Learn the Formula For Change

By March 30, 2015 January 25th, 2017 Self Management Tips

Last Updated on January 25, 2017 by Dave Schoenbeck

It is incredibly hard for me to motivate myself to make the changes in my business and life that I know that I need to make. There, I said it in writing to all that will read this blog article now and in the future. I have coached hundreds of professional business people and I know that I am not alone. Most of us live with that nagging notion that we need to do something different. We try and rationalize and make excuses why we should avoid taking action. Have you ever said this to yourself….”I think I should just wait and think about this for awhile before I worry about it.” That’s called avoidance, my friend, and we all do it. The solution is to think about this differently, and that is why I believe that you should learn and benefit from the formula for change. I know that it will help you because it has helped me.

Here is the formula for change:


D is the dissatisfaction that you feel about your current situation.
V is the vision that you have for the future. Or said it another way, how it will look when you make the change.
F stands for the first steps that you will make to action a change.
R is the powerful resistance that you feel that keeps you from making the change.

Let me show you how it works. I decided after Christmas that I had put on too much weight and I finally had to do something about it. I continually deferred making this decision for a couple of years because I really enjoyed eating and drinking what I wanted to and I felt OK with the extra weight as long as I didn’t get on a scale. My Resistance to losing weight was very high. About the same time, I had my annual physical and my blood work showed some readings that scared me. My Dissatisfaction suddenly soared and was the real catalyst for thinking about my weight and health differently. My Vision of the future became clear to me. I pictured myself in a new slimmer profile suit as I walked my daughter down the aisle at her upcoming wedding. I pictured a two notch improvement in my belt size. I pictured a fitter, more energetic, and a more athletic-looking me, and I was now motivated to do make a change. The First Steps are obvious to everyone. Get more exercise and adopt a better diet coupled with a new way to measure the results (thank you Fitbit). The good news is that it worked. I am halfway to my aggressive weight reduction goal, and I feel great about my progress. The formula for change worked for me.

Take a look at the formula for change again, and pick an irritating, often ignored, obstacle that you need to overcome in your business. Plug in a score in each of the variables and do the math. If you remember your algebra, the D and V have a multiplication sign in between them. That means if you score one of those with a 0 or a low number, you will never overcome the much larger number of your R. You can have a really great first step action plan with your super high F, but if your D and V are low, you won’t have enough momentum to make the change. The real solution is to manufacture a bigger Dissatisfaction and Vision. You simply have to convince yourself that you aren’t comfortable with the status quo, in order to overcome your powerful Resistance. It’s really just simple math.

To help stimulate your thinking about how to apply this to your business, here are a few big Rs that I hear during my coaching sessions…..

“ I don’t want to upgrade my staff because they have been with me for so long”
“ I never have enough time to get everything done and I can’t work any harder.”
“ I am really hesitant about expanding my business. It’s too risky.”
“ I really need to find a General Manager to run my business everyday, so I can do more interesting work.”
“ I love my business, but I am not making enough money.”
“ I don’t know what to do with my business when it’s time to retire.”

I am guessing that you can relate to one or a couple of these. Perhaps you have another list of your own that describes all of the big things that you need to do, but you never can conjure up enough energy and focus to get them done. Try out the formula for change on one of these and then call me at 201-218-5593 or email me so that we can work out a plan.

Coach Dave

Dave Schoenbeck
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