• Published November 11, 2020
  • 3 Minute Read
LEADING EFFECTIVELY ARTICLE

Change Now! 5 Steps to Turn Intentions Into Reality

Published November 11, 2020
Change Now! 5 Steps to Turn Intentions Into Reality

Introduction

Remember that leadership resolution you set at the beginning of the year? The feedback you were given? The development plan you made for where you want to be in 2 years?

How’s it going? Making a lot of progress?

The truth is, most of us don’t get too far in our goals to improve as managers and leaders. We have the best intentions. We want to learn new skills, change behaviors, or accomplish good things.

So, what gets in the way?

One answer is that change seems too complicated. Too much information, too many moving parts, too many distractions. Turning intentions into reality can be difficult.

Our book Change Now! distills the theory and tactics that we know work and puts them into one unintimidating, creative, easy-to-do process. Part self-help guide, part inspiration, this workbook is a hands-on, shareable way to help you make the changes that matter most to you.

It can help you put your time and energy into being better and doing better, and living with intention at both work and home.

5 Steps to Simplify Change & Turn Intentions Into Reality

How to Live With Intention at Work and Home

Infographic: 5 Steps to Simplify Change and Turn Intentions Into Reality

The book Change Now! takes you through these 5 steps that will help you follow through on turning intentions into reality and making a change in your life: 

1. Get Focused.

Yes, you have a massive list of things you could do, should do, or want to do — but you can only change one thing at a time. Pick one.

  • Focus on a change that energizes you.
  • Focus on a change that creates positive outcomes.
  • Focus on a change that is at the right level of difficulty — not so easy that you don’t feel challenged, and not so difficult that you can’t make the change.

2. Choose “What.”

This is also called goal-setting. Just be sure to set goals that align with your values. Do you want to change how you act? Improve a skill? Make things happen?

Choose just a few important goals, then:

  • Write them down.
  • Post them.
  • Say them aloud!

3. Figure Out “How.”

You need a plan. You won’t change by wishful thinking or a vague to-do list. Can you put as much time into planning how you achieve your goals as you would planning a vacation?

Your change plan should be built around 4 things:

  • Tactics: What are you going to do? When will you do it?
  • Resources: What will you invest? What is available to you? What do you need from others?
  • Tracking: How will you check how you’re doing? When will you check?
  • Celebrating: How will you reward yourself when you achieve milestones and goals? Who will you celebrate with?

4. Anticipate Trouble.

Things will go wrong. You will be thrown off. Anticipate obstacles, adapt, find a Plan B, don’t give up. Be on the lookout for top troublemakers:

  • Time
  • Other people
  • Fear

5. Change Now!

Take a step. Take another. Put your plan into action, monitor your progress, and make necessary adjustments along the way. Remind yourself to:

  • Keep your eyes on the finish line.
  • Pay attention to your impact.
  • Meet failures head-on.
  • Adapt and adjust.

Are you ready? The authors of Change Now! say you are. You already have ideas and dreams and glimmers of what’s next — personally and professionally.

If you’re waiting for a better time to get started — don’t. If you’re waiting to have more time — it’s not going to happen. If you don’t know what you need to learn — just pick something.

Action and effort will bring unexpected ideas, insights, rewards — and results.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

Help your leaders turn intentions into reality with a customized learning journey for your leaders using our research-backed modules. Available leadership topics include Authentic Leadership, Leading Through Change & Disruption, Communication, Innovation Leadership, Self-Awareness, and more.

  • Published November 11, 2020
  • 3 Minute Read
  • Download as PDF

Based on Research by

Cindy McCauley
Cindy McCauley, PhD
Honorary Senior Fellow

With over 30 years of experience at CCL, Cindy has contributed to many aspects of CCL’s work: research, publication, product development, program evaluation, coaching, and management. She designs and manages R&D projects, coaches action learning teams, writes for multiple audiences, and is a frequent speaker at professional conferences.

With over 30 years of experience at CCL, Cindy has contributed to many aspects of CCL’s work: research, publication, product development, program evaluation, coaching, and management. She designs and manages R&D projects, coaches action learning teams, writes for multiple audiences, and is a frequent speaker at professional conferences.

Jean Leslie
Jean Leslie, MA
Senior Fellow & Director of Strategic Initiatives

Jean develops, oversees, and helps implement programs, projects, and processes that support the vision and the short- and long-term plans of the global Leadership Research and Analytics group. She’s published more than 100 pieces on leadership, assessment, and feedback — in the form of peer-reviewed articles, popular-press articles, book chapters, and books — and has presented over 70 papers at professional conferences such as the Academy of Management and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychologists.

Jean develops, oversees, and helps implement programs, projects, and processes that support the vision and the short- and long-term plans of the global Leadership Research and Analytics group. She’s published more than 100 pieces on leadership, assessment, and feedback — in the form of peer-reviewed articles, popular-press articles, book chapters, and books — and has presented over 70 papers at professional conferences such as the Academy of Management and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychologists.

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About CCL

At the Center for Creative Leadership, our drive to create a ripple effect of positive change underpins everything we do. For 50+ years, we've pioneered leadership development solutions for everyone from frontline workers to global CEOs. Consistently ranked among the world's top providers of executive education, our research-based programs and solutions inspire individuals in organizations across the world — including 2/3 of the Fortune 1000 — to ignite remarkable transformations.