If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Mary Engelbreit
It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory. W. Edwards Deming
My friends recently acknowledged me for being able to make really big life decisions. Each time I transform a little bit more and step up just a little bit more – and I always land on my feet. So this week, Happiness Weekly is looking at how you make those big life changes
1. Make up your mind to change
As with any decision making, start with weighing up the pros and cons of the situation. In the past, I have had cons far outweighing the pros, but still followed my heart and gone with it. I have no regrets and I’ve never looked back, so it is possible to go against the logic in front of you and still succeed. If anything, the pros and cons list just helps you to know what you want. Once you know what you want, you can go and get it. When your mind is made up, the rest should follow. The trick is not to change your mind until you’re at least three quarters into the big life change, and then you just need to make slight tweaks and adjustments.
2. Focus on what you want to change and remove all the blocks
It’s really important that you keep in mind what you want to change any why, rather than the how. Start removing anything blocking you from getting where you want to go. Keep a photo of your goal in your wallet or close by illustrating what you want to achieve. If you’re moving interstate for a big job and leaving your life behind, then keep a photo of what you want your success to bring you. If you are overweight, then keep an image of someone, with a similar build who you admire, in your wallet. Keeping your goals as visual as possible with trigger you to stay on track and self-motivated.
3. Expect the best but prepare for failure
Build yourself up to expect the best, know that you can do anything you want to – it’s very important to believe in yourself every step of the way, leave the doubts for other people. But the fact of the matter is that every now and then you will suffer setbacks – that is part of the process in being successful. Always remind yourself that it’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that’s important.
4. Take chances
Don’t be afraid to take chances along the way, and be flexible with change. One of my closest friends said to me the other day: “I’m disappointed only because things are not turning out the way my mind saw them … in reality it is what it is and nothing more”. Don’t stop when you get a setback, look for your next goal and keep going. Life’s too short to be wondering “what if” – if you’re curious, follow it and see where it leads you.
5. Review your friends
This doesn’t mean you need a fall out with all your friends, but just stop keeping in touch with the wrong ones as often. The people you need to associate with at this time are people that have been successful in whatever change you are making, or the people who support you 100% and will help you where they can. Anyone that makes negative suggestions or thinks or acts negatively will have to go. Take care of yourself and put yourself first where ever possible. If you have difficulty doing this, start treating yourself as though you were your best friend.
6. Set goals and rewards
Make this one big life change the major goal and focus on it. You can also set mini goals, timeframes and rewards when you achieve something to help you along the way. You need to reward yourself for your achievements to help stay on track. You also need the mini goals because generally major life changes don’t happen overnight. It’s a marathon not a sprint, but once you’re in a routine it will get easier.
7. Challenge yourself
Get out of your comfort zone and try new things. Do things you wouldn’t usually do. Focus on doing the things you want to do. Take yourself to an event on your own, you’ll surprise yourself with how many people you come out knowing. Try a new food – you may like it.
8. Get a makeover
Go to the hairdresser and change your hair, change your wardrobe and generally get a makeover. Change yourself to look exactly how the final you will look. Changing things on the inside is one thing, but you still need to dress where you want to go. There is no doubt a makeover pushes things to happen faster.
9. Trust your instincts and be accountable
Telling a few close friends your plans, and then proving that you can do it will also help you along your journey. You may need people that are there for you when you suffer a setback. Trust your instincts with your decisions. Ask for help if you need it and avoid doing things you don’t feel aren’t right. You may also hold yourself accountable by documenting your progress in a diary or a blog.
10. Be persistent
Don’t give up! Be confident in your decision, think of the end result, continue to take action and keep going. No one can do it for you. Stick with it even when the going gets rough, because once you achieve your goal, it will be worth it… and you’ll have some great stories to tell that you’ve collected along the way!
Remember, change is as positive as you make it! What major life change have you made? How did you make it and what was the result?