Be the Change: 3 Steps to Start Creating the Life You Want


Your life is good... ish... for the most part.  Some times it can be hard to figure out if where you are now is just your life and how it's going to be (so make the best of it) or if something better is out there waiting for you to act. If you're wondering if it's time to make a change in your own life, check for these signs {3 Signs It's Time For a Change}. But if you already know that you need to do something... anything different figuring out where to start can be debilitating. It becomes this overwhelming command to get away from your usual routine, yet figuring out exactly how to do that is a mystery. The day to day drudgery, as unfulfilling as it might be, is so ingrained that you can't see where real change can take place. But there are a few steps you can take to get on track to doing the things you want to do, not just the stuff you have to do. When you're at the point where you're ready to get out of your rut, there are a few things you can do to get started. 

Try these 3 steps to start creating the life you always dreamed of...

1. Talk it out.

Saying things out loud can have a powerful impact. For starters it helps to define your actual goal or issue. If it's a goal you want to accomplish, putting it into words can make it feel more real. We can think about our hopes and dreams all day and half the night, but when we have to describe them to someone the picture can seem a little blurry. Talking about your goals can help bring some clarity and focus to what you actually want. When we tell others we start to obligate ourselves to the idea of it becoming true and working toward making it a reality. 

If it's an issue you're trying to resolve, saying it aloud can not only help you pinpoint the actual problem, but can help you see it differently.  Explaining your problem can often give you a different perspective and help you see it in a way that wasn't clear before. If it's a conflict with another person, try to explain it from their perspective as well. Often times you'll realize that what felt like a such big deal, really isn't. It may now feel more manageable. Now that you've said it out loud, brainstorm. Come up with possible reasons why you're having this issue, why you're feeling this way, and how you can resolve it. You can do that out loud too, but make sure to write down your ideas so you can look at them later.

Special Tip: If you're saying it out loud to someone (yes, you can start by talking to yourself before talking to another person) make sure you choose someone you trust. Someone who will listen without judgment- your best friend, a mentor, your cat (...or dog. Your cat likely won't care to listen for too long. And if so, may be inclined to judge you. You know your cat. You decide.).  As your determining who to talk to you don't necessarily need someone who's going to help you move forward (not at this point, anyway) and you definitely don't need someone who may discourage your growth or encourage unhealthy habits. But you do want someone who's a good sounding board just to get your ideas and feelings out. 


2. Pick one thing.

Life isn't perfect. We all need work in different areas at different times of our life. Your life may be in need of a major overhaul. Everything you've got going on right now needs to be thrown out and done over... Or maybe you just have a few areas that need a little work and lot of attention... Or, even better, most aspects of your life are manageable and you're pretty happy with it, but there is always something that feels like The Neverending Struggle. We all feel like some part of our life is at some variable state of mess and it's exhausting. Something needs to change... sooner than later. You know this. You live this. Every day. You promise to make a change. Every day. But you do nothing different. Every day. 

But every year is a new start. You make a promise to yourself and even post it on social media to show the world (and yourself) that this time, you're committed. You're going to do it! But a few months in you realize that the annual resolution mantra of "New Year! New You!" has turned into "New Month! New Me!" or perhaps more accurately "New Me. Next Monday." Either way you haven't gotten started or you've been slipping so far for so long that it's seem pointless. 

This can feel overwhelming. You know what you want, just not sure how to get there or where to begin. Regardless of how much work your life needs, the key to creating the life you want is to pick one thing you want to change and start there. Just one thing! Develop it as a healthy habit and you'll start to see change over time. Doesn't matter how small the behavior, just pick one part of your life that you are ready to change and do one thing to work toward that change. Don't know where to start? Ask yourself:  What area of your life is the most important to change now? The easiest to define? Or the thing you're most motivated to work on? Choose that one thing and go! Devise a SIMPLE plan of action and get to it! 


3. Do something already.

Once you've decided on one thing you can do to start creating change... do it! Make a  SIMPLE plan of action. Let me repeat... a SIMPLE plan of action. If you want to start reading, meditation, exercise... choose a time of day, choose a location, choose a time frame (how long are you going to do it). Going to the gym for an hour a day is ideal, but if right now you can only manage 5 minutes of walking in place in front of the TV or while on the phone, do that! Seriously. If you want to write a book or learn a new skill, devote 10 minutes every day to actually doing it.  You can spend 10 minutes coming up with reasons why you can't get started today. Let's instead use that energy to get creative about where you can fit your life goals into your life.   

Getting started can be the hardest step for a lot of people. Putting it off over and over leads to nowhere and no change. For other folks the hardest part is persistence. You can do it that one time or one week even, but keeping it up is where you break down.   That's why your something SIMPLE shouldn't be an Earth shattering or life altering task. It just has to be done. Making ANY progress is better than none. As you develop the smaller habits, you'll see change and over time they'll become bigger habits with bigger change. Besides life altering usually happens over time (you can't lose 20lbs in 2 weeks or keep it off without a habit change, let that dream go). Taking a step in any direction can lead to more clarity and confidence toward the right direction. 

Why is this so hard? Often times we're paralyzed with the fear of doing the wrong thing or doing it the wrong way or making the wrong choice. Try to think of it less as right or wrong and more as intentional and unintentional. Plus that's the good thing about choices: if you make one you don't like, you can make another one! They actually build upon each other. Take what you can learn from each outcome and make another (inevitably helpful) choice. Seeing actual results (intentional or not) in one area can build momentum and encourage you to keep going. It also helps determine what to do next. One thing is certain... if you're not moving,  you won't get anywhere. 

Special Tip: There are times when we just can't change our circumstances (e.g., obligations at work, financial limitations). In those cases we have to make our "something" our attitude. When we're obligated to participate in something we don't like, we have to think of it in a different way. What benefit are you getting from it (no matter how minor)? What can you learn? How is it helping you to network or get closer to where you actually want to be? A mindset shift can be plenty powerful when we're feeling powerless. Now working within this change in mindset, go back through #'s 1-3 and work on creating change in your life with this new perspective. There's always something you can do to work toward the change you want... go for it!

If you need more help figuring out how to apply these changes to create your change schedule your free 15 minute phone consultation. You can schedule online or give me a call. 

faith, hope, love