A 12 Questions-System To Making Changes

According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, improving oneself entails 73.9% of people’s continuous desires and goals. Honestly, what an encouraging information this is; to see that the greater majority of individuals recognize that they could think better, do things better, or even simply be a better person.

Through hundreds of thousands of self-development inquiries, below you can find one of the most popular ones with a focus on, but not limited to, professional self-development topics. And as always, should you need further assistance in planning and accomplishing this topic, reach out to me.

For some reason, making some personal changes seem to come to us as never-ending passive obstacles. Maybe this is because in our mind, we will always be under our own control and we can tell ourselves that anytime could be the start of it. After all, we are our own bosses. This, however, strikes to me as one of those “It is everyone’s problem.” Thus, because it is everyone’s, it becomes no one’s. If at some point of your life you encounter the need for you to make a personal change, so that you can develop yourself further, now is the time to act. For those changes that you have not been able to make on your own, this resource can help you get there (as long as you commit to its principles).

Below is a 12 Questions-System to facilitating changes. To better understand the questions and the flow, a scenario must be added. Thus, these 12 questions are answered in the context of making a change to being efficient at work.

Control Scenario: I like my job, but often, when I am done working at my job, I have to also do some extra work from home.

Why change?

  • Job Performance Dissatisfaction - Beyond the fact that you feel you don’t have enough hours to perform all the work you need to, you know you can accomplish more work in less time. However, you also must be candid to the fact that you might spend a good portion of your time reacting to work needed (checking emails, making phone calls, taking post meeting times for casual chats with colleagues, etc…).

  • Opportunity For Growth - A change to your approach will provide you with opportunities for growth in job performance, professional skills, and system-based solutions and outcomes.

  • Better Time Management - From your daily routines and interactions, you know you could better use your time to boost your productivity.

Is there a need for change?

  • Yes. You are clearly starting to get overwhelmed with the amount of work you need to get done on a daily basis; and you know you can accomplish the necessary work within the time constraint of working hours. Additionally, taking work home has negatively impacted your relationship with your family. Finally, you want to make sure you show your superiors you can take work loads and efficiently and effectively deliver quality results.

What is the change?

  • Work More Efficiently - Work keeps piling up and it seems it is almost impossible to get all your work done at your job.

Who is your lack of change on this given context impacting? And How?

  • Yourself

  • Your Well-being - To keep up with work and deliver quality content so that you are able to keep your job, or even get promoted, the excessive working hours beyond work is negatively impacting your health, your eating habits, and your sleep cycle.

  • Your Professional Reputation - People have realized that although you are prompt to producing the work necessary, you always take a long time and deliver it close to its very last hour and day.

  • Your Family And Friends - Your time is drastically reduced; and the little you have left is not devoted to your family and friends due to the fact that it needs to be invested on your own sustainability (you need the job to sustain yourself and your family, which means you need to make sure you finish your work; and unfortunately often you need your leisure time to be traded for working time). That is, you have to finish and deliver work. Because of this unfortunate trade off, you are often found distant, unengaged, and uninterested from family and friends.

Who is your change going to impact?

  • Yourself - More time for self. Happier. Healthier. Growth.

  • Your Company - More work performed in less time.

  • Your Friends & Family - Detached from work, you can now devote your time to nurture your relationships.

How do you get to changing?

  • Realize - At this point you have already, hopefully, come to the conclusion that a change is needed. However, realizing is the very first step to the changing process.

  • Plan - Think about the work you perform and create a system with mini-systems to ensure the optimization of your time and quality.

  • To-Do Lists - Plan action items and approximately how long it will take to accomplish each item.

  • Time Restrictions - Depending on your type of work, limit yourself to checking emails, texts, and social media comments to different times of the day. I typically do it before work, mid-morning, 5 minutes during lunch, mid-afternoon, and 10 minutes prior to leaving work for the day.

  • Productivity Hours - Find the hours you are most productive in and schedule to-do items to be performed in those time frames.

  • Execute - Follow your plan.

  • Resources - What other resources can help you? Engage, collaborate, and delegate when a task opportunity presents itself.

  • Discipline - It’ll take beyond motivation and feelings to follow through your plan. Practice the habit of a disciplined mindset.

How do you cope with change?

  • Benefit - A great target to keep in mind is the benefit from this change. Think back to question number four and keep it in mind to give you the necessary strength and reasoning to pursue the change.

  • Accountability - Your boss can help you set a plan to working more efficiently, in addition to keeping you accountable to coping with the change under progress. A colleague can keep you encouraged and engaged in your efforts. A spouse, family member, or friend can listen and provide constructive feedback and support on this self-development mission.

