The internet and social media are littered with cliché quotes, GIFs, and memes on how change is hard but worth it. Some even say just buckle down and do your best.
Let's be honest about all that. The motivation that they provide is temporary because motivation is temporary. It isn't always that helpful on it's own, and really most of it is genuinely cliché. However, there are practical and useful ways you can take action to help prepare for a change so that you can walk into your future with your head held high and know that you really are prepared.
1. Be Practical
The best way to be prepared for any situation is to face it practically. Taking a step back from the overwhelm of the situation you are facing and creating a sound plan is the best first step. Having a general plan in place will give you the recipe of which to work and makes pivotal changes a little less scary. Be sure to break down the significant steps you will need to take into smaller action steps, so you don't get overwhelmed by the big picture. A solid, practical plan will also give you a blueprint to refer back to when you find yourself lost in the midst of all the new.
2. Plan for the Worst, Hope for the Best
With your blueprint created, start working through the change(s) you are planning and try to identify any pitfalls that may occur. Be practical about these as well. Don't jump to the "what if I fail" dramatics but consider issues such as reworking your schedule or what to do when you lose motivation. Planning for the worst of situations, but hoping for the best, will allow you to be prepared without dwelling on the what-ifs.
3. Gather Your Support System
Very few people undergo major changes entirely on their own. Great for those people that make it through, but do not let that be your default plan on this journey. Gather a support system around you.
Often though, people that love you are not always very objective about your choices. Try to gather supporters who will be willing to speak frankly to you about your journey.
This is often the reason people turn to a coach or mentor for support. The change under consideration is important enough to get seasoned advice and support. Support that goes beyond your family cheering for you.
Big changes can be intimidating and scary. However, taking these three steps before making the leap will help. Approaching a major change with practicality, a plan that allows for pitfalls, and a support system in place can make the difference. Not only the difference between succeeding or failing but in enjoying the process rather than slogging through the trenches.