7 Steps to Creating Lasting Change

Danielle Putnam
Contributing Writer
President, The New Flat Rate
Past President, Women in HVACR

“This morning, my sister left the toilet seat down! Women make men miserable.” – The Little Rascals

Earlier this week, I found myself browsing Netflix late into the night.  Oddly enough, I was searching for an inspiration, something funny. I nearly woke my husband and three sleeping children by laughing when Buckwheat announced to his woman-hating man club that his sister left the toilet seat down. I laughed…because of perspective. Naturally, my whole life has been, “Ugh, men leave the toilet seat up.” I laughed because both breeds are annoyed! Perspective. And until that moment, I never realized that men may be annoyed with me, too! Perspective.

Perspective ultimately leads to the success or failure in your life.

I love summer. How could anyone not love summer? For all of you HVAC friends, you’re in your heyday, the phones ringing off the hook, and you can’t get to all the calls on the board. But then again, you’re either loving it…or hating it…perspective.

And it’s that perspective, that ‘positive’ perspective which seeks success, that begs the question, “how do we create lasting change, so we can keep this heyday from ending?”

7 Steps to Creating Lasting Change

Ditch the excuses if you don’t have enough money, time, or friends.  The excuses won’t bring them any closer. Tomorrow is always tomorrow, and one year from now is always a year away. Be specific with measurable and realistic goals…tied to a time-stamped day.

And if you really want lasting change and a more successful business next year, manifest your dream.  Act with these steps:

1.    VISION – Clarity is power

Are you being hypnotized by TV, Facebook, texting, emailing, and staying ‘busy’ but not productive? Choose to be fully present in life and in your work.  Take a day and count out loud how many times you have the urge to reach out and grab your phone, even when it isn’t ringing.  Every time you do, you’re pushing your goals another moment away from you. Control your vision!  With that measurable and realistic, time-stamped goal that you set, ensure that everything you do is one bite-sized piece that gets you that much closer to it.  In the end, if you are a victim, you’re the author of it.  Every step you take will determine your success, and if your vision is clear, you’ll know immediately if your day-to-day actions are aligned with your goals or not.

2.    DESIRE

This is where your excitement, passion, and emotion live!  Your state of feeling good attracts that which you desire.  Happiness is a choice, and more importantly, the ability to reach your goals is a choice—if you truly want it and aren’t just setting your goals as an obligation, you are more likely to achieve. And seek to master what you desire – mastery doesn’t just happen – mastery knows very little about most things – they focus their attention on areas of expertise.  Focus on your strengths that are most likely to help you get what you desire.

3.    BELIEF

Recognize your limiting beliefs; for example: “I don’t have the family business family last name, so I’ll never be a leader in the company.” We have all heard that famous Henry Ford quote: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.”  Earn your place.  Prove your abilities.  And encourage yourself with positive self-talk.   The Mayo Clinic says that positive self-talk can decrease depression and increase your lifespan.  So even if you don’t believe that it increases your ability to do better, wouldn’t more time in your life alone help you get there?  What are your limiting beliefs?


Start by accepting yourself first.  Accept your belief, acknowledge your limiting belief, and then counter it with its opposite truth.  Flip the narrative!  “I don’t have the means to do this” can be flipped to “creativity and ingenuity come from desperation!” “I will be a leader in this company because I’ve worked hard and have mastered my skill; I am worthy.” Tell yourself your affirmation at least once a day until you believe it and until it’s the only thing you can hear.


Will-power goes a long way.  You can want something in life, but not intend to have it.  Will-power is developed from adding the hope to have something plus the intention to do anything necessary to get it. But don’t confuse it with work ethic – it’s not just work ethic that will get you where you want to be; you must be intentional and laser-focused.  No matter what happens to you in life, you redirect your focus towards what you intend to be.

6.    ACTION

Is your behavior in alignment with what you wish to be?  Take small, reasonable steps each day that push you closer to your goal, and remember that there is more than one way to arrive at your destination.  If you come to a bump in the road, look for ways not just to go over it, but through it, around it, under it, or take a different detour altogether.  And go back a step to recognize; sometimes it’s not an action, it’s a belief issue.


It takes a tremendous amount of effort to hold onto an expectation—efforts that could be spend getting you to what you actually want.  If you want love, don’t hold onto it; be love.  Have intensity for what you want with no expectation that it has to happen.

Small shifts in perspective can turn you around from dreaming to achieving.

It’s perspective. In our niche industry, our trades, let’s stop being a big fish in a small pond. Be a small fish in a big pond so you have room to grow! It’s perspective.

P.S. Although these stories are my own, the actual 7 steps did not pop into my head from thin air – they already existed in the universe, and I’d been practicing them with a mentor. It’s my pleasure to pass them on to you.

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