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This is a transcript of Live the 8Wise™ Way Podcast.

Episode Twenty-Five:

Planning for Effective Change

Welcome everybody to the Live The 8WiseTM Way podcast with me, Kim Rutherford, Psychotherapist, author and creator of the 8WiseTM methodology for better mental health and wellbeing. How are you all doing? Are you doing well today? Are you looking after yourselves today?

With today’s episode, I wanted to basically provide you with a process that can help you to plan effective change in your own life. It’s one of the most common questions I get asked about on a regular basis from people who are emailing me after listening to the podcast and they’re listening and they’re going “Yeah, I need to make some changes, I really need to make some really good, effective changes, but I’m not really sure where to start, and I’m a little bit nervous about if I’m making the right decisions” and all of that kind of stuff. So what I want to talk through with you guys today is really just a very simple process that I use with all of my clients to help them to start moving towards effective change in a realistic way for themselves. So, this might be a really good opportunity for you to grab a pen and paper if you want to, so that you can actually write down everything I’m talking about and obviously you can listen again and again and again to this episode to help you. This is pretty much exactly how I would work with somebody if you were coming to see me on a one-to-one basis, this is how I would work through this process with you.

So, number one, what you’ve got to identify is the reason that you want to make a certain change and the reason linked to what are you hoping to achieve if you make that change and this can be with regards to absolutely everything in life. It could be that you are wanting to change your career and so you are choosing to do a new course in order to help you change your career. It could be that you are wanting to have a life in a different area, so you have relocated and now you need to create the life there. It could be something as simple as you want to be healthier in life, and therefore it could be focused on whichever plans you are putting in place to change towards a healthier life. Whatever it is for you, I want you to think about why you have chosen to make that particular change, and what are you hoping to achieve by making that change. What I mean by that is, I want you to take a moment to really visualize what your life will look like when you have implemented everything you need to implement and that change has happened and you’ve achieved everything you wanted to achieve from it, what does it feel like? What does it look like? How would your quality of life be better? How would it be different? And I don’t want you to just visualize it on its most basic level, I want you to go into really deep thinking. I want you to get really honest with yourself, really honest about who you are and what you want to achieve from this change, and I want you to visualize every element of it, what it looks like, what it looks like on a day-to-day basis, what it looks like for your life. What do you look like within it? How do you feel within it? How will you be living your life if this change is implemented effectively.

So that’s question one I want you to think about. Why have you chosen to make this particular change and what are you hoping to achieve through actually making this change and get really, really good at visualizing it. And if you are wanting some help with regards to accountability for meeting these changes, then feel free to let me know in the comments below what changes you are planning on making. Now, I use this with a lot of my one-to-one clients with regards to, as I said, a lot of times it’s changing careers. It might be linked to changing their work life balance because they’re in a senior role and they know that the work life balance is really not great. It’s dominating work, dominating their private life, they’re not spending as much time with their kids.

So, I work with a lot of people with that kind of change plan and obviously I work with an awful lot of clients who have had bariatric surgery, so I work with those clients for them to really understand what they’re hoping to achieve by choosing surgery and what they’re hoping their future’s going to look like because of that. But you’ve got to pick your own thing. What is it you want to change and what way are you going to implement it to start with? And then it’s really understanding what you hope to achieve because there’s no point in saying “I want to change this” if you don’t know what you’re hoping to achieve in your life when that change has been made.

When you’ve got that really clear visual of what that is and what that change is and what you want your life to look like, then what I want you to do is then go onto the next question. I want you to ask yourself what you think your main blockers or obstacles are that could prevent you from achieving what you want to achieve by implementing that change. So, for example, if you are somebody who is looking at weight loss, something as simple as weight loss, what could stop you? What could stop you achieving the goal that you are setting for yourself? What could stop you from achieving that visualization? What blockers do you have? What obstacles are in your way? It’s the same with if you’re wanting to change your career, for example, or you are wanting to have a better work life balance, or you’re wanting to look after your finances better. All of these things you have to think about, “if I know what I want and I know what I want my life to look like when I have that, when I’ve made that change, then I’ve got to think about, okay, what are the risks. And the risks are what blockers and obstacles are in my way that could stop me from achieving it”.

