It’s that time of year again when we set goals and resolutions determined to make a change. And maybe we do make a change but how long does it last? A week? A month? Maybe even a couple of days.
I know a thing or two about changing my life.
Growing up in the foster care system with one parent missing and the other in prison statistics had me doomed to failure. You can read more about my story here but the key is I found my way out and made some changes that I stuck with. And they completely changed my life. So here are the things that I have found are the keys to making changes stick in my life that can help you in yours.
Have A Vision
I know, I know vision is a buzzword and it sounds cliche but a little true story from when I was in foster care…
It was almost Christmas and our group home was filling up. My brothers went home to their fathers for Christmas but my sister and I didn’t have any place to go. So our social worker did some digging and found my grandparents in Orange County California. We came to meet them and stay with them over Christmas break.
Flying in, seeing the ocean, was truly an amazing experience for us! My grandpa told me about how his company did consulting work at Disney over the years and they took us to Disneyland. We went to South Coast Plaza and bought new clothes for the first time. We had so many first-time experiences over that short trip. There used to be a Rain Forest Cafe on the main floor, and I recall having lunch with my grandma after all that shopping. Looking up and all around, trying to take everything in. I was enamored by everything: by the sounds and fairy tale visuals – it was an immersive experience for sure! That very trip I became a California dreamer. I felt hope for the first time in a long time. I saw women who looked successful, ones I wanted to be like. Things I wanted to see more of and things I wanted to do. How I wanted my life to turn out differently and how I wanted to inspire other foster youth like myself.
The vision was born. I would be a businesswoman in California one day. As an Executive at Toshiba with my own personal brand and an Ambassador to the Orangewood Foundation for foster youth, I have achieved that vision and so much more.
You have to get a clear vision to stick to your goals. It is what will drive you to keep going.
This one is not so popular to talk about because it sounds like work and it is. I may create a whole blog post around this soon because it is so important. There is a place to work smart and there is something to be said for having all the resources you need. But a lot of times what separates the average from the great is the ability to keep going when things get hard. To push through.
You can develop grit by marrying your passion with hard work and focus. Grit is what keeps us going over the long term. It is easy to get excited about new goals and projects in the beginning but without the grit to see things through we often stop before we reach our goals. Maybe you have seen the image of the miner who is chipping and chipping away at the mountain only to stop just short of reaching the diamonds. Don’t stop short.
Like grit, resilience is another trait that is so important to develop in sticking with your goals. Because we all fail. Resilience is what will help us bounce back when things do not go as planned when we fall short or flat on our faces.
A key to resilience is being proactive. Being ready to adapt instead of always reacting.
I shared more about this in an interview for Authority Magazine,
“If I had to select the characteristics of someone resilient, I would say that they are flexible and adaptable. A resilient person also has a personal vision that helps them navigate above the noise. Plus, they are organized, possess the ability to problem-solve, are proactive, and incredibly connected.” Maegan Lujan of Toshiba: Rising Through Resilience; Five Things You Can Do To Become More Resilient
This one may sound a bit counterintuitive but we must be flexible. Not necessarily with our overall dream but how we reach our goals. You will try things that just don’t work. Even if it is something that worked for someone else.
If you put systems into place and schedule in the tasks necessary to reach your goals, you are so much closer to achieving them. But flexibility is important too. It is tied to resilience. If something does not go as planned, be prepared to change course but not give up. You can quickly evaluate what worked and what didn’t and create a different plan of action.
Think about how you have achieved the goals that you have set and stuck to in the past? What made them work and how can you apply that to your new goals?
I believe in you.
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