How to Prime the Pump to Make Great Change
Monday, February 5, 2018 at 7:59AM
Linda Samuels in Embrace Change, Mindfulness, Motivation, accountability, blog, change, goals, habits, meditation, mindfulness, opportunity, organized, possibilities, success

We often set our intentions at the beginning of each year to make this year better. Some of us are still at the intention phase, while others have moved on to make “good” on our goals. Deciding to make changes whether that’s getting more organized, eating more healthfully, or switching careers, takes a lot of energy and motivation. Some changes are forced on us, but others, we choose to embrace. Deciding to do something different is the first step, but then there’s the actually doing or adopting of new habits. It’s your consistency of engaging new habits that will bring about your desired change.

Have you identified the change that you want? If so, that’s terrific! If not, stay open to the possibilities. If you’re ready for change, but can’t quite get activated to do something, I suggest trying out some of these pump priming strategies to help you move forward.


7 Pump Priming Strategies for Encouraging Change

1. Read – Find information that relates to the change you desire. One of my goals was to reestablish my daily mindfulness meditation practice. I primed my pump by reading lots of books that discuss the various aspects and benefits of mindfulness practice. Just reading the language readied me to engage in beginning again.


2. Write – Collect your thoughts around the changes you seek in a journal or other writing outlet. Doing this gears your mind in a forward moving way. It also can help you work through challenges around change and ways to encourage the cheerleader within. I used both my personal journal and public blog to help me commit to making a change. Writing can be a form of accountability.


3. Watch – If you have the opportunity to watch any programs or movies in your desired area of change that can also help. For example, I went to a movie, In Pursuit of Silence, which included a talk back with the director. Aside from it being a wonderful movie (go see it if you can,) it supported the value of integrating quiet into your life. This aligned beautifully with my goal to reestablish my mindfulness practice.


4. Review – Looking back on other times that you were engaged in positive habits or when you successfully made changes is a great way to prime your pump for change. Remembering that success breeds more success gets you ready and in the “I can” mode.


5. Search – Don’t underestimate the value of finding a community of like-minded people that value and understand the changes you seek. Investing time to find “your people” is a way of priming your pump. I recently attended an Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness retreat led by Amy Reyer, Ph.D. She shared many local mindfulness meditation resources including local meditation groups. Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D., co-founder of Center for Mindful Living said that, “Human connection is the ultimate ‘x’ factor in creating a sustainable practice.”


6. Connect – Talking with others about the changes you seek and challenges you’re encountering can move you to act. It can be inspiring to talk with others that are pursuing similar changes. Supportive conversations are affirming and let you know that you’re not alone.


7. Learn – Signing up for courses that emphasize what you’re interested in changing is another great way to prime your pump. Sounds True recently sponsored a free 10-day online Mindfulness & Meditation Summit. It featured the top leaders and researchers in the mindfulness movement such as Sharon Salzberg, Kelly McGonigal, Daniel Goleman, Pema Chodron, Richard Davidson, and Jon Kabat-Zinn. After many hours of learning, it was impossible not to be excited about getting back to my practice.


These strategies do work. After a concentrated effort of pump priming, I have reestablished my daily mindfulness meditation practice. You can use these same strategies to bring about the change you seek.

What change are you ready for? What strategies help you to make the changes that you seek? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come join the conversation!






Article originally appeared on The Other Side of Organized by Linda Samuels (
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