Gary GruberUncategorizedPLAN CHANGE PLAN
July 25 , 2017 /


This thought or feeling can come to you, whether waking up one day, or at the end of yet another day. It is the uncomfortable moment when you think or feel that life as you know it sucks. What then are you willing to believe and to do to change that? Or do you think you’re stuck with it and that’s just how it is, that life is unfair and you better get used to it?

What you can do, if you find yourself in that situation, is to stop, sit down, and even if you need help, figure out a plan, one designed and based on change. I have harped on change for many years and I think I sound like a broken record, putting out the same message over and over. If I were to review my blog over the past six years, most of the posts are in one way or another about change.  Maybe I am stuck on change but that sounds contradictory.

One of my wife’s favorite aphorisms is, “If nothing changes, nothing changes.” And I say, repeatedly, “Change is inevitable, plan carefully.” The big question is what kind of change would you really like, if you are honest about that?

I recall Atul Gawande asking this question so pointedly in his book BEING MORTAL: Medicine and What Matters in the End. (Henry Holt & Co. 2014). What do you want the quality of life to be within the circumstances in which you find yourself? It does not have to be “in the end” but wherever you are along life’s continuum. You may need to go from blind acceptance, believing that nothing can be changed, a rather hopeless and discouraging position, to a mind-set of what can be changed even within some limitations.

You can actually find hope where there may currently be despair. You can find ways to relax rather than be stressed, and you can discover some new possibilities rather than be constrained or blocked by prevailing conditions and limitations. It’s about discarding what you don’t need and finding something new for that which you discarded.

You can move from accepting a situation that you might believe can’t be changed and instead of accepting it as a given, decide it is no longer acceptable as the status quo.  Change your belief.  Move from impossible to possible and while that can be challenging, there is no simple formula or recipe that works easily and quickly for everyone. Here are ten suggestions for implementing change.

  1. Do a thorough and honest assessment of where you are in your current life or work situation.
  2. Look at what is holding you down or holding you back from being in a different place or state of mind.
  3. Consider some possible options and choices that you may not have thought about previously.
  4. Make a list of what is most appealing and rank those in terms of preference and priority.
  5. See what it would take for you to realize one or more of those possibilities, even within some limitations.
  6. If you get stuck at this point go back and start again and replace “I can’t” with an “I can and I will” attitude.
  7. Design a plan for change that you are willing to actively engage in and work toward.
  8. Be willing to make changes in the plan itself in order to adjust to changing conditions.
  9. Anticipate a positive outcome and what that will look like.
  10. Enjoy the results of your good work and keep the plan for future reference.

There are two kinds of change, planned and unplanned. While the former is more desirable, it’s not always possible. When planned change can be anticipated there are those specific steps to insure that the most effective and successful change is implemented. When change is precipitated that is not anticipated, the response to the experience may need additional support and guidance in order to embrace that kind of change in the best possible way. 


Comments (6)

  1. I write a lot about change too. It’s hard even when you understand the value. The key for me is to find a fresh perspective. When I’m stuck in the mindset that “I’m stuck,” options shrink no matter how much I wish that they were out there for me to find. Moving into a different mindset or perspective changes the way we see the world around us, our place in it and the many paths forward that we not only can but also will when we ultimately choose to move.

    This is great, Gary. Will share!


    1. Thanks, Alli. Ever wonder why change seems so difficult for some and easier for others? I think you are right on, as you usually are, that it’s about our perspective and mind-set. Some seem so wed to their comfort zones and status quo that they could never think of leaving their secure bubble or cocoon. Then, one day, it breaks. Then what? No contingency plans and many seem to want to blame others, become the victim and dependent. Ouch! Thanks for sharing too.

    2. Hi Alli! Hi Gary!
      Nice to see you here, Alli! Just popped over to see what Gary is saying about change!
      Gary, I love your wife’s aphorisms, “If nothing changes, nothing changes.” It reminds me of another one I love – if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got!

      And yet, we resist change, snuggling down into the comfort of the familiar. We’re in synch, as usually happens, as my post for September touches on this! No, it pounds on it!

      So glad to have met you in the blogosphere, and to have access to your wisdom!

      1. Thanks, Lori. Not sure about the wisdom part but glad to share experiences, observations, thoughts and what I believe about life in general, work in particular and change as ideal. I was interviewed this morning for a podcast about character and talked about change, both planned and unplanned and how it’s best to be prepared for both whenever possible. I have just designed three (really more than three) essential questions and at the heart of those is change. My theme is learn, grow, change – as a lifelong leaner I hope I am also a lifelong grower and a lifelong changer too.

  2. I love this post Gary! You definitely serve us to grow from that place, where we stand and wait about something we don!t really notice sometime, to this place where we are reaching freedom and jump into the unknown. Many of us dream, have many projects to move further, but without any plan or actions, this will be just a good idea. I continue to strongly believe, when I see a gift and opportunity in everything, this attitude is an open gate to many changes. Thank you again dear friend!

    1. Thanks, Christine. I applaud both the image and the action of “jump into the unknown” because if we hadn’t taken those leaps in the past, just think what we would have missed. Looking forward to more changes, projects, opportunities and growth. All in the name of change.

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