Again, I want you to be really, really honest with yourself. So, for example, if I give you one of mine, my big life changes. So, for those of you if it’s the first time listening then you’re going to hear this for the first time but for those of you listening before, you’ll know I had a severe issue with eating and a really poor relationship with food that led to severe morbid obesity. And I had to make a decision as to how I was going to change that. And after a lot of thought, a lot of decisions, I made the choice to have bariatric surgery and so for me, bariatric surgery was going to be my way of helping me to not just change my weight, because my weight wasn’t the only issue I had but really what I wanted to achieve through having a bariatric surgery was to reduce my health anxiety that was really causing me major issues in all areas of my life. If I’m looking at why did I choose to have bariatric surgery, for example, my answer is very simple, because I wanted to achieve better mental health all round. I wanted to reduce my health anxiety. I wanted to live a fulfilling life. I wanted to stop saying no to doing things in my life because I was scared of them or scared of standing out, scared of being bullied, scared of what people might think, and scared of how it might affect me and my mental health in that moment in time. And then I knew that for me, what my blockers were, and my obstacles were, the number one blocker for me was that I have a disordered eating pattern. I have a disordered or distorted relationship with food that basically leads to binge eating disorder for me.

So when I’m stressed, I eat more. When I’m happy, I eat more. Basically, whenever I have got high levels of emotions that feel uncomfortable or even comfortable, I was going down the route of binge eating. So, I knew that my main obstacle for me achieving what I wanted to achieve, which was have surgery, to lose the weight, to have better mental health and wellbeing, was actually going to be me and my relationship with food because I knew the surgery couldn’t change that. So I had to then look at who was causing those blockers? What were those blockers? What were those obstacles and what could I then do about changing them? Because that’s what your next question is, when you know why you’re wanting to make the change and you know what you’re wanting to achieve from that change and then you also understand what might be the blockers stopping you, or the obstacles stopping you, from achieving it you then have to make a decision about what you are going to do about those obstacles and blockers. What are you going to do to remove them, because when you find out what is in your way and you understand the control you have over the things that are in your way, you have the power to make different decisions, different choices. You can change things. So those blockers and obstacles are no longer in your way. What that does is actually frees you up to achieve those things that you were wanting to achieve in the first.

What happens sometimes is we can get really fixated on some of the really important stuff. So, for example, in my journey with regards to bariatric surgery and losing weight, one of the pointless things getting fixated on is what my weight is on the scales. I have zero control over it. I can’t turn around and say, I desperately want to lose two pounds, three pounds, four pounds every week because I have zero control over that. What I can only do is actually focus on the bits that I have control, focus on my nutrition, focus on my exercise, focus on my hydration, focus on the things that I know put my body in a strong position to be able to drop the weight that I wanted to drop. But for a lot of people who are losing weight, we focus on the number on the scales, for those people who want to get really fit and healthy we focus on the number of push-ups we can do, for example, for those people who might want to change their jobs we focus on how many interviews we’re getting. So, we fixate on the things that sometimes we have zero control over and by doing that, we’re wasting really good, valuable time on focusing on the things that we do have control over, the things that will achieve the things that will push us forward, that will inspire us, that will motivate us, that will build our confidence, that will build our self-esteem.

So, what we’ve got to do is really focus on overcoming the things that we know we put in our own way, or we allow to be put in our own way and that’s those blockers and obstacles. This is a really simple process for absolutely any goal that you want to look at in your life. It’s what is it I want to achieve and why? What does that look like? How is my life, my quality of life, going to be better when I achieve it? What is the risk of me not achieving it? What could possibly stop me from achieving it? What blockers, what obstacles do I put in my own way to stop myself from achieving it? Am I fixating on the wrong things and does that actually lead to failure and self-sabotage? Therefore, what can I do to change things? How can I remove those blockers and how can I remove those obstacles? That’s a very general process you can use for absolutely anything.

But what I want you to do today, what I want you to commit to today, is making the next 12 months different, making them different in a way that you don’t make any of the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past. You don’t implement changes that you already know you’re setting yourself up to fail for because you’re not actually dealing with what’s at the crux of the issue. I really want you to make the decision today. I’m going to commit to setting some new goals and some new actions to really, really achieving them.

What I want you to do is, I want you to think about what you want to achieve within the next three months. If you were going to be able to time travel and time travel three months into the future, what do you want your life to look like? What changes? Realistic, not unrealistic, realistic. What do you want to be able to achieve within the next three months? That’s 12 weeks. We call this a short-term goal, and the reason I want you to set yourself a short-term goal is because I want you to start proving to yourself that you can achieve the things that you want in your life. So, I want you to think about what you want to achieve within the next 12 weeks, and I want you to really visualize what that looks like. Just like I’ve explained before, what does that achievement look like? How do you know you’ve achieved it? How will you feel when you’ve achieved it? How will your life be better when you’ve achieved it?

