Making Positive Changes

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Think about your life for a moment.  Is it perfect?  Of course not.  But what would it look life if you were living the life you really wanted that was truly successful and fulfilling to you?  Now, let’s talk about the gap between what is – the “actual life” – and what is desired – the “ideal life.”  What is the best way to take you from living your actual life to your ideal life in real life?  Is it even possible?  Believe it or not, yes it is.  Even for YOU.

First, you have to start with a goal.  Take it one step at a time.  The first step may not get you very far in reaching your ultimate goal, but it definitely gets you closer than you were!  To be successful at reaching your goals, you have to come up with a plan.  Things are not just going to happen.  At some point, you have to make things happen, and to do that you have to think about things, like what will work, what won’t work, what has worked for others in the past, and what are my strengths and resources that will help me get there.  Goals need to be SMART; they need to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound (Meyer, 2006).  When you know exactly what to do to achieve your goals and exactly what it will look like when you’ve achieved them, you will know exactly what success looks like and how to get there.

Research in positive psychology tells us that if we want to make positive changes, then we should focus on the solution instead of the problem (Grant, 2012).  This means emphasizing your own resilience, strengths, and resources that you can use deliberately to make positive changes in your life (Grant, 2012).  For example, maybe you are not particularly good at organizing your time or money, but you probably know someone who is or how to research new techniques online to learn new skills, which are resources at your disposal.  You also have the capacity to learn new skills!  This is one aspect that a life coach can be extremely helpful to you, by helping you identify ways that you can use your strengths, talents, and resources in your favor.

This is not to say that you do not want to identify your weaknesses or problems.  The key is to not dwell on them, but to focus your attention and energy into the solutions (Grant, 2012).  Coaches can facilitate this positive change in clients’ lives by spending the majority of the time asking questions about how a client can achieve his or her goals instead of why the problems exist in the first place (Grant, 2012).

What the research has found is that solution-focused questions in a coaching session (as opposed to problem-focused questioning) result in:
(1) a significant increase in the client’s positive affect (emotion),
(2) a significant decrease in negative affect,
(3) a significant increase in the client’s self efficacy (self-belief in one’s capability to be effective), and
(4) a significant increase in clients enhancing their goal approach, along with more action steps to reach their goals than those who used a problem-focused approach (Grant, 2012).

Set Your Goals:
Do you have changes you would like to make in your life to be more successful?  Contact me today for a FREE Consultation to get started on setting your specific goals to improve your life and achieve personal success, fulfillment, and satisfaction!

References:
Grant, M. (2012). Making positive change: A randomized study comparing solution-focused vs. problem-focused coaching questions. Journal of Systemic Therapies, 31(2), 21-35.
Meyer, P. J. (2006). Attitude is everything. Waco, TX: The Leading Edge Publishing Company.

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About Nicole R. Locker

Nicole R. Locker is a resident of Lubbock, Texas. She has a Master of Science in Psychology and a love for pit bulls, Pilates, and romance novels. Nicole dreamed of becoming a writer since grade school after writing her first poem in 4th grade at the age of nine. A Social Worker since 2008, she has published life-coaching books on self-esteem and personal relationships, and has now added Fiction Romance to her repertoire.
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