Work Life Organization

In This Issue

Sarah's Update


WLO Networking in North Carolina

It's hard to believe that I've been in North Carolina less than a month, but already I've been busy establishing Work Life Organization in the area. I have joined BNI - Business Networking International, which is the largest business networking organization in the world. They have a meeting structure that helps you educate fellow members about your business and a chance to pass qualified referrals to each other. I already have started taking clients. Now that's how I measure success!

Many thanks to everyone who sent suggestions and requests for future newsletter topics. I appreciate all the feedback. Now I can make sure that this newsletter better meets your needs! As always, feel free to drop me line if you run across any other areas where you can use more organization and I'll be sure to cover them in upcoming editions.

Organization Tips

The Valley of Change

Have you ever tried to change something in your life such as eating healthier? The first day or so you are amazed at how different the new diet is from what you normally eat. Then you might be frustrated when you are looking for these new foods at the grocery store. When you've had these new foods for a week or so, you might sneak a bit of junk food and say, "One bite won't hurt me." Eventually after making this change you realize that you are feeling better and that this new food really does taste better. Finally you wonder why you ever ate anything other than healthy food and are ready to tackle your next challenge.

This is an example of a successful change and it is often described as going through an emotional valley. Not everyone makes it through the Valley of Change as is the case with so many failed New Year's resolutions. And it's important not to underestimate the effect this Valley of Change will have on your life whenever you considering making a life change.

When a change happens, no matter how big or small, whether it is a positive or a negative change, people, teams and organizations all go through the Valley of Change. This change can be expressed graphically in terms of feeling over time and looks like:

The Valley of Change

The Valley of Change has five phases abbreviated as SARAH. Where SARAH stands for:

  • Shock - The "What Was I Thinking?" Stage
  • Anger - The "Are You Kidding Me?" Stage
  • Resistance - The "It Is Not Worth It!" Stage
  • Acceptance - The "It Is Not So Bad." Stage
  • Hope - The "I Should Have Done This Sooner." Stage

You must be aware of where you are in the valley to effectively manage change in your life. Every change goes through this valley, some more quickly than others. Imagine you are in your kitchen and you drop a glass of milk. You will go through the Valley of Change rather quickly as you are shocked by the glass shattering, grumble as you clean up the mess, but then when it's all done, remember there's no use crying over spilt milk and move on with your day.

The hardest part of all though is when the change lasts days, weeks and even months, such as changing careers. As you go through the phases, it probably won't be a straight path and you may go back and forth between the phases. It is especially easy to get caught up in the bottom of the valley of Resistance and you may be going back and forth between this phase and Anger before you finally climb out into the Acceptance phase. Or you may be towards the end of the Acceptance phase and an unexpected obstacle throws you back into Resistance and you have to climb back out of the Valley.

The benefits of knowing about the Valley of Change and the SARAH Phases are that you will know where you are in this process and can use this to propel yourself forward. When you are in Anger or Resistance, then you can remind yourself that you are in the process and use that as a motivator to achieve Acceptance or at least be more patient with yourself until you get there. The risk is that without awareness of the Valley of Change and the SARAH phases, you might find yourself stuck in Resistance and Anger for many years before you achieve the change you are trying to make.

So for the next few days become more aware of the Valley of Change and observe how you go through each SARAH phase. You can also use this exercise when observing others and see how accurate you can be at predicting their reaction to changes. I promise you it will be an eye opening experience and I look forward to seeing you on the other side of the Valley.

About Sarah

Sarah Kirkish

Sarah Kirkish is a Certified Life Coach and Professional Organizer with over 18 years of corporate project management experience. She understands the needs of both business and technical professionals with her background in engineering and business. Sarah brings a straightforward approach to hold her clients accountable, keep them focused and guide them to measurable success towards their personal goals.

I conduct organizational coaching by phone or in person. My goal is to help busy professionals simplify their lives from the inside out. The solution is usually somewhere in between, let's find it together!
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