  • Mindset - At the end of the day, as they say it, mind over matter. It takes a powerful mind to push through and cope with the change. Think it this way, it’s been done many times before; and you are going to be another success story.

How can you enforce change?

  • For change to be effectively conquered, the reward should be in your mind constantly. Change can be systematically acquired and enforced when you add discipline as your determining factor for accomplishing it; when you use knowledge to enhance your decisions; when you apply reasoning to seek the need vs. the feeling; when you activate motivation to keep you encouraged; when you use systems to provide you with an efficient and effective step-by-step process; when you apply wisdom to optimize the application of the known; and when you use accountability to keep you engaged. Every step progress you make, celebrate it.

What support system can help you in the changing phase?

  • Tools - Analyze your daily operations, actions, and reactions. Once done, look for tools that can speed up your production while delivering quality work. For example, there are extensions that can be added to your browser that allow you to access your email for a pre-set determined time. This will help you stay focused on tasks that need your attention, reducing distractions and time lost.

  • People - As previously mentioned, your boss, colleagues, family, and friends are also a type of support for your changing phase.

  • Reward - Rewarding yourself for milestones reached is another effective system to support your progress in this phase.

How long does the process need to be? How long will it take?

  • “Guestimating” - Determining, or “guestimating”, a deadline is crucial. You can determine these deadlines by task or by project. For a task example, you could say that you will have the habit of checking emails established in two weeks from today. For a project example, especially a repetitive project (which is the nature of our roles, for we often perform the same things over and over again with simply different inputs), you could say that you will develop a system, in which you will spend at most 35 minutes on, for producing social media reports within three weeks.

  • Abundant Work - The reality is that work is never ending; there’s always work to be done. Setting a time limitation and deadline is not only crucial for your sanity, but it also helps with ensuring that you get the work done within your expectations.

How do you know you are changing/have changed?

  • Measure - Simply stated, measure your performance. Using our context again, to work more efficiently so that you do not take work home, start executing on your plan and track it. You can start by tracking how many times you check your email on a daily basis and how long you spend on it. Check how many To-Do items you check off. Look for opportunities to reduce your time spent on irrelevant tasks. And more importantly, track how often you bring work home and how long you typically spend working on it at home. Track everything; analyze performance; and make adjustments.

How do you sustain your change?

  • Openness - Be open to adjustments, modifications, criticism, setbacks, and growth. Being open about the possibility of a continuous change means that you are apt to sustain it, naturally, and it makes your change phase eventful.

  • Curiosity - Be curious on what else you can do to make your change better, more efficiently, and more effective. As they say, there’s always room for improvement.

  • Person-Centered - Keep in mind that the main reason a change came to mind was out of a need; this need escalated to an action; which as a result highly benefited the person who pursued it, and inevitably those around him/her. Sustaining a change must be focused on a person-centered approach.

Again, here are the 12 questions for your convenience:

  1. Why change?

  2. Is there a need for change?

  3. What is the change?

  4. Who is your lack of change on this given context impacting? And How?

  5. Who is your change going to impact?

  6. How do you get to changing?

  7. How do you cope with change?

  8. How can you enforce change?

  9. What support system can help you in the changing phase?

  10. How long does the process need to be? How long will it take?

  11. How do you know you are changing/have changed?

  12. How do you sustain your change?​

Follow this 12 Question-System and apply it to your own scenario. What are some areas of your life, personal and professional, that you can further explore whether a change is needed, doable, and worth it?


What other thoughts would you add to this post? I am interested in hearing your thoughts in the comments below.

As always, thank you for reading my post. Through Sprowl & Smith Coaching, I am always writing about productivity, being ready, and flourishing. Should you be interested in reading my future posts, please click “Subscribe” and feel free to also connect via Twitter, Facebook, g+, Youtube, and Sprowl & Smith Coaching.

You might also be interested in my new and free system for achieving your goals while staying highly productive and organized on both your personal and professional lives. You can download this system here: The Engineering of Getting What You Want / Reaching Your Goals

About the Author

Mike Sprowl is becoming the most sought after Readiness & Flourishing Coach and Consultant in the coaching community. He is famous for helping clients find a direction, implement personalized pathways, and facilitate flourishing and growth so that their lives are meaningful and purposeful without being negative.

#PersonalDevelopment #ProfessionalDevelopment #Change #Job #JobExpectation #CareerCoaching #LifeCoaching

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