When you’ve done that for your first goal, for your short-term goal, I want you to do exactly the same for what we call a mid-term goal. A mid-term goal is something that you can achieve within the next six months. Don’t look past six months at this stage. What is it you would like to achieve within the next six months? How would you like your life to be different, better in the next six months? How could your quality of life be improved if you make this particular change or reach this particular goal within the next six months? How will you feel about yourself if you achieve this and how will your life make you feel if you achieve this within the next six months? And that’s goal two.

Then for goal three, I want you to think about what you want to achieve within the next 12 months. We’re not going to go big on big life changing plans, I don’t want you to think about the next five years, the next 10 years. I want you to think, if I had time travel and I could time travel into 12 months from now, how would my life be better? What changes could I implement in my life that would reach that goal? How do I want to feel in 12 months’ time? What do I want to be doing in 12 months’ time? What goal do I want to set for myself that if I achieve that, or when I achieve that in 12 months’ time, my quality of life will be better?

When you set those three goals, Short-term for three months, mid-term for six months, and then your long-term for 12 months, I want you to follow the same process that we’ve just talked about. I want you to visualize every goal, really clearly, visualize it in a way that suits you. If that means putting a vision board together, put a vision board together. If that means having it as some form of goal setting app on your phone, then use a goal setting app. I’m always going to recommend journaling because I think journaling is a very, very good way of keeping us all accountable for what we’re wanting to do. It’s why with regards to 8WiseTM, I actually developed these very specific journals.

So, if you’re not sure how to do this, you’re not sure where to start and you’re not sure you know how to start planning, then you can actually purchase my journals. There’s the 12-week journal that helps you with your short-term plan, and there is the 12-month planner that you can use for both your short-term, your mid-term, and your long-term goals if you want to. You can access every single one of those journals on all the normal online places you can get books, but also directly from me, also at and just head to the store there.

So, as I said, you can get the 8WiseTM 12-week journal, which helps you to set and reach that first short-term goal, or you can get the 12-month planner that allows you to set your short-term goal, your mid-term goal, and your long-term goal as well. And hey, do you know what guys, we’re just heading into Christmas, so if you don’t want to get this for yourself, why not add it to your Christmas list and get somebody else to get it for you?

When you’ve set your goals and you’ve got that real clear visual of what that goal is, then you need to be honest with yourself and look at it from the point of view what are the potential blockers and risks that will stop you achieving any of those goals? And then when you know what those potential blockers and potential obstacles might be causing that risk, you’ve got to then make the decision what are you going to do about overcoming them? How are you going to smash those blockers away? How are you going to smash down those obstacles? How are you going to get those things out of your way so you can achieve what you want to achieve in your short-term goal, your mid-term goal, and your long-term goal?

What this process does is it helps you develop your own action plan for effective change, and that’s why this episode is called Planning for Effective Change because if you can put all of this process in place, if you can set those goals, if you can get really clear visuals and commit and connect to those goals, if you can understand what your blockers and obstacles are so you understand the risks that could stop you achieving them, if you then take control of what you can control and be proactive in managing those things, you create a really good action plan. And if you follow through with meeting each step of that action plan, you will achieve your goal, which means that visual that you have got currently in place for your short-term, the next 12 weeks, your mid-term for the next six months, your long-term for the next 12 months that will come true. You will be that person. You will be feeling those things, you will have achieved those things. You will have that better quality of life that you crave for.

So that’s what I am asking you all to do. I am inviting you all to do. I’m inviting you to commit to making some effective change over the next 12 months of your life in three bite size chunks that will make you happier. That will make you healthier. Healthier mind healthier body, happier mind happier body, a better quality of life with better mental health and better mental wellbeing. That could be through anything. Like I said, it might be that you want to focus on your mental health, and you might want to improve your depression, or you might want to reduce your depression or your anxiety or anything that might be triggering mental health issues for you right now. You might be wanting to improve your physical health, fitter body healthier in general. You might be wanting to build your self-esteem, try new things, push out of your comfort zone. Find new hobbies. You might want to move house and move to an area that suits you better. You might want to build new connections with people, build better relationships with people. You might want to change your job, you might want to change your career, you might even want to be better with your financials, you might want to be putting some budgeting in place or anything like that.

