Rachelle Disbennet-Lee, PhD.

I find it amusing how many people, programs, and books are out there today that promise to change your life in a second, a minute or as long as a day. Although intriguing as it may sound, changing your life isn't going to happen in a flash. Change takes time, and usually more time than you ever imagined. The good news is that you can change your life; it just isn't going to happen right this moment.

I agree that circumstances can change in an instance. We all have had events that have redirected the course of our lives. However, the change that occurs because of these events is a process that unfolds over time. Those life-changing events actually don't change our lives; they simply create an opportunity for change. When the status quo is challenged, there is an opening for change to occur. Kurt Lewin created a three-step change process that explains how this works. The first step in change is "Unfreezing." This step can happen by an unexpected change like a death or a divorce, or it can be planned. This step happens when the status quo is challenged and a decision is made to change it. After the change process is in motion, the next step is to "Change." Changing requires doing things differently and creating new habits. You absolutely cannot change and stay the same. Change requires things to be done differently. Once the change is in place, the new situation needs to be "Refrozen." This is done so that the change can be integrated over time and that one will not be tempted to revert to the old ways. Change is a process, and it doesn't happen in a day. It happens over time.

Change takes time is actually the good news. Most of us need time to ease into change. Change, even when we want it, can be challenging and a tad frightening. By creating a process where change can happen there is a better chance the change will be assimilated.

If you are waiting for the moment when your life changes in a flash, my guess is you will be waiting for a long time. However, if you are willing to create an opportunity for change or seize an opportunity, the chances for change are great. The first step in change is to make a decision to change, to move from the familiar to the unknown. That's not as easy as it may sound. This takes time and preparation.

When I decided to change to a healthier lifestyle it took me several weeks to weed out my pantry, read up on what that meant exactly, and to create the resolve to do it. Once I created the opening for change, I began working on the change itself. Although I have been working on this for almost a year, I am still not in the "refreezing" stage. I am still in the change process. Once I reach my goals, I will then begin the process of maintenance, where the change will become a lifetime habit. I have no idea how long this will take, but I am willing to take as long as necessary.

Being committed to the change and the time that it takes is necessary and fundamental to a successful change. So don't worry that your life won't change today. Make a commitment to begin the change process today, and the change you want will happen. It will just take some time.


Rachelle Disbennett-Lee, PhD provides daily motivation, information and inspiration to thousands of people through her award winning e-zine 365 Days of Coaching.  For a free report, "The Power of Daily Action - How to create more Wealth, Health and Happiness by Tapping Into the Power of Daily Action" go to http://www.365daysofcoaching.com/daily_action.htm 
Coach Rachelle Disbennett Lee, PhD, 2007


 

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