Four Key Steps Toward Real Life Change

4 Key Steps toward real life change by Elisa Pulliam


Today, I am so excited to introduce you to Elisa Pulliam, author of Meet the New You: A 21 Day Plan for Embracing Fresh Attitudes and Focused Habits for Real Life ChangeThis is one book I read cover to cover and found it to be so helpful, I just had to give a copy away! (We’ll do that today at the end of Elisa’s post!)

Four Key Steps Toward Real Life Change

Do you know what the secret is to experiencing real life change?

Oh, yes, there’s a secret. It’s not a magic pill. It’s not some big expensive program or eCourse you need to invest into. Nor is it something that you should hire someone to accomplish for you, although that would be ideal. It’s not even something that you can demand of God, although submitting to Him will make the process a whole lot easier.

The secret to real life change begins with the “ah-ha.” What’s an “ah-ha”?

As I learned through my life coaching training, and have come to see in my own life along with working with clients, the secret to real life change happens when we reach the magical “ah-ha” moment. It’s in that moment when we discover the heart of the issue and our part in it, with a desire to own the next steps. That’s because most of what we perceive as a dead-end, stuck-in-a-rut reality is not as hopeless at we think it is. We can change our approach. We can embrace a new mindset.

     While we may not be able to heal thyself, we can certainly choose an attitude that lines up with a eternal perspective as we move through treatment.

     We might not be able to change their behavior, which is causing havoc on our personal life, but we can choose a response that reflects the heart of Christ and the truth of Scripture.

     We might not be able to erase the past, however we can move towards seeking God to heal our wounds and give us a new way of thinking that is in line with His Word.

See, the real life change we crave is often a matter of embracing a biblical mindset over focusing on our circumstances — that’s because most of our circumstances are out of our control.

While there are limits in what we can do to change the circumstances of our lives, there’s nothing stopping us from inviting God to change our character and countenance as He accomplishes His purposes in us and through us.

It’s a process of real life change that starts with harnessing the “ah-ha” moment momentum and then moving forward practically and purposefully in what I call the 4 Key Steps Toward Real Life change:

1. Identify What Was and What Is:

Clearly articulate the circumstances, mindset, and habits that need to be changed,  even pinpointing how it all           came to be, along with the “ah-ha”moment that invites real life change. Write it down as a reminder in the future.


2. Count the Cost:

Prayerfully consider what the cost is to not move forward in real life change. Consider what will happen if you            stay “as is” compared to take the sometimes uncomfortable and scary steps forward.


3. Own the Obstacles:

Consider the obstacles that made change impossible in the past and may make it challenging in moving forward.        Own your sin and be honest about temptations, as you make choices about what to do differently.


4. Prepare to Persevere: Brainstorm ways to seek help and accountability for moving forward. Set a goal date or a “check-in” date to have a finish line, or lap marker, to press on towards.


Real life change is possible, if you’re willing to participate actively in the process with the Lord. God’s sustaining, transforming power is available to you, my friend. He’s just waiting for you to say “yes” to His sanctifying, abundant life-giving invitation.


Elisa Pulliam is passionate about women experiencing a life transformed by God for the sake of impacting the next generation – a mission fueled by God’s redeeming work in her life and twenty-plus years in youth and women’s ministry. She is the author of Meet the New You: A 21 Day Plan for Embracing Fresh Attitudes and Focused Habits for Real Life Change, a book designed to help women get unstuck as they encounter God personally and put into action biblical truths and life coaching principles relevant for their life today. Elisa is the founder of, serves as the Executive Director of, and tremendously enjoys working as a life coach and coach trainer as the owner of Authentic Life LLC.  However, she considers her greatest roles as wife to Stephen and mom to four amazing children.

Connect with Elisa at

Today, I am giving away a copy of Meet the New You. In order to be entered for an opportunity to win, please share in the comments section of my blog below, which key step you think is the most challenging. I will announce the winner next week!The life coach book you need!



