January 6 , 2023 /


When you see, read or hear these two words, “CHANGE PLANS” how do you regard the word change?  Is it an action verb, an imperative to change your plans?   Or is it a noun, the act or process of change?   Or is it an adjective describing plans as in wedding plans, travel plans or career plans?  Does how you use the word change change your thinking about change?  🙂


(Full disclosure: This blog is a combined and updated revision of two previous ones on one of my favorite topics.  I believe some pieces are worth revising and repeating.)


Look right now where you are, who you are and how you got here.  Take a few moments to do that before reading on.


It is unlikely the same kind of thinking and acting will get you to where you want to be.  Marshall Goldsmith summed it up with a book title, “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.”  (Hachette Books, 2007)


Making plans to create something new and different may not be as simple as it sounds.  There are many reasons why this is so.  One is the fear of the unknown.  Another may be the lack of self- confidence to take on something entirely new.  Feeling blocked or stuck can keep you from moving forward.  Leaving the familiar and comfortable or having those leave you may cause a feeling of being upset and out of balance.  Whatever the reason, you have the ability to explore  the possibilities for new life conditions that may be welcome and refreshing.


Here are some examples of the changes people deal with in the everyday business of living: Interpersonal relationships, including marriages and families; job changes that include moving from one to another; planning for or dealing with retirement; health issues that affect the quality of life; social and cultural conflicts between people or groups; crises in faith related matters; and feelings of anxiety and depression that may stem from external or internal causes. This list is not complete and touches on situations reported most frequently.


You can keep the following lessons in mind as you continue to plan and implement changes:

  • The most favorable atmosphere and environment for change is one where change is expected, even desired, and is part of your practice.


  • We know it’s important to pay attention to the rate and amount of change because too much, too fast produces stress and ultimately dysfunction.


  • A thorough assessment of needs, potential obstacles and inventory of resources will facilitate a more trouble-free process


  • Change is constant, whether in small or large increments and having some kind of master plan that is comprehensive, multi-dimensional and flexible is a useful reference and guide.


  • A working plan for change needs to be adaptable and able to be changed while under way in order to make any necessary corrections that will insure a better outcome,


  • Change is not always easy or without struggles and wrestling with conflicting ideas and opinions is OK.


  • Individual change and organizational change have some similarities and they have some rather large differences. Either may need additional resources and support.


  • In planning organizational change, a team that has clearly defined roles and responsibilities is a strength and it’s important to realize those can change over time.


  • Once a change is implemented the work is not finished. It’s important to get some feedback and updates to see how it’s all going and what may need further attention or adjustment.


  • Remember to take time and create an occasion for celebrating change, reinforcing both the process and the outcome. Gratitude is contagious.


Writing about change and talking about it is different from being actively involved in change whether personal, professional or organizational.


That said, reading what others have done, having some meaningful conversations and considering options are how it all gets going, whether changing something old or designing something new.  As I have said repeatedly,  there are two kinds of change, planned and unplanned.  Better to plan and have a plan when you can.


As a perpetual, long life learner, I continue to enjoy the process of change, both my own and assisting others in learning and growing, moving forward.  To change your thinking, ask this question:  What two or three changes am I willing to consider, at this point in time, that will make a big difference?

Comments (2)

  1. “We know it’s important to pay attention to the rate and amount of change because too much, too fast produces stress and ultimately dysfunction.” Yes. The rate of change is something that we often under-estimate, which in turn creates undue stress – and we then become resistant or fearful of future change. One advantage of ‘experience’ is that we have a better idea of the rate of change we will experience in our new direction, and we can then design for the ensuing momentum and acceleration accordingly. Now you have me thinking about the physics and dynamics of change – thank you!

    1. Thanks, Kumud. The field of quantum physics and quantum mechanics is beyond my comprehension but I believe there are numerous clues in those fields that would help us understand the dynamics of fluid change in our world, and in our lives. Try this on and see how it resonates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntxC5KMC4y0
      Changing the way we think! That’s always been fascinating to me.

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