In part 1 of "creating successful change", we looked at some of the most common challenges facing us when it comes to making personal changes, alongside some ways to mitigate those challenges. In episode two, I'm going to cover how I have developed a simple but effective method for increasing my own capability and capacity for implementing successful personal and professional change.
The process I use for successfully managing change is what I call the QSS or Quick, Small and Simple method. QSS is a set of straightforward principles and attitudes that I have developed and adopted across virtually every aspect of my life and has become the cornerstone of developing successful long term sustainable change, both personally and professionally.
To be able to create successful change in your life, it has to be sustainable in the long term. Developing long term sustainability is the key difference between those who do it successfully and those who fail miserably to achieve it in any measurable way.
The QSS method of creating sustainable change involves the slow, consistent investment in time and effort to develop, implement and gently acclimatise to those changes until they are distilled and normalised into your daily routines. The best way to achieve this is not to go out with all guns blazing from the off but to take a slower, more calculated and iterative approach to change.
The key principle of the method is breaking down significant projects and subsequent changes down into smaller macro and micro-adjustments. In the beginning, this may involve making nothing more than slight tweaks that in some cases may appear so small and insignificant as to be almost pointless, but there lies the QSS methods most significant advantage.
While these small isolated tweaks and adjustments may not set your world alight immediately the real power comes from the combined accumulative effects that those small iterative changes have over time.
So why not abandon those big mammoth changes in favour of Quick, Small Simple iterative adjustments that make a big difference but in a more controllable and importantly sustainable way. To give yourself the best chance of success follow the three QSS Principles.
Quick – Tweaks, adjustments and actions must be quick to implement. The longer you prevaricate and procrastinate the higher the risk you run of doing nothing.
Small – With size comes, higher risk, added complexity and uncertainty. The smaller you can keep the changes the more chance they will stick in the long term.
Simple – In the same way that size adds to complexity so keeping things as simple as possible is the key to avoiding overwhelm and overcomplication. Keeping things simple sounds easy, but it’s often one of the hardest things to do and requires conscious practice. By Reducing everything down to its simplest form or version you will quickly discover that making measurable progress becomes so much easy to achieve.
I not only use the QSS technique personally, but it's also my favoured approach when coaching and mentoring people through significant personal or professional change in their lives. It has proven time and time again to be one of the most reliable methods for delivering the long-term sustainable results desired.
Here are a couple of quick examples of how you can start to make long term sustainable life-altering changes in small iterative ways without falling flat on your face after a few short weeks.
Ok so you want to lose a few pounds, great who doesn't, but the cold turkey starvation approach followed swiftly by a punishing exercise regime adopted by most is one of the fastest ways to fail. Why not start your new weight loss regime by substituting the odd snack for a couple of pieces of fruit instead and or commit to a quick ten-minute walk around the block once a day? Perhaps you could follow that up a couple of weeks later by committing to do a light swim or bike ride for 20-30 minutes at the weekend. Nothing too arduous but definite progress. Even if you do nothing else, you will have made a change and will start to get some measurable results. Not only is a small foundational change easier to build upon once you have started, but these small iterative changes also get you and your brain more comfortable with making and adopting those changes on a more regular basis. Both of which are key elements for developing your capability and capacity to successfully make long term sustainable change in whatever areas you like whenever you like in future.
What about making a significant career change? It's easy to sign up for every course under the sun, immerse yourself in the industry and to research every area as quickly as possible. These are all admirable qualities of course and valuable when focused in the right areas at the right time, but when you're starting on a new project that method is one of the fastest ways to burnout.
Start with and focus on a single course or project. Get that nailed and then move on. Look for opportunities where you can leverage your new skills and provide value to someone with your newly acquired skills, knowledge and expertise. On the side, projects or part-time work are ideal ways for slowly making that iterative transformation into your new career.
Please don't make the mistake of thinking that you have to do everything you could do and attempt to do it all at once. You need to be consistent and do enough to get results, that's a given but Slow it down and do it iteratively, step by step. Forget the big bang approach. Use the iterative Quick, Small and Simple method to break big changes down into measurable micro and macro tweaks and adjustments. Be consistent with your efforts and actions, and you will quickly find yourself rewarded with natural momentum, and importantly, long term results that are both predictable and sustainable.
© 2019 James Kingham | All rights reserved.