One thing I pride myself on professionally is that I am a pretty stellar change agent. The thought of change is exciting and gives me an empowering feeling at the pit of my core. I hope to embrace this mantra in my personal life, because I haven’t always done that and I typically feel very restless when I am not at work.

There is this scary part of change as it surrounds relationships that you’ve grown accustomed to. Those ones that drive feelings of security, joy, and nostalgia. Ones full of memories that you think define you somehow, but in reality you are actually the one that defines yourself. Unfortunately, all things change including people and the way they make you feel.

So, if I am going to adopt the same principles that drive success for me on a professional level, why wouldn’t I do it personally? Nobody and no thing is really constant truth be told.

So, let’s think through some rules of the road here.

1. Learn to identify breaks

When something is going right, there is positive energy, and seamless flow in a particular avenue then no need to address it. This is not something that needs change. However, when things are frustrating, convey negative energy, and stall out constantly you need to address it. If not, you are doing yourself a disservice and you will be miserable.

2. Inventory requirements

Understand what it is that you need. Once you do that, you can either dissect the relationship to see where those breaks are happening and figure out what needs to be done to fix them, or you can start to review alternative relationships to see what else is out there. This can apply to friendships and romantic relationships alike. Know yourself and what you need.

3. Selection of the right solution

Once you have completed your requirements phase, you are in good standing to implement new relationships and/or fix the broken ones. The most important thing for this stage is to be a subject matter expert on what you need and what’s out there. You must be acutely aware of risks, rewards, and alternatives at all times.

It’s important to look out for your best interests and hold others accountable for their actions. You are responsible for your own happiness, and how you let others treat you.

Today, I choose happiness!

But let’s not forget the other things that come with it:

4. Plan your move

5. Communicate changes to stakeholders

6. Reinforce efforts

7. Constant refinement and evaluation