Truly changing your life may be difficult, but that difficulty comes as often from within as from outside sources. It’s important not to downplay the very real difficulties that come with making a change. Not all things are possible at all times, but more things may be possible more often than you think. Below are four things to think about if you are considering a big life change.
Identify What Needs Changing
One of the trickiest things about making a life change is that it isn’t always as simple as knowing what you want and going after it. If it were that straightforward, no one would ever have regrets about quitting a job or leaving a relationship. Sometimes, what you need is a complete overhaul of your life. Other times, a far less drastic approach will do the job. For this reason, it can be a good idea to start small. Maybe you don’t need to quit your job. Maybe you need to see if you can transfer into another department or start a small business on the side. Or maybe you need to journal, talk to a life coach or chat with family or friends to help you identify the source of your discontent.
Steps to Your Goal
Once you know the change that you want to make, you need to identify the steps you must take to get there. This will involve some problem solving. For example, maybe you want to become a teacher. You’ll need to go to school first, but how will you make the time and how will you pay for it? Going part-time and taking some online classes can help you fit it into the rest of your life. A free scholarship search and application platform can help you identify any you may be eligible for and start applying. If you’re worried about how your spouse and children will react to the news that you’re going back to school, sit down and talk to them about it. Try to anticipate the problems that may arise along with any nagging, repetitive worries that you have and plan how you will deal with them.
Beware of Burnout
In most movies, when someone’s trying to achieve something, there’s always a dark moment when all seems lost, but eventually, the hero or heroine rallies and goes on to accomplish what they set out to do. This may be a Hollywood formula, but in real life, how emotions are perceived in the workplace due to unanticipated setbacks is a real thing and might make you want to give up. It’s important to pay attention to your mind and body and know when to take a rest. That could mean a semester off school, a break from training for a big athletic event or a vacation if you’ve been working too hard on a project you’re excited about.
If there’s someone in your life who can serve as a treasured confidante and cheerleader throughout this project, cherish that person. However, even if there’s no one really like this in your life, you’ve still got someone very important on your team, and that’s you. Learn to trust your instincts and listen to yourself—in fact, this could turn out to be the greatest and most important change of all.