Every one of those things links to the core eight elements of 8WiseTM and they pretty much cover everything in our lives that we want to make better, we want to improve and by doing all of that, by really putting a good action plan together for effective change, what you do as well is you go through that personal growth phase. When you go through personal growth, not only do you learn new skills, but you learn new things about yourself. What that does is help you to build more confidence, more confidence that you can achieve anything you want. So, no matter what life throws at you, you know that you are able to adapt to it, you’re able to break through it, you’re able to move through those blockers and through those obstacles towards the things that you want to achieve. What it also does is, every single time you achieve something, if you stop and allow yourself to celebrate each of those achievements and acknowledge how far you’ve come by having those achievements, what that also does is help to boost your self-esteem, making you feel more and more worthy of living the life you want and being the person you are in the life that you have.

As you build that higher level of self-esteem, what you also start to do is move towards self-acceptance. And when we move towards self-acceptance, we are unstoppable because we change our conditioned mindset, which means the way that we respond to the things that happen to us in life becomes more positive, becomes more effective, it means that we are in control, a little bit more of the things we can be in control of and ultimately it means that we live our life with a healthier, happier mind. That can only ever be a positive thing.

So, I invite you to give this exercise a go. I invite you to make some decisions about changes you want to make in your life, and I invite you to ask yourself these questions to help you set yourself a three-month goal, a six-month goal, and a 12-month goal.  From that, create a really good, realistic, honest, straightforward, to the point action plan on how you are going to achieve it taking into consideration any blockers that might be there, any obstacles that might be there, and how you are going to overcome them. Like I said, if you want some support tools or resources to help you do that, then head to You can go to the resources page there, but you can also go to the store there where you can get a copy of the 12-week journal to help you with that short-term goal or the 12-month planner that can help you to achieve your short-term, your mid-term, and your 12-month goal.

Now, let’s keep this really real, if you know that you want your life to be different in 12 months, then it’s down to you to do something about making that happen. No one else is responsible. No one else can do it for you. You are the only person who has full power and full control of this. Yes, you might have to adapt some things along the way to reach that goal, but if you want your quality of life to be improved because you’ve reached that goal, then you have to commit to the process of change. And change is scary for everybody. It’s what forces us to stay in our comfort zone but if you are willing to look at it realistically, commit to that vision, know what you want, and overcome those blockers and smash through your fear, then your quality of life or the quality of life you want to have better, or have made better, can happen in as quickly as 12 weeks, six months and 12 months.

So, I invite you to do this exercise and plan for your own effective change. Now, if this has been your first episode then thank you for joining us. I ask everybody, every single episode, if you could like put your comments below, share it, subscribe to it, just mainly because I’ve developed 8WiseTM as a methodology to help people with their mental health and wellbeing and you know, more and more and more people are struggling with their mental health and wellbeing, and I want people to know that they have the power to step out  of it. Just because you experience mental health problems doesn’t mean they have to be a part of your life forever. You can move forward from them, you can live a life without them, but you have to take the steps, you have to commit to taking the steps to move forward. And I want this podcast to be an opportunity for people to learn how to do that so if they are isolated and they’re feeling on their own, they know that there’s somebody out there, all of us supporting them in making those changes.

So, if you could like, if you could share, if you could subscribe, if you could leave some comments, that would be great. If you would like some more information on whether it be working with me, any of products or coming onto any of my training groups that are going to be starting in January, then please do feel free to contact me directly at and I will put that information in the notes below as well.

If you haven’t got a copy of my book yet, 8WiseTM Ways to a Healthier, Happier Mind, head to the website. You can access it from the store there, and you can also access it from about 39,000 bookstores all across the globe so you can learn to Live the 8WiseTM Way for a healthier, happier mind in the privacy of your own home. And if you are not liking the idea of reading, then I am currently in the process of recording the audiobook, and that will be available for you to purchase in 2023. So, you’ve got lots of opportunities. You can come on the training, you can work with me one to one, you can purchase the books, you can listen to the podcast, and you can also listen to the audiobook as well. And one of those ways I hope will help you to develop better mental health and better mental wellbeing, living a healthier, happier life, a better quality of life.

Thank you for joining me, Kim Rutherford. Psychotherapist, author and creator of the 8WiseTM methodology for better mental health and wellbeing. I look forward to chatting to you soon. Until then, take care and bye for now.

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