  1. Paulina Armstrong says:

    I love this article……thank you for sharing. For me, the most challenging would have to be “own the obstacles”.

    1. Thanks, Paulina, for taking the time to leave a comment. I bet you’re better than you think at owning the obstacles since you already owned that would b your struggle!

  2. Great Devotional…..The Key Step that is the hardest for me would have to be Key 3: Own the Obstacle. Owning your sin and wanting good to come out of it is hard for me to do when I live a guilty life. I know I am forgiven but I enjoy bullying myself and continually punishing myself for sins that should be wiped away. I truly do love myself but I am toughest on me =(….I always say, “I should know better….but I am still human like the rest of us so if I can forgive others why can I not forgive myself? I hope that by going through these steps, digging deep and allowing God to change my sins to saving grace will encourage me to keep pressing forward and never give up! Thanks! =)

    1. Suzanne, I appreciate you taking the time to share your struggle in this process of change. Have you thought about the process of forgiveness being more about receiving what Jesus as done for you on the cross rather than feeling like it’s something you have to do for yourself? God, in His great wisdom made a way for us to be forgiven through Jesus — we don’t need to forgive ourselves. We need to receive His forgiveness and respond in humility and gratitude, walking in obedience as best as we humanly can out of love for our Father. It’s more of a relationship rather than a duty or rule to keep. Does that make sense? I’ll pray for God’s grace to fill you and that you would sense His forgiving, merciful, gracious, and abundant love in a fresh new way.

  3. Karen L. Fabian says:

    An “Ah-Ha” moment recently occurred in my teen-age daughter’s (16 year old sophomore) high school hockey world. While we speak often about character building, a recent choice to lie to myself and a teacher didn’t give her the “three point” advantage of staying on the high school hockey team. Real life happened when my daughter understood that the coaches number one defensive player needed to own her issue and be a part of it. 12 games later, she continues to learn that choosing a winning attitude makes you a better player (on and off the team). The semester has completed and yes her grades are up, but she’s not a starting defensive player first day back. While it has been hard for a parent to sit back and watch, I am thrilled to read your devotional today as this is perfect discussions for us tonight to seek God to heal our wounds and give us a new way of thinking that is in line with His word. Thank you for this blessing!

    1. Praise the Lord for the way He’s developing your daughter’s character (and I’m sure your’s too) while providing you with the tools and wisdom you need to meet her right where she is. May He get the glory!

  4. Step 2 is so frightening to me! Am I strong enough to forge through the tough part or give in to my weakness and continue to let my relationship with my oldest daughter plunge deeper into the pit!!!?

    1. Oh yes, counting the cost is a hard part, Terri, but when we can even begin to entertain that reality, we’ll find the motivation from the Lord to more into it transformation rather than run from it.

  5. Aubrey M. says:

    I think I’m struggling with Owning the Obstacles. I am so ashamed of my sins, but I’m stuck in denial to be able to cope. I’m afraid if I admitted my sins, I would be seen as a disgrace and therefore, I’ve been hiding from it all. But the truth is that you can’t hide from God. He’s always with us, he always sees, and yet…he’s still always by our side. A what a comfort that is, to rest in that truth.

    1. Yes, Amanda — we can’t hide from God! He is always with us and wants to draw us close to Him. That closeness happens in the light where the truth can be seen. So run to Him . . . be honest with everything, including all your sin, and let Him pour out on you His grace, forgiveness, and hope for the future!

  6. Want my relationship with my stepdaughter to change

    1. Lord, will you please reveal to Christy how to go about the process of change in her relationship with her daughter? We give both of them to you, Jesus.

  7. I know the what, I know the cost, I own the obstacle. I don’t know how to Prepare to Persevere.

  8. Counting the cost would be the most challenging. I know the person I would like to be, more confident, more open, able to speak in front of groups, etc….but I also know the person I am right now. Still shy at 44, still wanting to be in the background, not feeling or thinking I am a leader….

