“He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.” – Harold Wilson

I’ve talked to a couple of people recently about the change process and why they struggle with it so much. One said, “I wish someone could have warned me about the financial collapse before it happened so that I could’ve planned better.”

My initial reaction was to apologize and provide a few recommendations on what economic indicators to keep an eye on. As I look back on the situation now, I wish that I would have added, “Change before you have to. It is much better to proactively lead the charge than to reactively lick your wounds.” Even if it is for the better, change will always be uncomfortable. However, one of the constants in life is change. Here’s how to start the process of change when the writing’s on the wall.

1. Overcome Feelings of Hopelessness – Don’t allow feelings of despair and loss for what could’ve been stop you from envisioning a more prosperous future. Accept that that particular lifestyle would have been good, but the universe had other plans and now you have to make the most of the hand that has been dealt. Lick your wounds, allow time for reflection, grieve with someone else, learn from the mistake, and restore your confidence so that you can move to step two.

2. Envision Your New Future – When you feel your confidence coming back, that is when it is time to devote energy and resources to creating meaningful prosperity. Set aside 15+ minutes per day to envision what you want for the future. The more clearly you envision it, the more you desire it, the more help you’ll get from the universe in aligning itself in such a way that your visions begin to manifest themselves in physical reality.

3. Take Small Steps Forward – The old saying is that you eat an elephant one bite at a time. Taking small steps and celebrating the wins will help you build the momentum to accept change on a grander scale. Do not be afraid to stick your neck out and make a mistake or two. Learning from your mistakes is a wonderful way to learn and grow towards reaching the vision you had previously set.

The future comes one day at a time. Accept what has happened, envision a more meaningful future, and take small steps towards the goal. You can’t manage what you don’t measure, so staying accountable for your actions will be important to your success.

“You miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky