Whether your goal is to lose weight, change careers or finally end the relationship you know is going nowhere, we all come to points in our lives when change is necessary. In fact, many great philosophers and spiritual leaders have said that change is the only constant presence in our lives. We don’t have to look far to see change everywhere – just look at nature in a yearly cycle or our changes in mood or hunger in a given day. We and our environment is perpetually in a state of motion and change.

There is even some fascinating emerging fields of science such as epigentics and neuroplasticity that tell us that our brains and bodies are always in a constant state of change. Cellular biologists will tell you that you have an entirely new body – every single cell – every seven years.

So with change being such an ever present reality, I find it intriguing that we as women often feel challenged to create positive changes in our lives. If everything is always in a constant state of motion, why can’t we easily make desired changes to our habits, lifestyle and ways of being and doing?

It’s such a paradox because while change is the only constant in our Universe, humans are hardwired to resist and avoid change. It simply is in our nature to cling to stability, safety, the familiar and the routine. So what do we do when we have reached the point where we know we need to change and yet find ourselves squaring off against our own resistance?

What I’ve discovered as a coach, guide and mentor to women in transition as well as in my own personal journey, is that there are three keys to consider when creating positive and lasting change. When we, as women embrace and apply them, change becomes real, inevitable and permanent. And since I regularly have people tell me that I’m unrecognizable from when they knew me in the past, I consider myself somewhat of an expert in the change department!

Key 1: Welcome Change

The first step to creating lasting and positive change is to set the proper foundation for change to flourish. It’s just like growing a plant from the seed. We have to nurture the plant in the right environment – till the soil, plant where there’s plenty of light and water regularly. The same can be true of our desires and dreams for change. If we haven’t cultivated the right environment, then our efforts to change will be short lived, temporary and most likely frustrating.

Before you set out to make changes, pause and take time to prepare yourself and your environment. Ask yourself questions such as what needs to happen for me to be fully ready? There may be some preliminary steps or plans or something that needs to fall into place before you are ready to move forward with change. Maybe you need to get a certification before going into business for yourself or read a book on the art of effective communication before deciding your partner is not the one for you.

Furthermore, identify any blocks or obstacles to change – get clear on your potential stumbling blocks so you can deal with them in a straightforward manner. If you know something will be a block, be creative in thinking about the ways to work around it. If exercise is part of your efforts to be healthy, for example, then how are you going to be creative in fitting it into your routine? The more you anticipate and plan around the blocks, the greater your chances of sticking with the changes when it starts to get rough.

Key 2: Clarify Change

Clarity is the biggest reason why most women are unsuccessful in their effort to make real and lasting changes. Here’s a case in point and truth be told, a page from my history. I used to think for years that if I was just the right clothes size, all my problems would go away. Even when I got to be an adult and knew better, emotionally I still clung to the idea that when I lost weight, I would be happy. And so I went on diet after diet and would sometimes lose weight, but always gained it back. I was the proverbial yo-yo dieter.

Eventually I realized that being a smaller size wasn’t actually getting me what I wanted. Yes it gave me a healthier body, and smaller clothes, but it didn’t take care of the cause of my unhappiness or make all my problems go away. That was an inside job which required more than a quick outside fix.

Because I was unrealistic in my expectations, I was frequently disappointed with my results. When the change didn’t bring me what I truly desired, it was easy to abandon my efforts and give up. Has this ever happened for you? You get so far down the path of change only to realize it’s not bringing you what you truly desire?

The second key to positive and lasting change is to get real clear on why you are changing. What do you want to feel or be or do as the result of this change? What do you want the change to bring you? Go below the surface and the obvious and get specific. What are your motivations for wanting this change?

The more clear and specific you are, the greater chances you have of making realistic changes. The more realistic the changes are, the greater chances of sticking with them and turning them into true transformation.

Key 3: Create Change

There’s a saying that goes something like this, “If nothing changes, then nothing changes.” So truly the only way to create positive and lasting change, is to actually take action. But not just any action – action that is in complete alignment with the change you desire.

Creating a detailed plan of action is necessary to get enough momentum, clarity and focus to create lasting change. Change always feels effort-ed in the beginning. It takes time, mental attention, energy and awareness and all of that feels like a lot when it’s new. Eventually, new changes become habits (21 days to be exact) and new habits become a lifestyle (90 days to be exact), but in the beginning it all seems like a lot of work.

In order to create your detailed plan of action, get yourself into a place where you can visualize what life would be like with the changes. Going back to my personal weight loss example, when I finally did become successful in losing weight permanently, part of what I did was consistently think about what my life would be like once I was healthier. Where would I go? Who would I hang out with? How would my life be different? How would it be the same?

When I could get a clear picture of this in my mind, it allowed me to then ask some very important questions that ultimately influenced my decisions and choices. I would ask, what would a healthy version of me do in this situation? What choices would she make? What priorities would she have? How would she take care of herself to be healthy? All of these questions gave me a plan of action that moved me, choice by choice and day by day towards my desires and goals.

With clarity, commitment and intention, creating positive and lasting change is possible and rewarding. Implement the three keys and go from having short term strategies to long terms solutions that bring you true transformation.

Author's Bio: 

Named after the great archangel, Gabrielle Marie Loomis is a Messenger for the modern day woman. Her belief in the power of a woman’s spirit along with her own personal journey of radical transformation has empowered hundreds of women to awaken their true potential and step into their brilliance. Gabrielle offers life changing programs at www.gabriellemarieloomis.com.