Are you hungry for change in your life? How hungry? Mildly bored and open to change? Or aching, longing, desperate for new and different? You know where you fit. But maybe you feel stuck?
Before you do anything, have a serious talk with yourself. Talk out loud, so you can hear your words. (I like to pace as I talk to myself when I’m in this mode of self-searching.) Know what you’re looking for, what you can change, what you won’t change, and what you’re willing to do to create the change you desire. It’s always a good thing to know your boundaries, your strengths, your options, and your limitations.
Don’t invite change you can’t sustain. If life feels stale and needs freshening, or even a complete overhaul, try to be strategic. Begin with your end goal in mind. Don’t burn bridges you still need to cross. But you don’t want to find yourself paralyzed by uncertainty either.
Talk it out, then write it out. Write down the things you’re thinking about, pros and cons, and let your words sit for a day or more. Come back and read what you wrote, notice how your words sink in to your thoughts as you read. Do you feel excited about the change you envision? Skeptical that you can make this change? Fearful? Energized? Excited?
All these emotions are giving you information, telling you how you really feel about what you’re considering. You know the common advice to listen to your instincts? That’s what you’re hearing when you recognize your emotional response to your ideas.
Sometimes we believe ourselves when we’re wrong, and we ignore ourselves when we’re right. Have you ever experienced that? This is just a reminder to be honest with yourself as you evaluate and think to yourself.
If you’re not sure where to begin the conversation with yourself, how about these ideas? Consider these options:
- Change your physical space. This could be anything from moving to a new house, to moving to another state or country. Never underestimate the impact of your physical surroundings on your life. Everything from scenery to amenities to job opportunities to family proximity is affected by your choice of where to live. Take away: life can look very different depending on your view. Change the place you’re standing, and you’ll have a different view.
- Take stock of your life right now. What goals have you let slip? What did you always want to do, but never got around to doing? Dust off your dreams and ambitions. Maybe you need to update a goal…make it current, think about what’s changed with you and the world in the last few years. Take away: we sometimes lose sight of an ambition that’s still worth pursuing. Is that true for you?
- Look back. Literally go back to old photos of yourself and remember where you were a few years ago. Try to get into the mindset from the time of the photos you’re looking at. Was that a good time in your life? How do you look? Happy? Or something else? Is there something from your past you’ve forgotten, or lost that you want to regain? Do you need a reset? Take away: sometimes in looking back, we realize we were happier than we knew at the time. Look back to see if this is true for you, and how that realization can re-frame your current life.
- Look forward. Where do you want to be in 5 years? In 10? What do you need to be doing today to achieve your goals for the future? What needs to change right away to get you moving in the right direction? Can you list your steps? Take away: life moves quickly, and if you have a dream to open a business, finish a degree, start a family, or launch yourself in some new direction, you need goals, and you need to get started now.
- Add something totally new you think you’d enjoy. Pick an activity or a class or something you’d have interest in doing, something different to anything you’ve tried before, and jump in. You can’t know what could come of doing something new. New relationship? New job? New hobby? New self-image? Take away: you never know what will come of putting yourself in a new setting, following your interests in a new direction.
- Move outside your comfort zone. Pick an activity or a class or something you haven’t done before that you are NOT drawn to. Make it something that is doable for you, but something that goes against type. Stretch yourself. Example, if you’re fearful of public speaking, if you are not an outdoors person, choose something that puts you in these situations. You’ll gain confidence by doing something you’re a little uncertain of doing, and new doors will open up because of what you learn in the process. Take away: fear is crippling, bravery will reward you. Challenge yourself, that’s always a good thing.
- Travel somewhere new to you. Literally, broaden your horizon. If you don’t have someone to go with you, consider connecting to a group. A great way to experience group travel is to join a mission or some sort of work / tourism group. Many organizations offer opportunity to experience other countries and cultures while providing a structured way to contribute. Help build a school, homes, or some other project, and gain a whole new perspective, new skills, and friends. I promise doing something like this has power to change your life. Take away: doing something for others in a new setting, seeing how other people live, the very experience of travel itself will open your life to all sorts of things.
- Read and explore. There is so much great writing out there to help you tackle fear of change, refine what you want and need, and launch a new life, or feel more secure in the one you already have. Take away: don’t be afraid to copy someone else’s formula, great idea, or encouraging words. You can learn a lot from fellow seekers. Let others teach you.
- Open your mind to change. What’s the worst that can happen? You’ll be happier? We’re often fearful of change, but the reality is that change will come whether we want it or not. Why not try instigating it and watch what happens? Take away: take control of your life, and create the change you want, rather than passively waiting for life to work out.
- Commit to change. Choose one of the suggestions above and give yourself a date. Put a date on the calendar that you’ll accomplish one or more of these ideas as a way to bring something new and amazing to your life. Take away: nothing is more powerful than your mind, committing to a plan, and committing to follow through.
“If we all did the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.” ~ Thomas Edison
If you’re looking for more to read on this subject, check out my book, Choose Your Purpose, Love Your Life available through Amazon.