You’ve worked hard, and you’ve decided it’s time for you to enjoy the fruits of your labor. But before you can head off to the South of France or retire to your luxury Bodrum villa, you need to ring the changes back home. In a nutshell, your business needs to run itself, and that may mean a little streamlining and restructuring. Your plans for a lifestyle change will affect your family too – and some of them may not be as thrilled as you would have expected. 

Can you use change management principles like those outlined here  to clear away the obstacles in your path both at home and at work? You certainly can! Here’s what you need to do in order to overcome obstacles to change.

1.  Involve Everyone Who Will be Affected

No matter how good your plan for change is, you won’t get buy-in if you don’t involve everyone. It’s not just a matter of telling them what you plan to do. It comes down to explaining your vision and asking everyone to contribute to the development of a strategy through which you can realize it. You’re likely to find that the resulting plan is far more thorough and effective than anything you could have thought of yourself. And because it’s everyone’s plan, they’re invested in making it work.

2. Communication is Key

Although you’ve involved those most affected by a change in your planning, there will still be people who contribute to its realization but who aren’t directly involved in developing your plan for change. Develop a communication strategy that keeps all these people in the loop. Offer them touchpoints where they can raise their questions and concerns. Ensure that there is a constructive response by briefing your change management team thoroughly and encouraging them to report on how the people they work with are reacting to the information that’s being fed to them. 

3. Set Goals Effectively, Provide Support and Follow Up

Your plans for change are realized through a series of actions. Their completion can be seen as milestones or sub-goals that will ultimately lead to the fulfillment of the overarching goal you’ve set. In consultation with those responsible for reaching various milestones, set clear time limits. Investigate whether other people or departments must contribute and ensure that they’re ready to help when called on to do so. Hold regular meetings with the team responsible for overseeing change to check on and facilitate progress. 

4. Don’t Expect Everyone to be Enthusiastic

Even when implementing change has clear-cut benefits, there will always be people who resist it. The first prize is to win them over and turn them into enthusiasts, but that won’t always be possible. At times, it’s a matter of explaining what you’re trying to achieve and persuading them to “just try it.” Be understanding. It’s very difficult to break habits. “But we’ve always done it this way,” is an argument you’ll hear a lot. Use reason and be patient. 

5. Expect Implementation Hiccups

Using new methods isn’t always easy. You may think you’ve covered all the bases only to find that some contingencies haven’t been provided for. You will need all managers and supervisors to be alert to operational problems and bottlenecks in their departments when new systems are implemented. Increase the frequency of team meetings and ask employees to contribute by airing any change-related problems they’re experiencing. Treat all feedback as a valuable contribution, and work on providing solutions. 

Don’t Lose Sight of Your Vision

Change may make those around you feel insecure, particularly when it involves a change in leadership. Don’t let the negativity get to you. If you’re stepping down to enjoy the lifestyle you worked hard to earn, a change management process will be necessary, but a plan is not yet a result. 

Persevere throughout the rocky change management process and remember that if it’s working as it should, you’ll be increasingly freed from responsibility. It can be a strange sensation. Beware of sabotaging your own plans by stepping in just because you aren’t used to letting go of directly controlling day-to-day activities!