    Getting out of my comfort zone, stepping forward is a big thing for me. I am concerned with saying the wrong thing, looking like a fool, not being accepted (as has been the case all my life) However in the not being accepted, I have come to learn that acceptance by all is not always a good thing. Especially in this world. Not being a part of the main stream in this world is a good thing. In God’s eyes….as long as my character reflects His. I am still a work in progress!

  9. Tammy Dobson says:

    Preparing to Persevere is a hard step for me at this point in my life.
    I KNOW change is needed and for things to be different change will have to happen.
    I need confidence and strength in moving forward.

  10. For me is “prepare to persevere”. It is so difficult to call for help and accountability for moving forward. Sometimes I think myself like a battery full of charge but as the days passes or months there is no more battery and there is when I failed, when I don’t know how to recharge again.

  11. Im in the middle of some big changes in life! I would have to say for me the hardest is step 4: Prepare to Persevere. Thank you it is a great article. I needed the encouragement. God bless

  12. Owning the Obstacles is so hard for me. Sin is so condemning and shame producing. Instead of really owning it, I throw it at God and run from it. I tell him to fix but then hide in the corner hoping it will miraculously go away. I am learning that God wants to work with me in a relationship to conquer my sin so this devotional is incredible.
    Thank You!

  13. Owning the obstacles….especially my sin is always the hardest and scariest part of this process.
    I am definitely looking forward to reading this book this year.

  14. For me the most difficult step would be to own the obstacles. Would love to win this book!

  15. Nicci Ramirez says:

    3. Own the Obstacles!!!!

  16. Patty Danna says:

    This spoke right to me at the right time. I have been seeking and asking the Lord to hlep me make the changes I know I need to make in my life and feel so powerless to do it. I think like most, Owning the Obstacles is the hardest.

  17. Amy Thornton says:

    Owning my obstacles is the hardest step.

  18. Great thoughts were presented on how to cooperate with our Creator to find fulfillment in living the Christian life. I like the last step which says, “Prepare to Persevere. It means I need to be a participant in the process of becoming the “New Me” in Christ. God wants me to choose His life over my desires and plans. This process is possible and I feel encouraged by the four steps that are clearly presented. Thank you for your words. I’d love to read the book to enhance my understanding.

  19. For me it’s #4 that is the most difficult. I have spent my whole life keeping things secret. Having an accountability partner would be way out of my comfort zone.

    It is a new year. Time to try something new!!

  20. Darlene Dunlap says:

    I think the 4th step. It’s ok to talk about change, why we need to change but doing it and sticking with it is very difficult because satan is right there pushing you back and thoughts come to make you feel less than who you are

  21. I think 3 owning the obstacles- that is so hard! I really want it work on that area

  22. I would have to say the Prepare to Persevere is most challenging for me.

  23. Yvie Cano says:

    Thank you for taking the time to do this and offer also a way of an exercise to bring to light what we see as a challenge in Real Life change. For me personally, it’s #3. That hit me the most as I started writing them down in my notepad. I realized that obstacles aren’t always fun for me, especially when it has been of my doing in sin. I think it really helped me to seek wisdom in everything I do and especially with temptations that try to come whether it be eating too many sweets, thinking about the past, or even being critical on myself. Grateful for the Grace and Mercy that is afforded to us daily. You just realize that sometimes we have a choice to want to do things differently and that in itself can be a big obstacle in letting God mold us into our uniqueness and into the beautiful person he has called us to be. #3 was great.. loved about “owning your sin” When we do this we take captive challenges that come in our way as we move forward. We can be set free!

  24. Cindy Hines says:

    This sounds like a book I should read !!

  25. It’s not by accident that I am here. I responded to a comment I made awhile back and decided to check out your blog. Wow! God’s timing….. I had my “ah ha” moment this morning and did not even know it until I read about this book. Apparently,I need this character and countenance change and did not even know it! Talk about conviction….

  26. Pamela Koop says:

    Owning the obstacle!

  27. Owning the obstacles seems the hardest for me!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.